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Should Gym Memberships be Tax Deductible

Monday, February 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rebecca Nordan
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Should Gym Memberships Be Tax Deductible?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It's an ironic situation that people join a gym to get in shape but then leave with a credit score in worse than ever form. Gyms are synonymous with putting dents in our monthly budgets, improving our waistline while worsening our bottom-line. In order for America to help lose its reputation as being an obese nation, gyms should become more financially-friendly so that more people can realistically use them. Perhaps they could begin by making memberships tax deductible.

It is also no secret that many Americans are struggling with personal finance. In fact according to a recent Bankrate's Financial Security Index, nearly a third of Americans say that just staying financially afloat and catching up on bills is their main concern right now.Recent studies regarding gyms in the United States revealed that 15% of Americans have gym memberships. In 2012 the average monthly cost to belong to a gym in the U.S. was $55. With 15% of the more than 311 million people living in the United States, the nation spends around $2.6 billion a year on gym memberships.

Unlike food, heating, clothing and rent, gyms are not a necessary expense. Of course exercising is necessary in order for us to maintain good health. Americans are regularly reminded of the fact that in order to keep obesity at bay, adults need to get 150 minutes of "moderate-intensity aerobic activity" a week.

It's a no-win situation. On the one hand, health organizations are pushing Americans to exercise more, and on the other they are encouraging people to cancel gym membership as a means of improving personal finance. Consider "getting off your gym's financial treadmill," said Lindsey Gellman in the Wall Street Journal.

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