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Yearly Gym Memberships
By Tim Hartford, Financial Times columnist
July 13, 2008

We all know people who sign up for a 12-month gym membership in January—and give up their fitness regimes by March. Why do they enter into such costly commitments? "People make a choice that suggests they're too confident about their future attendance," says Ulrike Malmendier of UC Berkeley. Malmendier and colleague Stefano DellaVigna found that four out of five gym-goers they studies could have saved money by paying per visit instead. So before joining for a year, be realistic about how much you'll go.

Tim Hartford, a Financial Times columnist, is author of "The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World."


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