WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The New Year brings a renewed commitment to a fitness routine.

But, make sure your finances stay in shape when you sign up for a gym membership.

First, factor in new gym costs into your budget. You are likely to pay a first-time membership fee in addition to monthly fees.

Extra classes, pool or tennis court usage may not be included in that base charge.

Clubs that offer New Year specials to new members may ask you to sign a contract on the spot.

Don't! Take it home, read it and make sure that you understand what you are paying for.

TheBetter Business Bureau says check check key membership details like the length of the contract, any automatic renewals, cancellation terms and how long those low introductory fees last.

And, do not make a financial commitment to the gym without visiting it first.

You want to see how crowded it gets at peak workout times, and if it has the right amenities for you.

Now the experts atConsumer Reports say consider skipping the January rush to join a gym.

And, for as little as 50 bucks, you can buy a stability ball, jump rope, Hula Hoop and elastic bands to help you get fit and keep your finances in shape, all at the same time.

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