Thursday, December 27, 2012

Attempting to corral my habit

One of my 2013 goals is to run 10 races. For those of you who aren't runners, races range quite a bit in price, from well over $100, to $15 & it can be a very expensive hobby. At the end of some races, you are greeted with a well known band, an expensive shirt, a medal, & free beer. Given my financial goals for the year, those races will be few & far between. :-) I actually love the smaller races where you get nothing other than a piece of pizza & a bottle of water tossed at you as you cross the finish line, but most of my racing calendar for 2013 will be determined by our schedule rather than my first choice races.

I currently have seven races selected that are nicely spaced out (i.e. I have no plans to run three half marathons in six weeks, even though three of my favorite runs are within that same time period.) The races for the last few months of 2013 are not posted yet, so I'll add a few additional runs once that gets locked down.

Planning ahead & really looking at: the price of each race, & the overall family calendar & run calendar is part of ensuring that I don't register for races that I can't attend, or overbook myself. Most of these runs offer a significant discount if you register before 12/31/12, so I'm hoping to save additional money by pre-planning.

Here's what my 2013 race calendar currently looks like:

  • January - 5 mile trail run. Near my house. Price = $15. Perfect!
  • March - 15K Shamrock run in Portland. Running with friends. Price = $36.
  • April - 30K road run. This will be my big goal, as I've never run 30K before. My longest distance is a half marathon. Price = $55
  • May - half marathon on Mother's Day. Very close to my house, & price = $45
  • July - half marathon in Seattle. Price = $75
  • August - Hood to Coast 200 mile relay. AMAZING. EPIC experience (we ran it last year & my team qualified to run again.) Price = ? I paid the deposit already, but we'll all chip in for van rentals, gas, & food. I'm guessing another $200.
  • December - 12K run near my house.

And, I'm behind (again!) on posting my budget categories, so here's a double whammy again today.
In accordance with my plan in December to really dissect our 2013 budget & areas for cutback, I'm posting about one category per day. So far, I've covered mortgage interest (and a potential refi), our grocery budget., dining out, kids activities, gas, utilities at our vacation house, & utilities at our primary residence, clothing, travel, child care & personal spending, and health & house.
Today's topics for discussion are . . . our spending categories gifts & the car. 
  • Gifts - we spoil people. It's both a blessing & a flaw. We like to be very generous, & are by far the most well off in our family, which sometimes makes us feel like we can swoop in & really give someone an amazing gift. That's certainly not a bad attitude, but we're trying to focus more on smaller, more personal gifts, & less on things. We spent $252/month in 2012 (and, this doesn't include trips we paid for for others, as that was included in the almighty travel budget) & our goal for 2013 is $100. This will be both a financial & personal challenge for us.

  • Car - well, we bought a car in 2012 (that budget item isn't reflected in this category, as this is meant to cover monthly maintenance), & that purchase required several up front purchases. We spent $133/month in 2012 & want to get this to $100/month in 2013.This shouldn't be too challenging, barring any major issues, as the car is still under warranty.
How do you budget for your hobbies & look for ways to trim back the cost? How much do you budget for gifts throughout the year? I'm always interested to hear how others manage this. And, car expenses?


  1. Wow. That's a lot of running! Best of luck with all of them. I'm not sure I could do them... I'd need a lot of training. I used to love running, but I dropped it shortly after college and never did pick it back up.

    I havent calculated my "gifts" category, but if we include in money given to parents, it'd be embarassingly oversized. I would like to just see how it happens and go from there. I would love to buy a car, though! The only expenses for my car are trying to keep it from staying on the ground... it always needs something, but right now I'm just using it until it dies good.

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    2. I really enjoy the way I feel *after* a run, but many of the runs themselves are painful. :-) But, I have too slow of a metabolism to cut it out & still enjoy the weekend glass of wine, handful of nuts, etc. I eat well, but love the calorie flexibility I get from running. ;-)