Summer is here and that means most people are trying to get in some last minute exercise before they hit the beaches. While some people prefer getting a gym pass, others prefer to work out at home. However, if you’re just looking to get started with building your home gym, prices for athletic gear and training add up quickly.
There are so many things you’d like to do, but not necessarily things that you can afford to do. The key is picking and choosing what activities and equipment you spend money on and what ones you forego for the time being. The key is learning to pace yourself through your athletic purchases. You need an athletics budget to govern your spending.
The best way to pace yourself is by creating a budget for athletics. Without considering how much you expect to need for this year, set a target budget amount to spend on athletics. To do this, create or reevaluate your current budget.
First, Figure Out Your Expenses.
First, iron out the details of all of your necessary expenses, e.g. rent, food, utilities, paying off cash advances or short term loans etc. Make sure the necessities are covered, and then see what money you’ll have left. Considering the other activities you would like to take part in for the year, e.g. movies, music, hobbies, renovations, etc., determine a set amount of money that you can afford to set aside each month to cover any expenses you’ll have for athletics.
Figure out two totals: (1) how much you would like to set aside for it, and (2) how much you can afford to set aside. Make option 2 your priority to reach. Write those two totals down and move on to the next step.
What Are The Priorities?
Make a priorities list. As much as you would like to be able to afford each activity, sometimes a limited income simply won’t allow it. You need a priorities list to help you determine which activities will take precedence for your athletics budget. The activity at the top of the list will receive funding first. The next one down gets second priority and so on and so forth.
The way you’ll determine what deserves to be on the top of the list will vary based on your personal circumstances. A working man might consider running his first priority due to its cheap nature. Other than running races, all he needs is shoes and time to run.
A college athlete might consider volleyball as her best bet since she hopes to get on scholarship with it. When the sport can return some of that money, paying for a tutor or access to a gym can be extremely beneficial.
Plan Out Your Events Carefully
Consider carefully the athletic activities that you would like to pursue. Rank them according to importance in your own life, and write that list down. This will prepare you well for the next step of your pacing.
Once the list is created, go through the expenses you expect to make concerning the number one slot (ie. new shoes, standard fees, travel arrangements, gym memberships, prices of races, etc.). List each expense and how much it would cost. Total the costs below and circle it. Go down the list of priorities and do the same thing for each activity. If you have any duplicate items across activities, e.g. running shoes for marathons and Frisbee, don’t include the same item on the lower priority activity.
Once totals are made, add all the athletic events together. Compare that number against the number two budget total you created in the first step. If it’s going to cost you more than you can afford, cut the lowest priority activity from the budget. Compare the prices again. Should you still be over budget, cut the next lowest priority. Rinse and repeat until you have a budget of activities you can afford.
If you cut down to the first priority and still can’t reach your budget needs, consider the following two options:
First, reconsider your priorities. Maybe there’s a cheaper second or third option that would fit the budget, even if it’s not your first choice. Consider the other activities again and reorder your priorities list.
Second, cut certain items off of your first priority activity to make the budget possible. For example, running is cheap. All you need is shoes and motivation. If you are aiming to run four marathons this year though, that could cost you upwards of $400, just to run. You can cut races out of your budget to make your first priority possible. Find the expendable items and cut them at will.
Although it’s not the most enjoyable lifestyle to live, budgeting your athletic expenses is a much better alternative to defaulting on an important payment. There is no regret down this road, only happy contentment. Consider carefully your expenses for the coming year and plan athletic activities into your budget so your finances will stay in the black.