You love running, and that’s great, but now you’ve got a bit of a problem; you’ve started spending way too much money on your exercising passion. You’ve started buying the best of everything at top-dollar prices because you “need” them to run at your true potential, and every time you see a new or different piece of gear, you just have to have it, whatever the cost.
This is a dangerous habit to get into, and it’s important to recognize it. If you’re spending way too much on stuff, you need to start making some big changes to keep yourself from wasting your money and making your life more stressful and difficult when those credit card bills come in at the end of the month.
Give yourself an allowance
Buying and enjoying gear that helps you exercise well isn’t a bad thing, but you have to keep it within your means so you can avoid going into debt or paying interest on the things you purchase. Allow yourself a specific amount you can spend each month on running and set it up as a part of your budget.
If you want to buy new sweat-wicking socks and they fit in your gear budget, you can go ahead and get them. If you want those expensive new shoes, though, you might need to save up for a few months before you have the cash. Know how much you have to spend and try to avoid going over at all costs; using physical cash or a money-tracking program like Mint.com are good ways to make you stick to it.
Shop the sales
If you want something that’s really expensive right now, shop around and find the best deal or wait a couple of months to see if it’ll go on sale. Companies like Left Lane Sports have “flash sales” and a “deal of the day,” and outlet stores like Sierra Trading Post have constant clearance sales throughout the year, so knowing when the big sales are on and buying your gear for much less than retail will help you keep to your budget and make you happier with your purchases, too.
Follow the “one-month rule”
If you have a tendency to impulse-buy whatever you see that seems pretty cool, you might want to try the “one-month rule.” Put any item you want to buy onto a list with the date. One month later, if you still really want it, you can let yourself get it. This will help eliminate unnecessary purchases that you make without thinking and it will also help you avoid continuously buying slightly newer or different versions of the same thing. If the coolest new thing is waiting on your list, why buy that outdated one you wanted a month ago?
While none of these tricks works for everyone, hopefully doing some version of one or more of them will help you curb your expensive new habit and get you to a place where you know how much you’re spending on gear and are happy with it. Money is there to make your life better, but spending too much can make you stress and worry. If you think through and make smart purchases, you’ll be able to get the things you want without breaking the bank.
Photo credit: Jogging by John Loo/flickr