But then I started my own business and quit my cushy job. And then I got poor.
Here's a little fact for you...owning your own business does not mean you're rolling in the dough. I have employees to pay, taxes to pay, supplies to purchase, and at the end of it all I take home very little. VERY LITTLE!!! Dave and I try to stick to a strict budget and have given up luxuries. The first year it was fun, almost like a challenge. The second year we survived. This third year, I'm sick of it. I miss my money. I want to go on a real vacation, not one that involves staying with either my parents or Dave's parents intruding on their vacations. I want to improve my wardrobe. And I want to be able to buy things for sport that I want.
I posted on Facebook the other day that I had spent $67 on nutrition (gels and such) in addition to buying a new pair of running shoes which I had luckily found on sale for $82. I also recently bought a new pair of biking shorts which everyone was raving about. Again I found them on sale for $98. And I signed up for a local triathlon which was running a special where if three people sign up, they split the cost of two people. So I paid less than $45 for an Olympic tri.
Some of those things I needed, some I didn't. Either way, I didn't have the money for any of it. Needless to say, triathlon is not a poor man's sport. I think I once read that the average salary of a triathlete (or maybe an iron-athlete) is over six figures. Are you kidding me? How does the average joe afford it?
For me, I pick and choose what I actually need and what I can get by without. Here's a rundown of how I save money in triathlon:
- Dave and I use a credit card for all purchases, which makes us points, which earns us money or things. I used points to buy my Garmin and essentially got it for "free." We are also accumulating those points to help pay for our trip to Houston for the marathon in January.
- I buy all my nutrition wholesale from Road Runner Sports. It makes my gels and things less than a $1/piece. That's cheaper than buying them one at a time from the grocery. I also mix my own sports drinks which saves BIG money to buy the powder. And thankfully we have a RRS store close by so I don't have to pay for shipping.
- I try to plan my race schedule a year in advance, therefore signing up for the races as early as possible to get the lowest rate. And I always search the internet for a coupon code to try to get that fee even cheaper.
- I rarely buy any new gear, except for shoes. I have been wearing the same workout clothes for years. I will wear it until it falls apart, can no longer get the stink out of it, or you can see through it. Fashion? I rarely match. :) And as for swimsuits which do fall apart often, I buy mine from Splish which seems to have figured out how to make them last longer, plus I guy the grab bag suits when they're on sale for $29. I don't care what it looks like. $29 for a swimsuit that's going to last longer than 6 months? Yes please.
- Some of my splurges include paying for a coach, which I would not train for an ironman without one, and having a gym membership. Although, we do get a discount for that too because our gym is located in the same area where Dave is employed. We get an employee discount.
So, how do you afford triathlon? What do you do to save money? What can I do more? What is necessary and not necessary for triathlon? Do you think race fees are out of control? Are there things or races you absolutely say no to because of the price? Speak up triathletes!