Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Gotta Budget Like a Boss

budget-with-tiles-and-dollars_opt

A conversation with a friend, "These freaking Ironman events are stupid expensive!" Why Yes, Yes they most certainly are. My response, "You gotta budget like a boss."
It's so true. For several races I have been fortunate enough to acquire some sponsors and donations to move me across the globe. For all other races, I save and budget accordingly.

I have an expensive hobby. Things cost money. More money than I make for sure!
But I am a baller on a budget.

So how do I survive?

Travel Account
No, I'm not a trust fund baby. My mother does have a travel account for me that she adds to. Think CHRISTMAS!! I don't need presents; just add to the account. I don't need more "things" to pile into my life, I need more adventures! So this works! In fact, I've got the whole family on board... "What do you want for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary/etc"...MONEY. I don't think it's cheesy to request moolah as a gift. Don't like gifting cash? Gift cards - Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Walmart, Gas. It's all valuable in travel. So NO, my mom doesn't fork over thousands of dollars. I wish! Mom, can we work this in somehow !?! #justathought

Line Item Budgeting
I've worked since I was 14 and my mom taught me how to budget. I used to use envelopes and label them for things I wanted/needed: "Car", "Insurance", "Hawaii Trip" (I once bought a plane ticket with $500 in pennies to Hawaii!!).
As I split the money up amongst the envelopes, mom would deposit it for me. Things I had to pay for like insurance were filled first. I had a running tally of how much money I had for each thing I wanted written on the envelope. When I would reach the goal, I'd pay for it.

I do the same thing to this day only instead of envelopes for my mom to deposit, I use the bank and track it all on an excel spreadsheet. I have a line item for every expense in my life, plus every race, event, or destination I want to hit, and an "extra" line where things like interest and unexpected money fall into. <--- that's how I can go on spontaneous adventures.

Organize your money!! Don't spend thoughtlessly, plan pennies, and prioritize money is KEY.

Work + Sponsors
The truth is, if you really want something, the money is there. Pick up extra hours, pick up a side job. Work hard to play hard. I've been very lucky (and worked hard) to 1) have a kick ass job that I love. 2) find a hobby/sport that I am able to also Coach and make money. 3) become well educated enough to pick up marketing gigs and miscellaneous business opportunities that don't nail me down for a long period of time or to one place. 4) build a network that is filled with love and support...

Yes, I have openly begged for money. I'm not too proud to beg, but I prefer to call it sponsorship. I have people in my life that wanted to support my journey and they did. I am forever grateful. With a significant goal, I think it's acceptable to request support from people who care about you. And every dollar I can is reciprocated to others in my life trying to reach their goals.
Gotta shout out to Phil here for being my #1 sponsor.

Sponsors also include real life companies that offer me products and discounts to support my journey.
Thank you Zoot, Core Chiro, Elite ScreenPrinting, and Kentwood Water for continued support!

Credit Card Points
I also use points. I love points. I very rarely use a debit card or cash, I rack up credit card points. Paid off monthly, the points stack up daily. Rent, car payments, big ticket items - credit card points! Cool fact, you can GIFT points too! So people that don't travel or don't ever use their points, yooohoooo, gift them to me please!! Points add up for airplane tickets, hotel expenses, and even gas.

Friends
I've got friends in low places but I've also got friends in high places. We like to help each other, right? Whenever I can, I know I do! So using a favor through a friend is great for my lifestyle. You've gotta be the kind of person that would give someone the shirt off your back though. If you're an asshole, no one wants to support you or do you any favors. Building genuine relationships with people is good for the heart mind and soul. Don't do it for the favors, do it for sanity and love... the support will come. And remember, it never hurts to ask. You'd be surprised what good friends are willing to do for you. Man, it brings tears to my eyes thinking back over the last few years. Y'all are amazing *hearts*

Best Deals
Finally, I scour the internet for the best deals. I spend a bit of time finding the cheapest flights and hotel deals <--- I also plan pretty far in advance (especially for an Ironman trip). And mom is a bargain finding expert!
It's tedious and gets frustrating at times but a few hundred dollars saved is a whole new adventure earned!!

The biggest most number 1 though is BUDGETING. Know how much money you have and how much money you need. Keep track of it. Don't spend your money thoughtlessly or have unplanned pennies. Prioritize your money and it will be there when you want it most.

So there you have it. "How do you do it!?" The truth revealed!!

I budget like a BOSS.
Need help budgeting? I'm pretty good at it, let's talk!

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