Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year: Runner's Savings Account

In what I have heard and read over the last couple weeks, a common resolution for nearly everyone is to get their finances in order. MONEY! This happens every year, as we all look at our pathetic bank accounts and scary post-Christmas credit card statements. Where the hell did all the $$$ go? Panic ensues. 

Show Me The Money from PeanutoakPrint
The new year gives us a great starting point for changing our spending habits. This new year is going to force us all to look at our money behaviors a little bit, with the changes in payroll taxes, etc. I can only speak for myself, but I'm trying to find ways to make up that difference. 

Enter: The Runner's Savings Account

I started a Runner's Savings Account last year. I spend a lot of money on gear and races, so I thought I would set up a separate account just for my running needs. The only trick is that I have to EARN every dollar that goes into the account. After one year of doing this, I am paying for my trip to Boston with my Runner's Savings Account - which is EXPENSIVE. Oy.

Money Doesn't Grow On Trees from ShopLarisaMartin
 Here is how it works:
  1. Set up a separate savings account through your bank. My bank has an account that I can put into over the course of a year, but I can't take anything out. After one year, they pay out to me. I suggest something like that if you can.
  2. Decide how you're going to pay yourself. Initially, I said I would pay myself $1 for every mile I ran. That quickly became expensive, because I run lots and lots of miles. I dropped it to a more manageable 50 cents per mile.
  3. Decide how you'll keep track of your miles. I used a spreadsheet and now I use DailyMile. I count the miles I run during every two week pay period to calculate my totals. 
      • 108 miles x .50 cents per mile =  $54 dollars deposited for that period
  4. Add in some bonus payments. Example: I pay myself $2 per mile for every mile I RACE during a pay period. I also pay myself $5 for every time someone yells "Run Forrest, Run" at me. If I have to take a potty break on a run, $5. If I throw up, $10! Make it fun and reward yourself for all of your hard work!
  5. Pay yourself first every payday! This is just a good rule of thumb anyway. When I get my check every other week, the first thing I do is take move my running money into my runner's savings account (along with my other savings accounts, 401Ks, bla bla bla)
  6. At the end of a year, you'll have a nice little cushion that reflects all of your efforts and it will help you pursue your future running goals. Sweet!
I actually have a lot of fun with this. I will even extend my workouts, so I can add more to my account. If you try it, let me know! I'd love to hear how it is working for you!

3 comments:

  1. This is brilliant! I seriously plan to jump on board. :-)

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  2. Ha! This is a really great idea! I may start doing this. I usually save my money throughout the year and then spend it all around February, re-upping my running gear and registering for races. This has the dual function of controlling my spending the rest of the year, and distracting me from my winter SAD.

    I love the idea of "earning" money through miles, though. I am toying with the idea of getting a new Garmin, but I can't decide whether or not I "deserve" it. (Similarly, I made myself run consistently for six months before I bought myself a proper tech shirt).

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  3. On board! I actually started on 3/11/13 and it's still going. Great idea!

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