I was inspired by Kara's post about the amount of $$$ dropped on race fees. So, let's talk money and running. I had my numbers easily accessible and it's rather interesting to see the how much this little love costs.
I didn't spend a penny on any sort of running clothes or gear this year. However, I did run 12 events, stayed one night in a hotel for two of them and bought several pairs of shoes. The total for the year 2011, $1489.30.
The only thing not factored in would be gas to drive to events. Also, I should note this was the total for anything paid for in 2011. This means two races that I'm already registered for in 2012 are included but two races I paid for in 2010 but ran in 2011 aren't. It also included double fees for two 5Ks since both my husband and I ran. Running Ragnar was the by far the biggest $$ suck (not surprising since those dollars are going to a for-profit company).
Admittedly, I am good with money. Growing up in a family of accountants does that to you. I like to stretch a dollar (you may disagree seeing that number above). I got my first credit card right after getting my first 'real' job as a sixteen year old. I knew how to use it responsibly even in those days. I've never paid a penny in interest or unnecessary fees outside of a mortgage or a car loan (all of which will be paid off long before term). My first investments happened before I was out of high school and things like savings accounts, 401Ks and other retirement accounts are important to me. I'm not poor but I'm certainly not raking in the dough either.
I keep a monthly budget because I like to see where my money goes. I like to see the breakdown of fixed costs versus variable costs. I like to see the difference between wants and needs and where adjustments can be made if I wanted/needed to. My budget spreadsheet has a row just for running/races.
Racing is expensive so I definitely consider cost in what I pick and plan for. Most of the stuff I run is small, local and not that expensive but when you start stringing them together and add in other costs, it can grow out of control.
Apparently, a large chunk of the US population seemed to miss the common sense rules and like to live beyond their means with no regard for tomorrow. I probably wonder to myself every single day how a particular person affords xxx. Whether it is someone on a TV show (think HGTV House Hunters shows), seeing someone in my neighborhood/community or reading someone's blog. Particularly when it comes to racing...I wonder how people truly afford all the high dollar, big name races and the amount of travel costs that goes with them.
I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't want to add it up but then again, why wouldn't you? So, what is your Cost of Running (COR)?
Side note: My spreadsheet has a line for all dog related expenses (food, vet bills, supplements, toys, beds)...it was higher than the racing/running costs. Apparently I like things that cost a lot even if none of them involve stepping inside a mall (couldn't tell you the last time I was in one!) or accumulating 'stuff'. And, if you want a real shock - keep track of how much money you spend at the grocery store in a year.