healthy living

A Not-So-Frugal Hobby: How to Save Money on Running

save money on runningWe have a special treat for your today, our friend Vanessa from Vanessa’s Money is here sharing her tips on how to save money on running.  If you want to get outside and get active this summer she’s got all the goods.  Please welcome her to Blonde & Balanced and share your own money saving tips.

Running is a fun hobby which used to be pretty frugal – the only cost was the price of a pair of running shoes. These days though, it seems like everyone is trying to Keep Up With The Running Jones’ and the hobby is getting increasingly more expensive. Here’s how to keep running costs down.

Save Money On Running Gear

Like at the gym, running trails can be packed with people wearing the latest gear and comparing themselves to one another. While Lululemon and Fabletics are the hot running wear brands this year, they can cost $100s of dollars for a single outfit! By shopping at Old Navy or Target instead, runners can find comparable items for a fraction of the cost.

Running shoes are a different matter – runners need to have the proper running shoes or risk serious injury. That being said runners don’t need to have the most expensive running shoes. Buying a pair of shoes from last season or from an outlet store can help runners save money on their most important piece of gear.

Road Races

Road races are the best part of running for some people. Today road races have become a huge expense for runners with popular races costing over $300 if you even get selected to race! With so much media attention on the prestigious races, hobby runners sometimes get sucked into the excitement of competing without thinking of the expense involved.

Rather, hobbyists should stick to local or inexpensive races if they’d like to keep costs down. Fancy medals and t-shirts are a sign that a race will cost a lot of money and that frugal runners should stay away.  If you want to lose weight on a budget then look for discounts.

If you want to be frugal but just can’t miss the hottest races of the year, look into discount codes for bulk purchases. Some races team up with other cities to offer passes that allow runners to run multiple races for a single cost. Be careful though – airfare and hotel costs could quickly eat up the savings from entry fees!

Racers should also beware of “early bird discounts”. While it sounds like a great deal to save money by paying an entry fee ahead of time, injuries, a lack of preparation or stop a runner from attending a race, which means flushing the entry fee money away. If you aren’t sure about a race, ignore the impulse to save $10-20 on an early bird entry fee and only book it when you know that you can compete.

The Ultimate Money Saving Tip

The biggest frugal tip for working out on a budget is one that can be applied to a dozen other parts of your life – don’t do it. Don’t get caught up in wearing trendy gear or name brand shoes. Don’t sign-up for races you don’t absolutely want to do or can’t afford just because they’re trendy or prestigious. Run because you love running, not because you’re trying to keep up with Mr. Jones running ahead of you.

If you loved this article be sure to check out Vanessa on her blog Vanessa’s Money and on Twitter.

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