Monday, April 2, 2012

Running stuff worth splurging on

My very first "splurge"
Last week I caught an article on-line at Yahoo Finance about what's worth splurging on and what's not. I think it was an article about big ticket stuff - like, splurging $18,000 on kitchen renovations is worth the investment because you should get that back… or something. I didn't read the article that closely.  Here it is in case you're interested.

It did get me thinking about what's worth the splurge in this whole running/weight loss/ health world.

At heart I am a cheap bitch frugal. I am proud of my thrifty ways.  I am a coupon clipping, deal sniffing, penny-pitching type of gal. I wasn't always like that but with a tough economy and smaller paychecks, a girl does what a girl has to do.

Well. I've had to let go of some of my cheapness along the way. I soon found out that there's places to scrimp and places you have to "splurge" when it comes to running and stuff.

Here's what I've learned:

  1. Sneakers. Ok if you're a runner you know this already. Me? I TRIED to be cheap when I first started running. Oh yes I did run right to Payless with my 15% off coupon and try to get away with crappy sneakers. You can even read all about those sneakers in one of my first posts. Hmmm, wonder why my knees, ankles and hips hurt so much? They lasted a week or two before I sucked it up and 'splurged' on sneakers from a real running store based on the recommendation of a real pro.
  2. Gym membership or at-home treadmill. Possibly. If you are the type who will run outside no matter what the temperature then perhaps this is unnecessary. For me, my gym membership is absolutely crucial for my success. I spend probably as many days a year racking up treadmill miles as I do outside miles and without access to the dreaded tread I would not get in nearly an many runs. (If I ever get a little more $$ I'll really splurge and switch from my very cheap-o/no-frills gym to one that has classes.)
  3. Food/Fuel. Up until recently (uh, like a week and a half ago) I was really cheap with my food. I really robbed myself of having more healthier and organic stuff in the house because of expense.  I can't tell you how many avocados I put back or how many time I got the cheaper non-organic apples or the processed whatever, simply because it was on-sale.  I'm really working at changing that. It still hurts to see my grocery bill rise but I finally made a decision that I and my family are worth the extra expense. I still have to be smart with our money but health is the epicenter of everything, so making the investment in good/healthy foods now will hopefully eliminate disease and healthcare bills later? One would hope.  (Oh don't scrimp on fuel for long runs either… GU's, sports drinks, whatever is going to keep you hydrated and balanced on those runs are important!)
Other things splurge-worthy (IMHO): Compression wear, hydration systems/bottles, reflective gear for night/dawn runners, the right socks, sports bras, Garmin, Weight Watcher meetings (I splurged on this expense even when times were really tight in my house. I needed the support) and (some) race fees (if races help keep you motivated. They do me.)

What makes your splurge worthy list?

What do you wish you could just totally splurge on? I wish I had a way bigger grocery budget :) 

What do you think is a waste of money in the running/health world?

XO
Jen
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