I have some lofty (finance-dependent) goals for 2015, two of which include getting my CrossFit Level 1 Certification and hopefully enrolling in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. And both have hefty price tags to fulfill – CF Level 1 certification runs at $1,000, and the IIN requires the full amount upfront or monthly payments. Even if IIN, doesn’t happen THIS year, I want to start to take the steps of making a plan for it to happen sooner than later.
Saving money = “budgeting”. I use this term loosely since I don’t see myself making up an Excel spreadsheet to enter every dime I spend in the near future (although, that could be effective now that I think about it…). But I do know a few areas where more awareness could keep more money in savings instead of spending it on random Target runs.
Here are 4 little things I’m trying to do to keep myself on the path of becoming a CrossFit and health coach:
1. Set allowance for CFAerial – This just comes down to not making so many random purchases or charges on my account for things like FitAid or Fuel for Fire after every WOD. If I commit to a good protein powder, like SFH, this keeps my costs down during the week. Plus, I’d rather put my money towards hats/clothing as we get more merch in. The $20 of FitAid could be put towards a hat!
2. One movie night out a month ($5 Tuesdays!) – Matt and I love going to the theater for a good movie, and it is something we haven’t been doing as of late – too expensive! not enough time! – since the excuses just tend to pile up! Since at least one good movie should be out each month, I think movie date nights would be fun for us to put back on the radar! And since our theater does $5 movies on Tuesdays, the cost definitely goes down! Heck, we could even start doing more Redbox movies…as long as we remember to return them! There is nothing wrong with a movie night at home.
3. Less eating out – This whole budget thing has been on my mind since we changed over to 2015, so I’ve definitely started to put a few of these ideas into action. This is definitely an area we are doing REALLY well in, and I’m super proud of that! We’ve been staying committed to our meal plan, and making sure we choose “quick” meals week-to-week since it is easier for us to get motivated after work when we know dinner will only take a half hour! As we continue this, it will certainly make dinners out more of a special date night for the two of us, which is how those nights out should be spent.
4. Less Starbucks, more at home, and more Spark! – At the end of 2014, my Starbucks stops were becoming a bit ridiculous. And most days, I was just stopping for the mental pick-me-up instead of the caffeine effects that would certainly follow. I’m so glad I’m saving more money this way! I loaded my Starbucks card for the first time when I was flying to Fort Myers from Charlotte at the start of my Florida vacation – and this was mostly because I was purchasing a celebratory Flat White and the cute You Are Here Charlotte mug. Spark has been my caffeine of choice, and I really prefer it over coffee, and even black tea! It slowly eases you into energy, plus keeps me more focused. No more coffee jitters or anxiety? I’ll take it!
5. Keep TRACK – Yes, I did say I probably won’t make a spreadsheet anytime soon, but I’m not going to totally throw out the thought. I’m now just keeping track of day-to-day purchases on my notes app. Even though it doesn’t really have a system to it, or a true tracking benefit, it does allow me to see as I enter purchases. If too much random pops up, I know its time to rein in that spending!
And most importantly – 6. Think before I buy. In the past, I’ve definitely just bought stuff because A) I wanted it and B) I had the money in my bank account. Now – I’m just trying to think practical on what I’m spending my money on! Taking the time to think about those purchases has already done wonders, and has saved me money at the same time.
How do you budget your money? And do you have any tips for me?