Friday, January 21, 2011

Frugal Friday- Identifying Income

If you recall last week, in order to structure my triathlon spending I prioritized my needs and made two budgets: a practical budget and a minimalist budget. The minimalist budget is more or less affordable with the allowance out of MY paycheck the CB graciously lets me keep.

On the other hand, my practical budget is more than my allowance. This means that either I need to supplement my income or I will not get everything on my list. Luckily, I prioritized my list and don't NEED everything on it. For instance, the rental wheels would be nice for my HIM, but I could do it just fine on my stock wheels.

With my needs and wants identified and my allowance identified I know I need to come up with some extra income. Below are a few ways to acquire extra income-

1. Gifts- Many people may consider asking for retail items for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's, and birthdays but if you are someone who has the possibility of getting tri gifts from a loved one there is more you can ask for than just retail items. Although it was a fail, this year I asked for pre-payed races and my USAT membership as gifts. My local sprint races typically do not cost more that $60 and I would rather have one of those as a gift that a brand name dress shirt that is around the same price.

Two non-multisport examples- My good friend Aaron is an avid boater and is working toward his USCG Captains Licence. Spending as much time on the water as he does safety is very important and for that he has a membership to an organization similar to AAA but for boats. They will tow him in, bring him fuel, etc. He typically asks for his membership dues as a Christmas present.

Another example is a friend of my wife's who got married a few years back. Instead of asking for housewares for wedding gifts they itemized their honeymoon. Friends and family could pay for nights at the hotel, meals, airfare and much more. They ending up spending very little on their own honeymoon. To me it seems that many out of town races require similar logistics. Since most people volunteered at and registered for Ironman races a year in advance, come gift giving holidays you should have a good handle on your housing, travel, and nutrition needs. You could always itemize needs and ask for them as gifts. One website for doing this is .

2. Donations- With this I do not mean getting people to donate equipment to you. All but one of my local sprints has a charity benefactor. They range from animal shelters, diabetes research, soup kitchens and even some national cancer organizations. Some people may be able to acquire donation toward their race fees since they are for charity.

3. Secondary employment- This area may be beneficial for others. This could be as simple as freelance writing or getting paid to blog. Or in my case I have applied for 52 (no really 52) service related positions such as grocery store bagger, gas station clerk, fry cook etc. Unfortunately, I keep getting turned down for being "over qualified". I still have the ability to do private martial arts lessons and have been arranging a side business for the last year teaching and leading outdoor trips. I am also always on the lookout for community college teaching positions for criminal justice or political science.There maybe more opportunities out there than I know about, if you know of any please share. The downside here is the more time consuming the secondary employment, the more time it will take away from training and recovery.

4. Selling assets- You can always have more available income for triathlon by selling your house or car. Just Kidding. I have/had many hobbies as an adult. In December I used eBay and Craigslist to sell a few things I haven't used in a while. For instance I sold some old camping equipment that I have upgraded, a few pieces of sound equipment and microphones, and old MTB shoes, helmet, and pedals. This got me about $125 that I was able to put towards my tri purchases. I also listed by Bass guitar but no one wanted to pay over $50 for it, which is ridiculous for a $250 guitar with a $50 foot pedal and more.

5. Fundraising- Maybe you can not make tiem for a second job, have no upcoming gift giving occasions, and have nothing to sell. There is always fundraising. Maybe you sold grapefruit or candy bars for a field trip when you were young, or maybe your kids have sold some for school to raise money for Ipads (times have changed). Website like this one- have a slew of ideas for fundraising. Personally, in December I made and sold dog treats. It cost me $5 and one hour, while it grossed $36. The down side is I am not the best pusher of wares. I am a doer, not a seller. If I could harness this outlet I could stand to make more.

6. Odds and ends- A few others include becoming a professional athlete, becoming a movie star, marrying into money, or knocking off a spouse for an inheritance.

On a side note, in December when I decided to do this I had about 5 posts already on my mind. If there is a topic you would like to see please let me know and I will add it to my list if it isn't already there.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

This is a solid post, I learned a second job hurts the training department, its hard enough to squeeze in the training with one job, double as hard with 2

Patrick Mahoney said...

I'm selling some stuff now as we speak...

Kate said...

I like the gift idea. That's how I got my mountain bike. The trick, for me, was to give absolutely no ideas to my husband and family except for what I really wanted.

And my boys and I spent two hours yesterday shoveling 12 inches of snow off of driveways. My share went directly to my "wish list" fund. As an added benefit, I didn't need to hit the gym because I'd had a stellar workout.

misszippy said...

Triathlon costs are not for the faint at heart! Great ideas.

TRI714 said...

I won't even mention how deep and far Ive went. But it's all worth the effort. Good for you.

Kovas said...

I'd go with six, seems like those would be the easiest to work into a training schedule.