Monday, August 1, 2011

Project Las Vegas

As most of you know, I have the Ironman 70.3 World Championships coming up in September.  On a related note, which I'm sure very few of you know, the entire (E-N-T-I-R-E) trip is coming out of my evaporating savings.  =/ I knew when I walked down to the awards table to claim the slot that my paycheck wouldn't even come close to making a dent in the cost for this trip.  You figure it's one of those experience you have to jump at the chance to have.  Am I right?

Well, either way, now after having come off the high adrenaline rush of "OMG, I have a slot for 70.3 Las Vegas," having reserved my hotel, flight, and car rental, and starting to list out all the incidentals of the trip (memorabilia, food, etc.), the price tag seems to be like one of those tiny little dry sponges you'd get in a cereal box as a kid.   They're so incredibly small and then you dunk 'em in water and BOOM, they're huge!  I've had small realizations like "this is eating up about 5-6 months of my savings."  And that's when I started drafting...

Project Las Vegas

Project Las Vegas is my plan by which I will save, skimp, scrape, and by all means necessary attempt to make a dent in the cost for traveling to and from as well as compete in the Las Vegas 70.3.  

Here are the rules as they stand today
  • I will not drive my car unless it is raining or I am injured and I NEED to be somewhere (work is the only necessity at this point).  This means riding my bike to work or stores, walking to the grocery store, getting rides, etc.
  • I will not purchase anything I can't offset by selling something I already own.  I've already started putting some items on Craigslist.
  • I will return any redeemable bottle I can get my hands on (I've already made ~$10).  
  • Going out to eat is off limits.  I can get a meal out for $15 or eat three meals at home for an average of $7.50 (that's my running average for July thus far).  
  • No food is to be purchased unless on sale.  I'm at roughly $50/week for my food bill and admittedly I already buy 75+% of my food only when on sale, so this might be difficult to improve on.  
  • I will endure the heat as long as possible, avoiding the A/C.  

    If you have any useful thoughts or suggestions on how to either make money or save it (a penny saved is still a penny earned, right?), let me know.  I'd really appreciate any advice.  If I'm going to continue pursuing this fitness gig, I'm going to need to harden down some useful habits.

    I've considered the possibility of running a fundraiser - say I 'join forces' with breast cancer (a cause I can certainly relate to personally) and commit to raising a certain amount of money and if I do, I get a certain amount back to offset my trip costs.  It wouldn't be much, but it's something.  Thoughts?


    1.  How do you save money?

    Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 


    Anonymous said...

    Eating out is a big one! You can make pretty much everything yourself. You look like you're on the right track..It will be fine!

    Anonymous said...

    Wow good for you! It will be tough but worth it for you!! You'll make it up quickly.

    As for saving money, the eating out thing is big for me, probably the biggest.

    Very excited for you!!

    Run with Jess said...

    Eating out is the big one here too... especially when our schedules are busy. I just balanced the checkbook & told myself the same thing... NO more! Good luck to you!

    SupermomE12 said...

    I think just by paying attention to what you are spending/saving will make a big difference. It is the little things that tend to add up and make the biggest difference I think. Do you have anything big you can sell?

    Good luck, and just remember it will be SO WORTH IT. :)

    Jamie said...

    Have you considered donating platelets? I know undergrads would get paid $50 for that, you can donate once a month.
    You are a scientist, have you tried looking for a tutoring gig?
    Also check out craigslist gigs, sometimes there are promotional things (street team or event teams) handing out fliers and you get paid...

    Hope that helps!

    Matthew Smith said...

    I think Las Vegas IS one of those opportunities, so go for it without regrets. As far as saving money, it sounds like you've got a great game plan to make every penny count. I'd have a hard time with the no A/C thing.

    Karen said...

    For me, eating out is the big one... Living in Georgia, going without A/C would not last for long. Meaning, I would die and owuldn't be able to race anyhow ;) I would htink Las Vegas would ABSOLUTELY be worth all the cutting back.

    My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

    see this?;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

    Ron said...

    let me know, when you are here, how I can support that. I know everything about where you are staying and I can help you with this. LET ME KNOW.