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  1. #1

    Default What to do to save money for a hike???

    OK-
    So I am in a fairly recession-proof field (medical equipment) and hate it! Before my last hike, I was with a company that allowed unlimited overtime so I only saved for a couple of week before I started hiking. This job while secure, doesn't pay that well and has zero overtime.
    After ALL bills including food, I have about $900 per month left over for discretionary spending. My problem is I end up spending it on “stuff”. Nothing I need just going out, computer parts, etc…. How do I train myself to save MOST of it so I can hike sooner rather than later? When I say hike I mean, once I save enough, I go out and hike for as long as the money holds out then come back and work somewhere to earn more to go back out and hike (seeing a pattern?) Things to keep in mind, I live in Denver and do not drive. So I have to rely mostly on public transportation to get around. I’ve got that covered as my student fees cover “free” fair on all of the buses and light rails in the area. While that is fine for getting to the nearest mall, super store or movie theatre, it does not do so well getting to a variety of trails. I can get to a few but the mountainous ones are about an hour and a half to two hours each way. So hiking, other than the bike trails, is out of the question except on the weekends.
    So there you have it. Oh, I do like to drink a couple times a week, I love NFL football (go Cowboys!) and I am a Gemini. Any of you into astrology know how Geminis can be and I fit it to a T. Except the one thing that I never lose interest in is hiking. SO, any ideas on how to effectively save instead of spend while keeping me occupied? I would love to hear some ideas.
    Thanks all!


  2. #2

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    Decide on a logical weekly amount to set aside. Put it in a piggy bank. If you touch it - you don't really wanna hike that bad. . .

  3. #3
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    When I decided to do my cross-country hike, I had 6 months to save up for a year of hiking. I got myself a second job working at an all-night gas station, immediately sold my car, walked an hour to work then again back home, moved out of my nice apartment and back into a student ghetto house. Sold my furniture and lived very frugally. This was actually very good preparation for the spartan living I was embarking on. Saving money became an obsession. It worked. If you really want it, just decide that that is THE priority. Make it a personal challenge to live as cheaply as possible.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    When I decided to do my cross-country hike, I had 6 months to save up for a year of hiking. I got myself a second job working at an all-night gas station, immediately sold my car, moved out of my nice apartment and back into a student ghetto house. Sold my furniture and lived very frugally. Saving money became an obsession. It worked. If you really want it, just decide that that is THE priority. Make it a personal challenge to live as cheaply as possible.

    Good Luck.
    I hear you but I don't understand! Nothing personal, but I even, growing up in frugal surroundings, have found I like spending money. I would LOVE to save money, and that is the goal but what do I do in the mean time to occupy my time but save money in the process?


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    Registered User KG4FAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freefall View Post
    I hear you but I don't understand! Nothing personal, but I even, growing up in frugal surroundings, have found I like spending money. I would LOVE to save money, and that is the goal but what do I do in the mean time to occupy my time but save money in the process?
    Read books, librarys have some movies, watch tv on the internet. Don't go out with friends to dinner, eat in.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by warraghiyagey View Post
    Decide on a logical weekly amount to set aside. Put it in a piggy bank. If you touch it - you don't really wanna hike that bad. . .
    I like your Avatar. I used to read "Bloom County" all the time. My problem is I enjoy hiking. But if I am not hiking then I find something else to fulfill my needs. Usually it involves money. I am trying to eliminate that as much as possible so I can save the maximum.
    Anything can be justified. Like "I'll just take a few dollars now but I'll put it back later. It doesn't mean I don't want to hike, it just means I have little willpower. That is what I wish to slay, willpower.


  7. #7
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Have you set a date for when your next hike will start? If not, you probably won't get serious about saving. You know the old saying, "It will take as long to do something as you have time to do it." If you have no set goal, you have no pressure to get on with it.

    As far as what to do with your time, get another job. Anything that will add some money and keep you busy. I've never bought into the idea that jobs are hard to find. The problem is most folks put themselves above doing menial (gas station) work. Don't be fussy and there are all kinds of jobs. Is $5 per hour better than $0 sitting around watching TV, or worse, going out to do some recreational shopping?

    It's all in the choices you make.

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    Registered User prain4u's Avatar
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    Default Some additional thoughts....

    I feel your pain. I LOVE to spend money and I am VERY good at spending it! I am a recovering gambling addict (almost 27 years "clean") and I have worked as a drug and alcohol counselor in the past. Here are some things that I (and my clients) have done to help save money:

    1. Set up a special bank account (preferably NOT a checking account)--and have a certain amount of money direct deposited into that account each paycheck (either via an automatic electronic deposit made by your employer or via an automatic electronic deposit from your regular checking account into the special account). If your employer can do this for you as an automatic direct deposit--it will automatically be deposited in a bank account each payday and it will not even be on your paycheck for you to cash and spend. So you might not miss it as much.

    2. On your W-4 form at work, you can designate a certain dollar amount "extra" for your employer to withhold from each paycheck for income tax purposes. Once your employer withholds it an mails it to the IRS, you would not have access to this money UNTIL you received your (much bigger) income tax refund in the spring. (Just in time to start a NOBO Thru-Hike).

    3. Set up the special bank account so that it requires TWO signatures in order to make any withdrawals. Then pick an individual who can easily tell you "NO!" to be the second signer on the account. If they don't co-sign on the withdrawal, you will have a much more difficult time withdrawing your money.

    4. Keep the bank passbook (and all other documents needed to make a withdrawal) in a safe place that you cannot easily access (such as in a bank safe deposit box and/or in the possession of the person you selected to be the second signature on the special account). If you cannot easily get access to the items needed to withdraw money---it will stay the bank longer. This makes it much harder to make "impulse" expenditures.

    5. You could also put the money in a 6, 12, 18 month (or longer) Certificate of Deposit--where there is a substantial penalty for withdrawing the money early. The penalty takes the fun out of spending!

    6. When I was in the "rough" early stages of my recovery from gambling addiction, I would give a trusted friend or relative all of my blank checks, ATM cards, credit cards etc. I then had them give me just a small cash allowance each day (or each week) for my spending money and for incidentals. I literally had to come to them to get access to my checkbook in order to pay my routine bills. I paid my bills in their presence and handed the checkbook back to them (for safekeeping) after I wrote the checks for my bills. (This system worked because THEY were not the ones imposing the limits upon me. I was the one imposing the limits upon myself. They were merely helping me execute MY plan).

    7. What to do with your free time in order to help keep you from becoming bored and wanting to spend $$$? Get a part-time job--even if it is flipping burgers at the Golden Arches. Put all of that extra money from the second job into the secure account mentioned above.

    8. You can also fill your hours by volunteering with some organization. Get a hobby. Work out at a gym etc. However, most of those things will cost you money. A second job will help you EARN money. (It is also harder to "blow-off" work in order to go out and spend money. It is pretty EASY to skip your evening jog in order to go have a few beers with friends!

    Have fun saving for your trip!

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    Make your spouse work overtime.

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    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    Do not eat out once each month and put it away or make your coffee at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plodderman View Post
    Do not eat out once each month and put it away or make your coffee at home.
    It's not rocket science but it has taken me a LONG time to get how much money I'm spending on buying my coffee out. Once I tallied it up I finally made the switch to home brewing!

    Lots of good advice here. Try and find some miser friends to hang out with who value frugality. You can watch movies (from the library) or sporting events at home, play cards, boardgames, buy your drinks and bring them home, make meals, go to free or cheap museums, parks, bike ride, run, cross-country ski (if you own them already) and there is an unlimitied amount of things to watch and do on the internet.

    As Warghy said put some money in a bank. Even banking 20 bucks a week will add up. There are 26 weeks until summer. You could have 520 bucks by then, probably enough for 4-5 weeks of solid hiking. 20 bucks is nothing in a week: 3-4 drinks at a bar, a meal out with someone, a cup of gormet coffee or vitamin water/sugar drink a day, etc.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  12. #12
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Pay yourself first. If your employer lets you do allotments, have them take whatever amount you need to save out of your check each payday to an account that you can't easily access (ie out of town credit union and freeze the debit card).

    I also second the 2nd job idea, its a great way to keep yourself from spending. Maybe an outfitter where you can use your passion for hiking and get a discount on gear.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Put yourself on a budget, operating with cash. Once a week, withdraw your weekly allotment for groceries and your weekly allotment for other personal spending. When it's gone, you have to wait until next week to get more. The only exception we make is for gas, because it's so much easier to use swipe machines at the pump.

    If you have direct deposit at work, you can usually split your deposit between different accounts. Have your hiking money go into the second account, and leave the money alone.

    Another plan that a friend and I did years ago, when she was having trouble saving for a trip we were planning. Every week she'd give me her trip money, so I could hold onto it for her. If you have someone who can be trusted with your money, that's a possibility.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  14. #14

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    You said you have $900 left over each month yet you're having trouble saving enough for a thru-hike? I have no sympathy for you. You're posting a thread on WB asking people how you can curb your frivilous spending. That answer is not going to come from strangers. It has to come from within you. How badly do you really want to hike? Get a little self discipline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freefall View Post
    what do I do in the mean time to occupy my time but save money in the process?
    Denver is a big city and I am sure there must be at least one homeless shelter in town. Go volunteer - should be able to get very close to its location on public transportation.

    Work with the homeless for a while and you will learn to appreciate what you have and they will appreciate the help.
    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

    Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

  16. #16
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    I do not save money to hike, the easiest way to save money is by hiking. I spend very little on gear and most of the money I spend is on gas to get there and a few dollars to hitch a ride back to the car.

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    wow, Prain4u gave you some really good tips, even though you may find them extreme.

    here are some more.

    Direct deposit and online bill-pay. get it, use it, have your check split up to 2 accounts. Treat yourself like a monthly bill that you have to pay, 200 a paycheck will get you there in a year with nothing else. You'll find yourself sliding extra money in there as you get better on saving.

    Switch from debit to ATM card. Get rid of the visa logo on your check card, you can still use it for gas and groceries and beer, but you won't take it to the bar. Bonus that it's better security for your money with less chance of fraud.

    Use cash. I find it harder to spend my last 20 than whip out my card.

    Literally freeze your credit card, in a baggie filled with water in your freezer. Having to thaw it in the sink takes some of the fun out of impulse buys.

    Have friends over to watch the game or play cards for change, it's just as fun as going out and usually they bring more beer than they drink. Usually.

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    Registered User KG4FAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomWc View Post
    Have friends over to watch the game or play cards for change, it's just as fun as going out and usually they bring more beer than they drink. Usually.
    Somehow I can only win a game of cards if I only play for coins. I just cant win with folding money.

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    start up a savings account that makes it harder to get at your money.... like a money market account.

  20. #20

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    I'm selling a bunch of my stuff that I decided doesn't have any true importance in my life. I'd rather die with the experience of having hiked the AT than a blueray dvd player. I also decided to give up my apartment and live with my brother and mother on the cheap, doing chores for them in exchange for a spot on the floor to sleep.

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