Running Dreams

When I started running for fun in 2012, I thought I wanted to go all the way. I was enjoying running 10k races. I was slow, slower than molasses in January.

I am still slow.

But for years, I have dreamed of qualifying for Boston. The Boston Marathon.

Let’s be real though, I don’t actually want to run the Boston, I thinking you have to be a special kind of crazy to want to actually run it. I just want to be able to run a marathon at or under 3.35.00, which is my age group qualifying time.

I want to do this before I turn 36, and then age up into the next age group.

I have 6 years to do this.

In October of this year, I started. Slowly, slowly pounding the pavement getting ever so slowly ready to run my first marathon.

I am starting slowly, this year, I am working improving my 5k times.

My last 5k was run in March 2015, with a time of 39.08. See how slow I am! Well, to start my very long road to Boston, I decided to start running a 5k every weekend. Look at how I have improved over just the 5 Saturdays in October.

 

Date Total Distance (miles) Total Time Average Pace
3 Oct 3.46 54.06 15.37
10 Oct 3.61 53.44 14.53
17 Oct 3.67 56.58 15.32
24 Oct 3.54 51.40 14.37
31 Oct 3.52 50.09 14.15

I am following a C25K app, and using MapMyRun to track my Saturday runs. I have really liked tracking my distance and time on Saturday’s it really helps me to see, that I really am improving.

For November, I am planning to continue my Saturday 5K runs and am registered to run two races! This is usually the time of the year, I pack up and stop for the winter, I am trying to stay strong and motivated, so I can start strong in the spring.

Budget: Price Comparing

Have you ever gone price shopping? I hadn’t until today.

On Friday, Mr. Wonderful got paid (wahoo!) and our fridge was E.M.P.T.Y. I had to go to Wal-Mart for something specific. (Digression: I really hate shopping at Wal-Mart. But I live in a fairly rural community and sometimes without ordering online, my only choice is to shop at Wal-Mart. I try to not support this chain, and try very hard to shop elsewhere.) I figured, since I was at this one store, I would do some basic grocery shopping, so I wouldn’t have to take Mr. Z in and out of the car more than was needed.

I went to get just a few basics, and thought I had done a decent job on cost. After Mr. Wonderful got home, I told him that I did some grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. He looked at me, and shocked says, “What! We can’t be that poor. Please tell me Winco is cheaper?”

Well, I didn’t know. So today, while I was in the next town, and since I needed to pick up some more groceries, thought, why not see where was really the cheapest place to shop.

 

Grocery Item Wal-Mart Winco
Lunch Meat (Great Value 9oz) $2.98 ($0.3/oz) (Foster Farms 8oz) $1.98 ($0.24/oz)–taxed +0.12
Aidell’s Apple Chicken Sausages $5.44 $4.98–taxed +0.30
Bars original hot dogs $0.98 $0.98–taxed +0.06
Chicken Tenders (Foster Farms) $5.52/# ($0.35/oz) (Just Bare) $5.38/14oz (0.38/oz)–taxed +0.32
Ground Beef 93/7 SALE $4.78/# $4.98/#–taxed +0.30/#
#5 Red Potatoes $2.47 $1.98
Spinach $2.88 (16oz) (0.18/oz) $1.98 (10oz) (0.198/oz)
Green Leaf Lettuce $1.88 $1.78
Bananas $0.52/# $0.48/#
Green Grapes $1.48/# $1.38/#
Carrots 2# bag $1.32 $0.98
Hot dog buns (Great Value) $1.28 (Winco) $0.98–taxed +0.06
Sub-Total (assuming 1# of /# items) $31.53 $27.29
Tax (Only applicable to Winco) $1.70
Total $31.53 $28.99
Difference $2.54 less

Is it worth it for me to go to the next town over to grocery shop to save about 2 and a half dollars?

That’s a personal question. I know people who, would tell you that gas alone makes it not worth it. But for me, who would like to not shop at Wal-Mart, and because I already go to the next town for other things, it is practical for me to shop and save that $2.54.

*Idaho Food Tax* I live in Washington state, there is no tax on food (junk food and soda is, I think). The next town is in Idaho, where they have a 6% tax on food, which does not apply to produce (banana, carrots, oranges, raw vegetables, frozen vegetables are taxed.) This is something that I have always wondered if it made a difference in our budget. If you are an Idaho resident, there is a grocery tax credit. For more information on Idaho’s grocery credit look HERE.

Budgeting, 3 months later.

Well, it has been 3 months since we decided we really need to start budgeting, and really controlling our money. 3 months of budget meetings, saving receipts, checking the bank statements and writing down everything.

In the last 3 months we have learned:
-we really have no money
-food is ridiculously expensive
-medical expenses kill your savings
-we are poor
-having “fun” money, will save your sanity
-budgeting to splurge, makes the splurge more fun
-living at the poverty line is no fun

Budgeting is really hard. Especially when, you take your paycheck and put it to every bill and then there isn’t even enough for groceries.

Our end of the month budget meeting for October and the beginning of November, really had us questioning, is this working? November is month 4 we should be seeing improvements, or at least that’s what all the gurus say. This month we had to dip into the student loans we took out in August. The loans we were really hoping we wouldn’t touch and could say we don’t want more. The loans that we had to use to buy groceries this week.

This has got us thinking, what else can we do to cut expenses? Go down to one phone? Have me go and get a night shift job? Should we apply for some government assistance? What can we sell?

This Sunday was our Church’s Fast Sunday. We decided to fast together as a couple about what to do.

This is what we know we need to do:

  1. Get our savings back up as fast as possible to at least $1500.
  2. Payoff and close that last credit card.

We could just completely drain our savings and pay of the credit card. Be done and able to stop having one more payment due off of our first paycheck every month.

But what if anything happens? What if we have a major car repair? What if someone has to go to the hospital? What if?

Praying for an extra $500 to just appear, is impractical.

Does budgeting get easier with more money?