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Public announcement: Spending Hiatus

September 3, 2008

Public announcement: I will not buy any non-necessities until September 19th.
Exceptions: One item at drugstore is needed, as well as textbook for class (will be reimbursed). Any other things certainly can wait two weeks!
Note: This includes going out to eat and alcohol.

Two weeks isn’t very long, and perhaps this will extend further, but I really need a cooling off period. It is like a snowball, except not the good kind of financial snowballs. Once you’ve spent enough money, what is another $50?

T and I have been buying a lot of gear for backpacking. Any camping gear I own is back home, and it is low quality car camping stuff. I didn’t realize how expensive it would be right off the bat. I thought I could make do with a few things I already had, but after hiking to our site in some old running shoes with an old college backpack loaded up with 20 pounds of water and supplies… I realized I was mistaken.

Between July and today, I’ve spent over $700 on this. Detailed list? Sure, here you go. Confession time, right?

REI membership, good for life, $20
Tent: MSR Hubba hubba $115 for my half (on sale)
Footprint for tent, $15 for my half (on sale)
Sleeping bag from Cabellas, $80
Sleeping pad, Thermarest prolite, $85 (15% off coupon)
Backpack, Gregory Deva 60, $200 (on sale from $250)
Hat (also for running) $20
Water bottle, $10
Softshell coat, $35 (on sale from $150!)
Rain shell, $12 (on sale from $40)
Convertible hiking pants, $40 (on sale from $65)
Hiking boots, Asolo mid-weight boots, $130 (on sale from $180).
TOTAL: $762 (yikes!)

To make me feel better, total full price would be $1070, but still…

Once the gear is in place, the costs should be fairly low.  The gear should last a very long time, and has some resale value. Gas and entry permits are not insignificant, but they are much cheaper than a vacation to another city or country.  Still, that is a heck of a lot of money. Am I out of my mind?

This is coming mostly from my travel fund, and also from my “extra paycheck” in October. Really, it is mostly harming my e-fund contributions. Even with all this craziness, I think I’ll be able to hit $14k this year. I’ll definitely meet my goal of $13k.

I do feel a little guilty, especially after I said I couldn’t fly home for my grandma’s birthday for $500. I’ve since learned my uncle (who lives 8 hours by car away) is not coming either, so I feel less bad. I still think it is unreasonable to pay so much to be there for 2 days when I’ll be home around Christmas. But “I can’t afford it” probably isn’t as true as “I don’t think it is worth the cost”.

It is important to face the numbers and see what I’m really spending. Still, I don’t regret this, and we’ll get a lot of good use out of this stuff.  We now have the basics for a several night trip, as long as we can either carry our water or their is drinkable water available. There is more we want, but it will wait. It must wait.

I need a hiatus from spending. Really.  I miss my frugal lifestyle!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2008 3:51 pm

    $700 does seem like a lot of money, but these are one-time expenses and you have been getting use out of them! A tents is probably not a place where you would want to skimp (recall the storm at the Grand Canyon), and other stuff is for when you sleep on the cold hard ground.

    I do think that the spending hiatus is a good idea, though. It’s true that spending begets spending, so taking a step back will give those impulses a chance to cool.

  2. September 4, 2008 6:26 am

    Oooh, a spending hiatus. That sounds like a fun challenge!

  3. September 4, 2008 8:22 am

    @PA – It seems like a lot. It is a lot!! But I do agree, skimping really wasn’t a good idea on a tent, or a bag (to carry 25+ pounds) or boots…. So… One time expense…

    @LMM – yes! Join me!

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