We kicked off our Summer Spending Challenge at the beginning of July to bring our summer Entertainment expenses down to $1000. This represents a reduction of 70% of our normal summer spending. 

So far we have been on track, but not this week. This week sucked.

Results from Week 4

In preparation for the “free” race of pain Mr. Funemployed was training for, we needed; spare chain links, a set of new bike tires (since the old ones were suspect of imminent failure), water purification drops, a lightweight bike lock, and a new headlamp (as the old one is sitting on the counter 600kms away). This totalled $346.45. I went for lunch with an old friend/co-worker ($24.88) and took the kids to the Lion King ($20.75). So yeah, this week sucked. 

  • Goal: $111/week ($1000/9 weeks)
  • Week 4: $392.08
  • Difference: I’d rather not do the math

In addition to the race prep costs, Mr. Funemployed’s bottom bracket started locking up on him. Luckily, a retired bike mechanic temporarily fixed it up for him, but that will also need replacing this summer. A few hours into the race, his tire tore open and he stitched up the 1” hole with dental floss. 11 hours in, he felt dizzy and started vomiting and DNF’d. 

What we’ve learned this week

Tracking and reporting our expenses has solidified a few things that we have long suspected.

Our kids are not expensive, we are.

If it appears that I’m picking on Mr. Funemployed, I’m not. Although he does have an expensive bike habit, I usually take something as cheap as trail running and plan a destination race around it. The meticulous tracking has just shone the light on exactly how we have managed to take something cheap from our 20’s and inflated it as we’ve aged. 

In our 20’s, we bought a used backcountry ski setup and drove to Kananaskis to ski for free on the weekends. Now we have multiple pairs of skis for varying conditions, and this equipment cost us more than the Honda Civic we used to drive to the mountains in. Oh, and then we fly into a hut for a week with a cook, a guide, and our besties, almost every winter. 

In our 20’s, I bought a full suspension bike and rode locally. Now I take a week or two and go to Moab or Bend. 

In our 20’s, we camped with friends. Now we rent a lake front house that sleeps 12.

I could go on an on.

I’m not saying any of these upgrades in lifestyle hasn’t created awesome memories and amazing experiences. In fact, I’m really happy that we’ve been fortunate enough to stay as active as we have been. It’s just that we’ve been actively trying to NOT inflate our lifestyle for the last 10 years, and it happened anyway. Special, one-off experiences become normal and then it’s hard to plan a trip without being a little disappointed that you won’t get a room with a view.

It sure sucks to understand you’re just like everyone else :).