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Hi there I’m Suzy!

I uplift other women in the areas of running, lifting, and motherhood

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Top Budgeting Tips for Runners


This Run Lift Mom podcast episode includes top budgeting tips for runners with Colleen Thedieck of Graceful Budgets.

Colleen’s budgeting tips for runners are appropriate for any financial goal, but I loved this episode because we spoke specifically to running.

Although running is a simple sport, the costs can add up quickly!

From gear to training tools to travel, it is necessary to understand the overall financial equipment so you can make room in your spending.

Afterall, running is intended to relieve stress…not add to it!

Time based show notes

  • 1:00 who is Colleen as a Mother and runner?
  • 3:00 how they became invested (pun intened!) in debt free living
  • 5:00 Graceful Budgets as a natural solution to serve women
  • 7:00 how to create a running budget “beginning with the end in mind”
  • 8:30 journaling and vision casting alongside budgeting
  • 9:30 event specific tips
  • 10:30 Goggins Challenge episode
  • 12:00 borrowing etiquitte
  • 15:00 where to find Colleen
  • 16:30 online shopping bonus tip

Note: I’ve got a full transcript for you at the bottom of this post- scroll on if you’d rather read the interview!

Connect with Colleen

You’ll want to check out Colleen’s For Love and Money book and connect with her on Instagram.

She also has a Create a Monthly Budget email course, which is the perfect price: free!

Let’s Connect

I’d love to hear how you save money as a runner- let me know in a quick voicemail and you may end up in a future podcast episode!

You can also connect with me on Instagram, where I chat about running, lifting, and momming. Join the conversation by clicking on an image below!

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Suzy: Welcome to the run lift mom podcast, where we’re talking about running, lifting and momming. Not necessarily in that order today, we’re going to be squarely in the running category with Colleen feeding from Graceful Budgets. Colleen has got some amazing. For us around budgeting, staying within that budget as mother runners.

[00:00:26] Don’t forget to stick around to the end of the episode because she called in with a bonus tip without further ado. Colleen Thedieck.

[00:00:37] All right. Welcome Colleen Thedieck from graceful budgets to the podcast. I am so jazzed to have you here.

[00:00:45] Colleen: Thank you so much, Susie. I’m a big fan of your podcast. So it’s fun for me to be a guest on your show.

[00:00:52] Suzy: Well, and you’re also a big fan of running, but you’ve got this expertise around budgeting and smart spending, which is why I’ve brought you on.

[00:01:03] Tell us how you came to this.

[00:01:06] Colleen: , first and foremost, , I am a wife, a mom of two boys under the age of six and a dog mall to hunter, my 100 pound black American lab. I run to relax my spirit, my mind, and my body. I am a multitasking mom. I do not run more than three miles each time I run.

[00:01:31] But Hunter my lab. He is my running buddy. , I just started to commit to a running routine after a five-year break while learning how to be a new mom and my husband and I had embraced step free living and put all our energy into becoming debt-free our marriage and our son.

[00:01:54] So we got to keep that tiny human. Okay.

[00:01:58] Suzy: I think a lot of people can relate to coming back to running. You mentioned like what the last few years have looked like for you, like being a new mom and like raising these humans and you’ve got hunter, the pop like life gets really busy and something that’s nice about running of course is it’s a lifetime sport.

[00:02:17] It can serve us. Through all of the seasons you didn’t necessarily need to be at the 5k starting line every weekend when you had a toddler rolling around.

[00:02:28] Colleen: No, no. He, we were spread training at that point in the parking lot and target Isles.

[00:02:35] Suzy: Oh, funny. Okay. So journey to debt-free living. Talk to us a little bit about that again.

[00:02:43] I mean, spoiler alert, I brought you on to talk about budgeting in running as a sport, but I want to know a little bit about how you came to that freeway.

[00:02:52] Colleen: Sure. Well, Thomas and I thought we were, we were doing great. And then I became pregnant with our first son. Wyatt went to daycare and my jaw dropped when I realized how much it was to actually put a child in full-time daycare.

[00:03:14] So as I was having my panic attack in the car, calling Thomas. He is, he’s got to always find a solution to any problem. That is that’s his mantra. And he introduced me to Dave Ramsey and bought us the book, total money makeover. So that’s kind of how I woke up. So to speak in terms of I’ve always budgeted, I’ve always loved money.

[00:03:42] In terms of. Watching it grow and, and figuring out fun ways to manage it. Fight. I, when you all of a sudden have a second mortgage payment, because that’s what daycare is you realize that certain things in certain things about you need to change. So that’s kind of what my aha moment. I love a good book.

[00:04:07] And this one was going to get me to the goal of being able to afford a second child. But as I started to share my story of the time that it took us full transparency, it took us four years to get out of debt. My girls kept coming up to me and saying, how are you doing this? Like, are you really debt free?

[00:04:31] And, and we would just kind of talk through what was happening. And I would say, well, you know, I embraced a deep Dave Ramsey and his biblical principles on money and, and embracing all that we have. And they would say the calling, I can’t do Dave Ramsey. And as women, we began to reach out to me and they would ask for direction or input and strategies that would help.

[00:05:00] Get out of debt. And I just realized I had an opportunity to serve women who knew they were tired of living one payment plan to another and wanting a better future for their marriage and their kids. I introduced graceful budgets to the world to allow those women to embrace debt free living while giving a bit of grace for the things that truly matter in their life and just let go of the.

[00:05:25] Suzy: I love it. Well, in a bit of grace, right? Could be I mean, is it, you’re giving me a softball here, but what about running? Right? Because that is a, for a lot of people, a coping technique, a really great way to serve the community or be involved in the social community. This is not an episode about the reasons we run, but I’m thinking the listener like has her reason.

[00:05:49] You mentioned that you like being healthy and spending time with the dog and being active. So if running is one of these places where we get some grace, can you talk to us, Colleen, about some specific strategies to maybe be cost conscious as we are getting all of the things that we need to be a runner?

[00:06:09] I mean, let’s be real. I mean just scrolling Instagram, right? Like running could become a super expensive sport really quickly. So how can we be cost-conscious

[00:06:20] Colleen: here? So I will say running is a cost-effective sport in comparison to when I was thinking about running or introducing golf into my. Running with the clear winner, but you’re right.

[00:06:35] You can easily get carried away and find yourself buying all the gear and the outfits and the technology and the change lanes and the coaching methods. And you could go really fast down a rabbit hole. You just don’t want to go. As with anything in life, I always say begin with the end in mind. So think about how much time and energy you want to invest.

[00:06:59] Cinder running is your goal to maintain a healthy mind and body. Do you want to become a seasoned runner that enters races, both answers will yield a different result when it comes to your money and the budget you want to craft for you. So start with creating a monthly budget. I use the $0 based budget method.

[00:07:21] And in that you will assign each dollar a task with various categories. So you would, in your case, you would do a running budget line items and on a separate piece of paper, cause monthly budget should zero out every month as you track each one. But on a separate piece of paper, this is where you get to kind of brainstorm and, and it almost becomes a journal in method.

[00:07:49] So you’ll list out all the things you want to do when it comes to running. So that could be categories such as what gear do you want? What races do you want to go to? Are there any membership fees? Is there a gym that you go to? Food? Are you going to be one of those runners who incorporate supplements or meal delivery services?

[00:08:10] And then of course travel. So that would be my my first strategy. There is just begin with the end of mine. I

[00:08:19] Suzy: love that. And so what I hear you saying is put everything down on paper, add it all up and then divide it by 12. And then it becomes a line item, just like groceries or childcare or any other expense that you have in the house.

[00:08:37] Colleen: Absolutely. And then of course, you’ve got a race you want to run in three months, then you’re, you know, you, you really have to evaluate what is it that you want more and let go of something that allows you to achieve that goal. Have any snips for people that might be like me, right. And maybe it’s event specific.

[00:08:58] Suzy: And I just touched on the travel, but I mean, Colleen five Ks these days are anywhere from 30 to some of these races with a lot of fancy swag and that kind of thing. It can be 70, 80 bucks just to run three miles. So do you have any strategies for these kinds of folks that like the event.

[00:09:16] Colleen: Yeah. So again, we’re going to go back to my, my first strategy, which is to start with the end in mind, have that separate piece of paper, and again, list out all the things you need in order to get to race day.

[00:09:29] So that could be categories such as gear. How many shoes will you wear through day one of your training plan to race? Food again, are you going to be hiring a nutritionist to counsel you, to get you in your peak condition on one of your podcasts since you shared? I think it was the Goggins challenge.

[00:09:49] Where you were eating baby food. And I just thought, whoa, but you know, they fit to look expensive for me, but

[00:09:57] Suzy: I will link that below for anybody who is scratching their head. Baby food is a really great digestively. It’s going to be it’s going to be nice for your coming, right? Like our systems, if we don’t have to work a lot to digest baby food.

[00:10:11] So especially on ultra running courses where you got athletes that are out there for 10 plus our efforts, oftentimes you will see stuff like baby food because it’s nice and portable. Right? You can shelf it and travel with. Depending on the packaging, it can be something that you could perhaps travel on a plane with, but again, digestively, it might not wreck you.

[00:10:32] Okay. That was our really crazy aside, but I know somebody scratching their head. Keep going though. You’re right. Baby food is an expense in, like, let’s say that I’m doing a marathon and I decided I will. Packets of baby food to put on my fuel belt, I’m probably going to need four or five of those and the packets that look, you know, that looked like goo, but it’s actually baby food inside a dollar 50 or $2 each suddenly I’ve got $10 strapped on my belt just for race day.

[00:11:03] Colleen: That’s right. That’s right. And you know, we tend to forget those. Incremental habits that we have, or the supplies that we need for runners. But you know, this can go through through any type of routine or sport that we have is what are the things that we are spending money on. And so I love that. So yeah.

[00:11:23] Think about your race, state bill. What are you buying to put on there?

[00:11:26] Suzy: You know, I’m thinking too, what do you think about borrowing things? For running. Like I, the reason I thought of it as fuel belt I probably use mine, I don’t know, four or five times a year. And so if you down the road needed one, you could just use mine.

[00:11:44] You know, what do you think about in terms of budgeting borrowing as needed? We feel silly about

[00:11:52] Colleen: borrowing and bartering. I mean, that was. The essential staple, if you think about it going back to the transaction of money. .

[00:12:01] I mean, it’s the same thing when we have our babies and you start swapping strollers and gear and things like that, it’s the same thing. So yes, if you know someone, especially if you’re new to the sport and you’re not sure. How much you were really commit to the racing piece of it. For me, I run several times a week, three miles, but I haven’t been able to fully commit to the racing and I have various reasons for that.

[00:12:30] , I would say in my case, I would love to have a friend like you to swap belts and just see if it’s something that I like now be a good. And if you do have someone who is generous and let you borrow remember the rule of three, if you borrow the third time, you’re, you’re gonna need to buy it and it, oh, and if you break, you buy, don’t forget that one.

[00:12:52] Suzy: You know, no matter what type of runner we are, right? Cause Colleen, you’re someone who just loves to get out there for a run. You don’t need a race to feel great about this sport. For me, if I don’t have something to train for until lazy, I’m probably not going to do it.

[00:13:06] We’re two different types of runners. Our budgets would be different, but if I hear you correctly, We are still doing it the same way with beginning, with the end in mind, writing everything down, all of the expenses throughout the year that we might need, and then dividing that out and including that as a line item.

[00:13:26] Colleen: Absolutely. I mean, I I’ve shared earlier that hunter is my running buddy. I mean, he knows when I put on certain clothes we’re running and he he’s like, let’s go mama, and let’s get out that door. Well with him, I have to be mindful of his ear color batteries, making sure that the remotes are charging. So that could be an expense.

[00:13:47] And then also his safety gear when it’s daylight savings time, because I run in the morning typically we have to put reflective gear on him. So there, those are, you know, that’s my dog, but for me, that matters because it’s not just about me, the runner, it’s all. So for those moms out there who are thinking about running with their dogs, don’t forget your, don’t forget to protect.

[00:14:08] Suzy: I know there’s somebody out there that’s thinking, oh man, she is really getting in the weeds with this, but guys, that’s the purpose. I’m Colleen, I’m gonna let you tell folks where they can find you and all about your book. And I mean, the purpose of your approach. Is to get in the weeds and grab that low hanging fruit so that you can be debt free.

[00:14:29] Tell us where we can find you. And then your book is not about running. Y’all come on. That was special for run lift mom. But your book employs this approach as well.

[00:14:38] Colleen: Absolutely. So I wrote the book capturing exactly how to embrace debt free living. So it is a tactical how to book. There’s some fun stories in there.

[00:14:49] You get to learn a little bit about me. And in my marriage, I am, I am 100% marriage first kind of gal. And the book will also capture how to shift your mindset and commit to a monthly budget that serves you and your family. And it’s called for love and money, and you can find it on Amazon. I have a digital and audio version on my website, graceful budgets.

[00:15:12] And if you want to hang out with me, I’m on Instagram or you can feel free to join my email list, which is where all my goodies and treats.

[00:15:24] Suzy: I am on that email list. And I will tell you guys, Colleen has some nice freebies for folks that are there. So we’re going to put all of this in the show notes. If you don’t know how to get to show notes, just click details or swipe up.

[00:15:38] You’re going to see those color hyperlinks there. You just touch them. And then it’s going to open right up on the internet machine. Colleen, thank you so much for coming on. Run lift mom.

[00:15:50] Colleen: Oh, thank you so much, Susie. It was such a pleasure.

[00:15:58] Suzy: Thank you so much for listening to the run lift mom podcast. I want to let you know that you can swipe up in the podcast player that you’re in to see the show notes. That’s going to take you to my website and you’re going to get a deep dive on today’s show. Cool. Huh? You could think of it as a blog post, that compliments what was covered today with all of the links and resources discussed.

[00:16:20] Don’t forget to check out the podcast partners as well with some really great offers for you. And until I get into your earpiece again, remember for while bodily training is of some value. Godliness is a value in every way. As it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come that’s from first Timothy four eight, and this has been the run lift mom podcast.

[00:16:45] Colleen: Hey Suzy, there’s something I like to think about and that’s intentional spending. So intentional spending is. When you feel that urge to go shopping. So you’re online and you’re putting things into your cart. And at that moment, I want you to pause and just be grateful for what you have close out, that shopping cart.

[00:17:11] And two, one of two things is going to happen one the next day. You’re going to realize you didn’t really need or want any of those items in your cart or. I guarantee you there’s a 90% chance that they’re going to have a special discount code for you to complete that transaction and purchase all the items in your cart. [00:17:35] So enjoy the fun tip, happy spending