Weaknesses

** Happy Valentine’s Day!! This post isn’t really what I had planned for today, but such is life. I guess this is what happens when your Internet craps out (or more like your computer’s wireless receiver). Otherwise, this would have been a much lovey dovey-er type pose

Weaknesses. We all have them. Unfortunately, this means that not even I am above them, especially when they pertain to eating out and running races (and maybe cookies too).

For the past month and a half (can you believe that we’re already a whopping 45 days into 2014??), I’ve been diligently pushing money into savings. Most days, I live by the mantra of “Oh, no, I can’t do that — I’m broke,” and it usually works.

Until, that is, Chicago Restaurant Week hits Chicago or I start training for my next half marathon.

Ultimately, I guess that it’s good I know what my weaknesses are. Though I can be your typical “let’s go shopping” kind of girly girl, I’ve perfected the self-pity / I’m too depressed to spend money on clothes routine. It’s pretty darn effective. While shopping, I can talk myself out of just about anything, even things that I, in some realm, need (i.e. a second sports bra).

My delight for eating out spurs from thee things: laziness, my tendency to pick recipes that won’t be cheap to cook even at home and to delight my taste buds.

After a spending spree on fancy dinners, however, I’m typically able to take a step back and reassess. Do I need to get lunch today or can I figure out how to make Brussels Sprouts and bacon with only a Tupperware dish and a microwave? (Yes, it’s possible — cooking everything from uncooked/raw too). Or, sure, I could just order food at the bar, but it’s not like it’s all that tasty so I’ll just cook something here first.

But then there is running. I have a love-hate relationship with it, and this spring I’ll be running my fourth half-marathon in Branson, Mo (more on that later). Later this year, it’ll be my second full marathon. And so it comes to no surprise that 2014 will be a year of training for me, which means a slew of smaller races and probably new running shoes($$) to help prep me for my big runs.

When it comes to running (unlike eating out), I don’t know how to kick this spending habit, or even if I want too. I run for my health. I run for my self-esteem and to prove to others that I can. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow, running became an integral part of who I am. This coming from the girl who pitched a fit when it came to running in high school and even during college.

Whether it be setting a race limit or allocating a part of my budget to fitness-related spending (cutting out of my daily spending allowance), I’m going to have to — and I will — find a way to marry my dedication to saving for Girl Gone Bali and my dedication to improving my marathon time. And I guess that, in time, I’ll be able offer words of wisdom on this.

Until then, I want to hear from you: How did you save while not necessarily sacrificing everything along the way?

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