by Rob Boltz
It’s likely that you’re already aware of all the great benefits of running: It helps you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, reduces stress, improves your immune system, and can even help with self-confidence. But even with all of those advantages, you might find that the expense of gear is a major downfall.
However, spending a ton on running gear and equipment isn’t necessary – you can enjoy running and stay safe without emptying your wallet in the process. Here are 10 tips to get you started on saving money today.
(1) Buy Used Equipment
You may pay thousands of dollars if you buy a brand new treadmill from a fitness retailer. Instead, go with a used machine. Search Craigslist and eBay to see if it’s possible to pick up one locally, or do a quick Internet search to see if a Play It Again Sports location is nearby.
(2) Avoid Buying Fancy Tech Gear
There are plenty of tech options available for running enthusiasts – just make sure you truly need them. Remember, the goal of your running regimen is to maintain and improve your health – not to impress your friends with cool gadgets.
(3) Shop Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops for Clothing
Thrift stores and consignment shops are both great to find running clothing, and some of it may not even be used. I’ve seen certain clothing items at these retail establishments that are basically brand new.
Running attire is expensive – if you go this route, you can outfit yourself in quality clothing at pennies on the dollar compared to retail pricing.
(4) Buy at the Right Time of the Year
Black Friday is a great time to purchase running equipment and gear, because just about everything is on sale that day. If you don’t see any deals, then wait until after the holidays are over – January is a popular month for people to join gyms, which means that running attire often goes on special. Another key time to make purchases is in June, when exercise retailers are looking to close out old inventory, allowing you to save.
(5) Know When to Splurge and When to Save
When it comes to choosing running shoes, definitely invest in quality. Your duds will last longer and possibly reduce the potential for injuries.
However, when it comes to things like socks and shirts, you can probably go with a cheaper option. You might not want to go with the cheapest clothing you can find, but you certainly don’t need to spend $40 on a pair of socks.
(6) Care for Your Clothing and Equipment
Follow the washing instructions on your running clothes. For example, if it says to wash in cold water, do so. If you have a treadmill, follow its maintenance instructions. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who will come to your home to fix your machine, and you might have to buy a new one if you don’t perform basic maintenance.
(7) Shop Online
Whether it’s running attire or equipment, try shopping online – Amazon.com and eBay are your two best bets. You might find a piece of clothing or some equipment at a significant discount. Just be sure you research the rating of any individual seller – you need to know that your item will arrive on time and as described.
If you find a great sale at a sporting goods website, make sure you bundle your purchases to avoid shipping charges. If you shop at that website in particular, you should be able to find a coupon code good for free shipping for orders over $25, for example.
(8) Stock Up
If you see a deal on tennis shoes at a price that can’t be beat, stock up. If you’re an adult, your shoe size is unlikely to change, so you can save by picking up more than one pair at a time. The same thing goes for accessories, such as socks and tops.
(9) Follow Brands on Social Media
Follow your favorite brands on social media, and you might get an alert of a coupon code, or other discount that you would not have access to otherwise. Running equipment and apparel brands realize the power of social media, and often offer exclusive discounts.
(10) Skip the Trendy Stuff
There’s no need to buy the latest treadmill or the latest running clothes. Your goal is to choose quality, long-lasting, affordable items. Skip the stuff that just came on the market.
Saving money on running gear and equipment is important – when you do, you’ll have more cash to set aside for long-term financial goals. And if you’re looking for more advice, simply ask around – your friends or running partners might know of even more strategies to cut your costs and make your hobby more conducive to your personal budget.
Do you know of any other ways to save money on running gear and equipment?
Rob Boltz works for Money Crashers and writes about tips for saving money, all while staying healthy and getting the most out of life.