Lumberjack Season Finances

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 {Matt doing springboard at Fryeburg Fair last year. This picture was on the front page of the newspaper.}

Lumberjack season can be very expensive. Most competitions have an entry fee of $20-35 although we are doing one that is $40. Then there is the gas to get there and food for the day and other random things. Don’t even get me started on the cost of the equipment and repairs.

It can make for a very tight July and August. Usually by the end of August things are better as all the entry fees are paid and winnings from competitions already done are starting to come in. Either way, it can be tough to get the money to stretch those couple of months. I have found ways that make it easier.

Bring All Of Our Own Food

We used to at least buy breakfast even when I would pack our lunch for competitions. Now I make a bunch of muffins to put in the freezer then take out what we need the night before. I also make coffee the night before and put it in the fridge. If it is a hot day, perfect for iced coffee. If not, very easy to heat up in the microwave.

Split Gas Money

Some competitions are quite far. We try to ride with others and split the gas money when we can. It’s perfect as grandparents always want Abby so not only do we get to split the gas money, we also get some baby free time too.

Spluge…With Coupons

Often we will go out to eat after a competition with friends. That can add up. At the beginning of the summer, I try to sign up for e-mail mailing lists for different restaurants. This usually comes with coupons which help make those meal a little cheaper.

Stay With Friends

If the competition is far enough away that it isn’t a day trip, we try to stay with friends in the area to save money on a hotel. This summer we do have one hotel stay just due to the way things worked out. But we are splitting the room four ways so still not too bad.

Go Without

Sometimes we just have to go without. When there are two entry forms to get mailed in the same week, that takes a big chunk of our income. So sometimes we just have to go without other things so we can pay the entry fee.

Most of these tips can be applied to most any other type of activity. In no way are these things lumberjack season specific. Do you have any ways that you save money when you aren’t going to be home? I’d love to hear them.

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    • says

      We used to just pack lunch and snacks and buy coffee and bagels/breakfast sandwiches on the way. But that was about $8-10. When you have 13-19 competitions in 2 months that adds up fast!

      We do have a three show weekend coming up where we won’t have much of a choice in buying all our meals. We won’t have a fridge to put things in so will have to buy most our meals.

  1. says

    Very cool pic.

    I love this post because you demonstrate how it is possible to make extra expenses happen. I do all of the same things you do. I find every way possible to make the extra expense less expensive.

    I also work very hard to prepare ahead of time. One of the best ways I save money for things like this is to do a Pantry Challenge (you can read how I do it on my blog). By eating the foods we have already purchased rather than grocery shopping, I can save quite a bit of money and apply it towards something else.

    We also try to pick up extra jobs or sell stuff we aren’t using, if possible.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. This isn’t always an easy thing to do, but when you are willing to work hard, think outside of the box, and do without a little, it is possible.
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted…19 Ways to Cut Back an Already Bare Bones Grocery BudgetMy Profile

    • says

      One of the things that has changed since I originally posted this is that we are back to buying breakfast. I was finding it was too stressful to do that as well as everything else. We now add money to a Dunkin Donut gift card. We earn 5 points for ever $1 we spend. After 200 points, we earn a free medium drink. So it works out pretty well in the end.

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