What would you do with an extra $6000?

by unshodashish on May 12, 2012

Just how much do you think your running shoes are costing you? Besides your good health, I mean.

Runner’s World estimates that runners go through 3.1 pairs of running shoes each year.

How much does a pair of these shoes cost? For the sake of simplicity, let’s call it $100, which is actually pretty conservative – the toe shoes are $80-90, before tax, and most beefier shoes are more. Much more, in some cases. And of course, shoe prices keep going up and up, but we’ll ignore that for now.

And how many more years do you plan to keep running? Let’s call it 40. (Though I realize that running injuries will unfortunately stop many of you before the 40-year mark, but I did say “plan.”)

How about an interest rate? Does 4% sound good to you? I’m pretty confident that 4% is more than your bank is paying, so to be conservative, I’ll pick that.

Now let’s geek out for an instant. What I want to do is calculate the “present value” of all the money you will be spending on running shoes over the next 40 years, using the assumptions above: 3.1 shoes/year, $100/shoe, 40 years, and a 4% interest rate in your savings account.

Let me plug those numbers into my trusty HP 12C Financial Calculator. ┬áRunning … running (yes, it says “running”!) … and it spits out … $6135.76. That’s right. The money you can expect to spend on running shoes over your lifetime is the same as $6000 in your hands right now. (Only getting 2% interest? You think shoe prices will go up? That only makes it much worse. For you, I mean – not for the shoe companies.) And this is even before I count up the cost of all those pesky orthotics and doctor’s visits and MRIs and crutches and eventually a big leather couch and wall-sized plasma TV because you’re too injured to run.

Just Say No.

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