What Would You Do?

Would You Bust Your Budget to Save Money Later?

busting your budget, saving money later, savings advice

I run consistently, piling up nearly 50 miles in a week when I’m marathon trailing. Because I roll my right foot when I run, I need a specific type of shoe to keep from injuring myself. As most runners, I’m very loyal to my shoe. I’ve found one that has worked for me, and never deviate from them. They cost $160 a pair and need to be replaced every few months, so when I can find them for less I want to take full advantage.

I was in a running store picking up some supplies, and noticed a table with shoes on a clearance sale. I was surprised to find my beloved Asics Kayanos, in my size, and in a cool looking neon white and black color scheme.

Last year’s model was marked down $60.

Even at a steep discount, the shoes would be a significant purchase. Our spending plan for that weekend did not include a $100 shoe purchase. To make the situation even more complicated, I had very recently purchased a new pair of shoes and wouldn’t need another pair for a few months.

My wife and I discussed a few options:

  1. Walk out of the store without the shoes. I didn’t need shoes, and it wasn’t in the spending plan.
  2. Put the shoes into next week’s spending plan and take the chance that they’re still there a few days later.
  3. Alter our spending plan for the weekend, pushing something to the following weekend in favor of making the shoe purchase.
  4. Use money from our savings to purchase the shoes, replacing the funds from the next week’s entertainment funds.

My first instinct would be to take option #3. Life has a way of changing plans for you, and you’ve got to be ready to roll with the punches and be flexible with the spending plan. However, it was already Sunday when this clearance sale was discovered, and our weekend spending money had already been spent.

Because I’ve been running consistently for years and there was a 100% chance I will need new shoes in the near future. We decided to go with option 4, and use money from our savings to purchase the shoes. We then came up with a plan to take $50 out of each of the next two weekend’s discretionary spending to replace the $100 taken out of savings.

One never knows when an opportunity to save money might present itself. Most of the time, I simply ignore the sales when I’m not actively looking to buy something, because if you buy something on sale you weren’t going to buy anyway it’s NOT really a sale. In this case, however, the shoes were something I would buy in the near future. Altering our spending to buy the shoes on sale now, means we won’t have to pay full price for the shoes later.

How about you, Clever Friends, what would you have done?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I think that was the best choice, Brock, since there was no chance that the shoes would go unused.
    I like to look at our budget with both monthly and yearly totals, because i know that sometimes I might need to move an expense from one month to another, especially with clothes (no telling when my kid will go through a growth spurt and new stuff will be needed.) Yes, you spent extra this week, but now you won’t need to be buying shoes 3 months from now when you planned to.

  • I definitely would have purchased these shoes. It would’ve taken me about 10 seconds to say to myself, “You will need and use these in the future and it will save $60 on a future week’s budget.”

    My father told me a long time ago that it often takes money to save money, referring to situations specifically like this.

    Sounds like a great buy and a very smart financial decision! Congratulations!

  • I do exactly the same thing when it comes to running shoes as an example. Last week, the store flier where I usually buy them had them on sale 50% off, so I went in and bought three pair (all they had in my size). I know that some manufacturers discontinue models, so I will have at least enough of a shoe I love to finish out this year. I would buy them anyway, and now if they stop selling them I don’t have to find another shoe I like.

  • @Emily – that’s exactly the thought process I had…..The trick is to make sure that we don’t do something dumb and pay interest on it, negating the savings of the sale. Having a little extra cash in reserves allows us to take advantage of sales like this!

  • @Joe – Thanks for your kind words…the decision to want to do it is one….having the means to do it is another. $60 off a pair a shoes was just too good to pass up!

  • @Doug – Sometimes it’s also hard to find the right model and size of shoe too…so when you find them, you buy them! Thanks for your thoughts!

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