With the hunting season soon upon us, I find my thoughts again drifting to the possibility of successfully filling up my freezer with meat I've hunted and processed myself. Over the last few years I've increased my protein intake quite significantly and, considering the cost of it in the grocery stores, it can really make a dent in my wallet; there's nothing cheap about making a big pot of chili anymore. Nor should there be. Meat is a luxury that should be earned through hard work. Fortunately I've somehow managed to convince myself that hunting is a great way to save money although some people disagree with me. Here's where I explain how my hunting fever has saved me money:
The gym used to call to me during early morning hours. My alarm clock would go off and I somehow managed to open my eyes long enough to be able to hit snooze and drift off back into a dreamy slumber until my internal alarm clock kicked in and reminded me that I still needed to wake up and do all the things. A gym membership would typically cost me about $30/month - and that's being generous. There are plenty of hunters who utilize the gym to up their game throughout the year so I won't go too far in depth of the savings here because I don't want to stir the pot too much. I choose to use the opportunity to be outdoors as my inspiration to get myself out of bed each morning. Here's $360 in savings in one year.
The gel nails used to be a thing for me. I still admire them when I see them it's just I realize that when it comes to firearms and hunting, there is really no point in maintaining things that serve no purpose. Don't get me wrong - freshly manicured nails are lovely and had their place in my life but I determined I can save a whole lot of time and money if I just do it myself. I was spending approximately $50 every time I got my nails done; I liked to have them done every three weeks. This saves me about $850 a year.
Stylish shoes and boots would often call to me and I had a nice little collection to match different outfits and different times of the day, for different jobs. Since I started spending so much time outdoors, I realized I only need a couple of really good pairs of footwear for my adventures. The rest of the shoes starting taking up space because they simply were not contributing to my goals. I would guess that on average I would probably purchase a couple new pairs every four months which put me back $150 each time. That's $450 for one year. To be fair, I still need to purchase new ones on occasion and good footwear is very important so let's just make this an even $200 in savings per year.
The purses. Oh the purses. And scarves. I got caught up in it for a while there. Again, accessorizing seems to be a very important thing, and I get it, but how many purses and scarves does one need? I realized that I have enough to last a lifetime so I simply decided to stop buying them. I kept a few scarves that have meaning and I usually support bags now - you know, the reusable kind you buy at the grocery store. I mean, they hold everything plus some. Besides, I can't fit a trail cam, jar of bacon grease, snacks, a water bottle, and tags in a brand name purse. I just can't. To be fair, and not to throw too many gals under the bus, let's just say I spent $60 on a new purse a few times a year. That's $180 that just gave itself back to me every single year.
I still love jewelery but again here is an item I have plenty of and don't need to focus on purchasing more because it takes away from the things I can buy that help me with my overall life goals. Fashion jewellery is beautiful and catches my eyes every time I go near it so it's best I just stay away - this decision saves me at least $25 per month. There's another $300.
Over a year ago I decided that it was time to start looking at the amount of money I'm spending on clothing - I have a closet full and various dresser drawers. I have enough clothing to last me a lifetime. Sure, it means I can't exactly keep up with the fashion world but what did that ever get me any way? I managed to sift through my clothes and realized I have a good amount of basic essentials that will stand the test of time so I stopped spending money on clothes. I would guess that on average - and this is a low average - I was spending about $100 per month on clothes. Wow. $1200 a year just like that. I still buy some things now and again but this was a real eye opener for me.
Those are the things that I've given up so that I can increase my chances of filling my tags this year. What do we have here for a total? $3,090. Read that again. I've saved myself just over $3000 this year and it was because of hunting. Now, we shall wait and see the response of my dear fiance who is not a hunter and also has a knack for saving money. We shall see how this will go down . . . deep down I feel I know where the conversation will lead and it may involve something about a tree stand and gas consumption and a new bow, etc. Let's be real here: hunting can be an expensive hobby but the reward is far more valuable than any amount of money I can save. Overall, making some small sacrifices in my life created more room for the increased health benefits that found their way to me directly as a result of my intention to embrace life as a hunter.
If you are a woman looking for some tips or advice on how to save money and/or get into hunting, please stop in at Northern Elite Firearms where our staff will be happy to help you get started! Don't forget about the upcoming Smoke Show where we will have various members of the community come in to the store to discuss several different aspects of the hunting world.