Do You Have To Be Rich To Bracket Race?
What’s up BracketLifer’s?! It’s Rachel – and I am back this week to chat all things money! Brandon and I always get asked questions like “Is racing expensive?” “How can you afford to go racing every weekend?” or “Do you have to be rich to be a bracket racer?” And as controversial as this is to talk about, I think a lot of people are afraid to jump into the sport of bracket racing because of money. So, in an effort to chat about this topic, I think the easiest way to discuss this is to share what has worked for Brandon and I.
Full transparency – we only pay for Brandon and his brother to race. My family pays for me to race. We have A LOT of help, and we would not be able to race at the level we race at today without our family and friends’ support! I am not here to pretend like I have it figured out, I can honestly admit that I maybe understand about 1% of what it actually takes to build and sustain a racing program. But what I can say is that Brandon and I have learned a lot over the last couple of years in terms of what it takes to get to the track on a weekly basis. Here’s what’s worked for us.
YOU HAVE TO LIVE A CHEAP LIFESTYLE.
If you are serious about wanting to drag race, you need to ensure that your personal and household expenses are as little as possible. When Brandon and I started dating in 2018, one of the first things we did together was start an excel spreadsheet to keep track of both our personal expenses and Brandon’s racing expenses. I can show you three years of expenses, broken out by category, and down to the cent of what we have spent since we started dating. This might sound crazy, but in my opinion is absolutely necessary to know what we are working with from a money standpoint. Here’s why:
You need to know how much money you make on a monthly and yearly basis (AFTER taxes). If your expenses are higher than what you earn then you either 1) need to find a way to make more money or 2) decrease your expenses.
It’s easy to take your hourly wage and multiply it by 40 hours/week x 52 weeks/year – but that doesn’t take into account what you lose in taxes on each paycheck and if you take un-paid days off throughout the year (which trust me, as a racer you will take days off work). Ball-parking your earnings to do rough math, will get you absolutely no where.
It will make you aware of how much you are spending on NON-essentials.
When Brandon and I first started tracking our personal expenses, we were spending roughly $600-$800 a month on fast-food/ takeout without even realizing it (insane right?!). Weekly date nights out to restaurants, coffee runs on the way to the track, and late-night fast-food trips were killing us, and we didn’t even know it! After understanding how much we spent, we made a pack to decrease our fast-food spending by 50% and set an appropriate $ spend for groceries each week.
When you deal with cash as much as we do as racers, you lose track of what you’re actually spending.
Most people just look at their bank account to see how much money they have earned or spent – but when you are making cash transactions, you forget about those transactions (which are usually expenses).
I could go on and on about why it is important to track not only your racing expenses, but your personal expenses. I truly believe that they go hand-in-hand, and if you want to run a sustainable racing program – you need to be aware of what you’re working with!
In conclusion, you don’t have to be a millionaire to drag race. HECK, you don’t even have to be rich – but you need to be able to manage your money appropriately. Spend your money wisely. Decrease your personal expenses as much as humanly possible and invest ONLY what you can into your racing program. You do not need to have the biggest and best equipment, you just need the equipment. Everything after that will follow!
If you want to hear me chat more about money, budgeting and/or what has worked for us – let me know in the comments below!
Catch you next-next week,