Financial Challenges Every Outdoor Enthusiast Understands

Aug 24, 2020 | Financial Wellness | 0 comments

camping in the North Cascades

Everyone has money challenges, but outdoor enthusiasts are a special brand of people. We have different priorities that revolve around our passion, constantly planning the next adventure, putting together plans, and laying out all the logistics for our next trip.

As outdoor industry veterans turned Financial Coaches, we understand the challenges of dying for a paycheck and living for the next adventure. It only makes sense that along with our passion for nature and an off the beaten path lifestyle, come a few unique challenges for managing money. Most of our conversations are planning the next trip we’re taking, or the next piece of gear we’re buying. It doesn’t take a genius to see that these are actually all conversations about our favorite ways to use our money!

6 Money Challenges for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Let us know if you can relate to any of them!

1. We Prioritize the Present Over the Future

As an outdoor enthusiast, your goal is a life filled with memories and experiences rather than dreams and wishes. You live in the present moment, tend to be spontaneous, and enjoy the journey while having high stoke on the destination.

Living in the present is healthy, no doubt about it. But neglecting to share your focus with long term goals, can leave you feeling stressed and lacking confidence in your future. Especially where your money is involved. If you’ve ever chosen to take less pay for more time off or to work seasonal jobs so you can chase the best of every season, you should learn to master managing money. Proper money management and planning is the only way to overcome this money challenge.

Intentionally balance living in the present, while setting yourself up for a healthy future.

2. We’re Obsessed with Expensive Hobbies

The gear addiction is real. If you’re not nodding your head right now I think you might be reading the wrong blog…

Our pastimes are not only pricey, they are many. I’ve never met an outdoor enthusiast with only ONE discipline or interest. We all have either an entire room, garage, shed, etc. filled to the brim with our precious gear. Bikes, kayaks, skis, trad racks, backpacks, etc. Especially if you have pro-deals. Because let’s face it, we don’t save money with pro-deals, we just buy more gear!

We take pride in our gear collection no doubt. But if expensive hobbies are creating financial challenges in your life, wreaking havoc on our budgets and savings accounts, it might be time to reassess.

When it comes to these purchases, do your best to practice impulse control, and instead of buying gear immediately, take 24-hours to think about it before spending the money and adding to your collection.

3. Too Many Travel Hangovers

Along the same lines of expensive gear. Travel expenses add up fast! If you’re not funding your trips using cash on hand, you might be familiar with what I call a “Financial Hangover”. This is when you’ve returned from your trip, and soon find yourself staring at the balance of a credit card statement knowing you’ll spend the next months if not year or more working to pay it off.

I know many people who live in a perpetual state of paying off trips from well over a year in the past. In the meantime the trip gets even more expensive because you are maintaining a balance, paying interest and feeling financially stuck and stressed about never seeing another alpine lake again. Not only is this more financially challenging to come back from, but it makes the trip less enjoyable when it’s paid for with debt.

The only cure to this hangover is reversing the order you are doing things. Rather than spending money, you don’t have – budget your travel ahead of time and set a savings goal for your trip to eliminate the aftershock. For me personally, this adds to the excitement and how much I enjoy the trip overall! Not only because I won’t have a hangover, but anticipation for the trip grows while I plan and save. Plus I get to be in the moment when I’m on the journey, and have a sense of accomplishment rather than stress, making the experience 1,000% more enjoyable!

4. “Without risk, there is little reward” is Our Mantra

financial risk of rock climbing

Some of the best, most memorable trips outside involved getting out of my comfort zone and pushing my physical and mental limits. I’m sure you can relate. Recreating outside is a pick your poison, pass time. [Say that 5-times fast.] Regardless of the activity you choose – hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, etc. there is always a level of risk involved, and many times that is why we do it! Looking at you, fellow adrenaline junkies.

This financial challenge is all about risk tolerance. Since we are more open to risk-taking than others, we also need to understand the risks to our livelihood. Did you know that 66% of all bankruptcies are tied to medical bills? That’s where making sure you have the proper health, travel, accident, and even gear insurance(yes gear insurance is a thing) can bring peace of mind and even give you an edge when you’re climbing to new heights.

Being at a higher risk of getting injured and without insurance, also means gambling your financial wellbeing. Making sure you have the right insurance protection has a huge benefit in the off chance you obtain an injury, followed by unexpected medical bills or a few extra unpaid sick-days from work. We’ll be sharing more resources to help you navigate this soon, but proper insurance is crucial for everyone – especially if you cannot afford unexpected expenses.

5. We Procrastinate

We’d rather be traveling or spending time outdoors than anything else which makes us expert procrastinators, or what I endearingly call “I’ll get to it someday-er-ers”. It’s in our nature to be more on the impulsive, spontaneous side. While that’s not a bad thing, it can make seeing progress toward goals and getting to a healthy level of financial wellness a challenge if we don’t prioritize money management.

While it may seem harmless enough – when it comes to saving money and especially investing, the sooner you get started the better. It is the difference between surviving and thriving. This is because of a little friend we call interest. Especially compound interest. If you forfeit years of investing with the plan of getting to it “someday” or you allow student loans to hang over your head for years and years, you are effectively creating an uphill battle and you’re on the losing side of interest. But with intention, purpose, and mindfulness you can have it all, even if it’s just a few extra bucks a month.

6. We Disconnect for a Better Connection

Outdoor enthusiasts dessert trek

We love to unplug, it’s one of our favorite things to do! Leave the phone at home, turn it on airplane mode, doesn’t matter – “there is no signal where I’m going anyway.” We like to be in the present, to connect with our surroundings and escape the stress of life. The financial challenge here is the struggle between growing a career or business [i.e. earning potential] vs. getting out to explore a new location!

Here’s where this can bite you in the butt worse than a mosquito through leggings…

How to Overcome Your Money Challenges

The good news is that you can overcome these challenges without changing your entire lifestyle. You can find the balance, and when you do, you actually get to climb, camp, travel even more! Until recently personal finance has to be self-taught meaning we had to use our spare time to research and understand financial jargon instead of getting to unplug and go exploring.

This is where a Financial Coach comes in and helps you have your cake and eat it too. We teach you everything you need to know about managing your money that is specific to your circumstances and we guide you in the right direction from where you are, to where you want to go. All with your best interest at heart.

Work with a financial coach so you can spend more time doing what you love, while still covering your financial bases. No more spending hours upon hours reading articles online. Researching services and products and getting overwhelmed. You’d rather be hiking, and we get that!

As a Financial Coach I work with clients to help them optimize their income so they can reclaim the headspace, clarity and time to focus on their life’s purpose. Not only do we help you save time and money, we help you lower financial stress, improve your relationships, increase creativity, and gain confidence in your financial future.

Work with a financial coach and harness your financial power. Learn more about how we help people on our services page.


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