I’m halfway through Month 7 of figure skating, but I was looking at my skating log and figured it might be enlightening (albeit a little frightening) to do a tally of the first six months, for reference’s and posterity’s sake.
I keep two notebooks in my skating bag: one is a small one that Coach A recommended I use to jot down lesson notes. It’s been really helpful, and I’m glad she suggested it – because at first I was so sure I could remember things till I got home and wrote them down (say, in this blog). But as it turns out, this memory’s pretty wimpy after all and if I didn’t write it down RIGHT after lesson, I’d find myself on the ice the next time wondering, “There was a 3-turn exercise she showed me… what was it again?”
The second notebook is one of those tiny pocket ones, and that’s for all the mathy things. Going forward from page 1, I log the hours I skate so I know when I’m due for a sharpening. Then from the last page going backwards, I log my costs. (I am nowhere near this obsessively organized in real life, but it happens that I had the idea to start these logs right at the start, so now I have a nice complete list of everything.)
Skates (Jackson Artiste): $135
Incidentals (guards, soakers, gloves): $26
Skating Safe crash pads (2 knee, 1 tailbone, 1 hip): $200 (holy moly did I really spend that much on protection? I guess my bones are worth it…)
Clothing (skating pants, practice skirt): $100
Sharpenings (2x): $30
Boot stretching: $10
LTS group lessons (1 course, 7 lessons): $99
ICE TIME: $366
Punch cards and admissions: $366
TOTAL EXPENSES (MONTHS 1-6): $1,764
To put things in perspective, however, a lot of these costs were up-front. They don’t break down into $294 every month, for instance, which is what you get when you divide by six. Almost everything under the gear heading, minus the $30 for blade sharpenings, came in the first two months. (I vaguely recall a terrifically high credit card bill… I must have blocked that from memory.) But point being that they aren’t going to repeat.
These days I have two main expenses: Coach A’s monthly check and the new punch card I buy every couple of weeks. Otherwise, I head to the rink with no cash and generally spend little.
I know, that’s a lot of rationalizing, but we do what we must. I don’t have a gym membership, for instance, and I don’t go to yoga/art/cooking classes or have expensive foodie tastes or buy lots of clothing. It’s not SO bad, right? RIGHT?
Skating hours: 87.75
Lesson hours: 13.5 (6 group sessions, 21 private lessons)
Skill level: low freestyle
(This means: I’m working on pre-bronze and bronze moves in the field; I have a small waltz jump, decent salchow, gradually improving toe loop, and am working to get loop. Spins are weak though slowly improving; I can do 3-4 revs on an upright spin, 2 on a backspin on a good day, and barely 2 on a camel – working on it!)
Oh gosh! Never add it up….
I know, it’s not something I intend to do regularly! Now that I have a concrete idea of things, I intend to keep watch over my skating costs with one eye closed. Haha.
OMG. I died too. Don’t try to revive me, I spend too much money.
I must remind you though, even though a lot of those spendings are a one-off pay at the beginning, there are more of those one-off payments down the road still. Looks like you haven’t joined a figure skating club/USFSA membership yet. Mine cost $75. Then there’s the tests: at my club, I think it is $30 EACH for pre-bronze MIF and freeskate. Then there’s the test dress you’ll need. And if you’ll do competitions, there’s the entry fee and the pretty competition dress. And the extra payments for your coach if she goes with you to tests/competitions.
And we seem to be about the same level, so you’ll probably need better skates soon too. Jackson Freestyles are $225, Competitor $275, Premier $250 + blades (~$200?).
OMG am I still alive? Please just kill me now.
BTW I like the idea of the lessons notes notebook. I should do that too. My group coach always comes up with these fun little sequences (which I normally can’t do), bu then I don’t remember them to try practicing!
Oh no, don’t remind me! You’re right, of course, although I’m hoping I can hold off on a few of those things. Club membership and test fees, I’ll have to cough up when the time comes, but I’m not sure about competing yet. Mostly because I’m not sure there are that many opportunities for that here. Maybe I just haven’t heard of them?
New skates… aiiiie! I wonder how long we can expect the new ones to hold out, since I think we’ll both be out of our first pair before our first year is up. I’m hoping a long, long time.
The lesson notebook has been a huge tool, you should give it a try. Just the fact that sometimes I sit there two minutes after lesson and struggle to remember everything I just did tells me it’s totally worth it.
Does your rink have recitals? I think I’ll do those first before competitions. They’d be cheaper I guess, but I’d still need the performance dress.
I’m really hoping the new skates will last at least two years!
I’ll definitely try out the lesson notebook! Thanks 🙂
My coach mentioned a holiday show at the end of the year, so if I put together a program that’d probably be the first one. Not gonna lie, the idea of performing is part exciting, and part nauseating. I’ll have to see how well I handle it before thinking up a competitive future! Ha.
Natasha Estrada said:
I’m looking at this and thinking how cheap. I used to ride horses and it $600 for lesson and use of a horse 2 days a week outside of lessons. Not including all the gear you need.
I like to look at it per hour… That’s about $20/hour, which is a good amount for a hobby! I hope you posted again once you started competing, as I think that will increase a lot.