We talked last week about finding a well-paying offseason job to finance the months away from the field, since we don’t get paid during this time. Unless winter ball is on the agenda, the only commitments that we have after the season ends are Instructional League and various training camps, so we can use our time as we see fit.
We have to do a little more than just make ends meet until Spring Training rolls around, however. When I did the math, minor leaguers take home about $1200 a month during the season. I believe this time is a great opportunity for players to save money in order to live more comfortably during the season without worry of overspending.
Very early in HML’s life, I wrote a post on how to save money during the season.
Some of my in-season money saving tips are still applicable to the offseason, things like budgeting, overpaying for habits, and riding a razor scooter — actually, I might opt for the beach cruiser because I have FOMO in San Diego.
Anyway, back on topic. The offseason presents some unique circumstances compared to the summer months, so I wanted to do an updated, “offseason” version of how to save money. I’ve come up with a few ways until the 2016 season kicks off.
Host families are a huge asset to minor league baseball. If you are lucky, your host family will invite you to crash with them during the offseason (thanks Rich and Chris!). However, some places don’t have host families, some players aren’t as lucky as I was, and you might want to live somewhere else entirely.
That was the case for me. The last two offseasons, I endured long commutes to workouts and the freezing cold in Greater Boston. I decided it was time to increase my vitamin D intake and reduce my cortisol levels with the help of the sun and palm tree therapy that San Diego has to offer. Ironically, as I’m writing this post, it’s the one day all year it will rain here.
Conveniently, San Diego is also where my cousin, Nikki, just moved to last December. She needed someone to help take care of her English Bulldog, Jasey, while she was at work. Sometimes, Jasey can be a naughty girl and pee on the floor — yeah, I actually just finished mopping.
Living with relatives or even just friends that care about you can be a huge money saver because rent is some expensive.
That doesn’t mean being a freeloader. Help out and do your part around the house. I’m trying to add value and not be a burden by taking care of and training Jasey.
Learning to cook is something that I avoided for so long. The only meal I’ve been able to prepare myself has been breakfast. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I can make delicious variations on the breakfast scramble.
What’s mainly been holding me back is touching raw meat. I’m not fond of it, but I believe it’s from talking myself into the mindset for so many years. Now that I’ve settled into one spot for the offseason — for now — I’ll be able to have my own kitchen and prep food.
Cooking and prepping meals for the week will make it easier to eat out less because we normally choose takeout when we haven’t planned out our food schedule. Not only will it be easier on the wallet, but it will also help with making better nutritional decisions.
“Are you not entertained?!?”
It can be tempting to go rent all the movies you missed during the season, binge watch them all day, then go out for happy hour with all your friends you haven’t seen in months. Those endeavors can be quite expensive, because they’re easy to justify to yourself.
Get creative with how you entertain yourself in your downtime. Just recently when I went to visit Boston, my friend, Sam, and I went hiking up in New Hampshire — you can actually see for yourself in my recent vlog. (Insert shameless new YouTube Channel plug)
If you want to go out with your friends, try being the DD for a night and see how you feel. Personally, this one is easy for me because I didn’t have alcohol until my 21st birthday — my first drink was a screwdriver.
Other ways to save…
- Working out at a local college instead of paying for a gym membership and renting batting tunnels.
- Use a friend’s Netflix account.
- Play the professional baseball player card — try it, the worst someone will say is no. Truly, though, use your connections and network. Find mutually beneficial exchanges.
Let me know in the comments what you thought of this list and what you’d add to it!