College Connect Spring 2019: Saving Up to Giddy Up

Posted By Aimee O'Grady

By Paulina Crum

First – you have to know that I’m from Montana. I have been riding horses since I was six, and have desperately wanted a horse of my own, but I have never been able to afford to buy one.

Now, it seems like there may be a way to finally purchase the horse I have always wanted. I have been hired for two good paying jobs this summer at a public relations firm and as a receptionist at an equine vet clinic. I have identified my summer income as an opportunity to use this money towards a horse of my own. I am lucky enough to have received extensive scholarship money from Mizzou, and I am grateful for my parents who pay the remainder of the tuition bills once the scholarships are applied. I recognize that this privilege and my situation allows me to put my work money toward my hobby, whereas other college students my age have to put that money towards school and other practical items. Although I find myself in an optimal situation, I still have a budget to achieve the goal I’ve set.

I am looking to buy an “off the track” thoroughbred from a fantastic adoption operation in Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve decided to purchase this type of horse for two reasons. The first is that many race horses finish their racing careers after only 4 years, while the average thoroughbred lives to be around 28. This means that these young horses go to waste because they are put on the sidelines once their 4 to 5 years are up. Most of the off-the-track thoroughbreds are high quality, athletic horses that just need a new challenge and a new rider. I would prefer to give a home to an older thoroughbred rather than buy a horse from a breeder, similar to how many people rescue dogs from shelters rather than purchasing through a breeder. The second reason is that these horses are less expensive than warmblood sporthorses, but are just as talented in “eventing,” which is my discipline of riding. These thoroughbreds range from $2,000 to $8,000 d depending on the extent of the horse’s progress in its “new career” training as opposed to a sporthorse that runs at a minimum of $15,000.

Now that the backstory is out of the way, I will now get on to the logistics and budgeting involved. My job at the PR firm will be paying me $10 per hour and I will be working 30 hours per week. At the vet clinic, I will be paid $9 per hour and I will be working there 20 hours per week. I will begin work mid-May and end work mid-August which means I will work 12 weeks. I should also note that I will living with my parents during the summer since the jobs are back home in Montana, which means I will not have any living expenses. The following equation will determine how much money I will have in my savings account by the end of the summer: ($10 x 30 x 12) + ($9 x 20 x 12) = $5760. With these earnings in mind, I have decided that the maximum amount of money I can spend on the initial purchase of the horse is $5000.

I have also decided to be an RA next year, which means I will be compensated for my work by my housing and meal costs being covered. This will reduce costs for my parents who have agreed to put that money saved towards my future boarding costs for my horse, which is typically $500 per month. In addition to being an RA, I will also be working at Mizzou Rec 20 hours per week during the school year at an hourly rate of roughly $9. This means that I will have around $720 at the end of each month, and a semester is roughly 4 months, meaning that each semester I will earn approximately $2800. By the end of my sophomore year, I should end up with roughly $5000, which I can put towards training and competition fees for my horse.

I do not plan on purchasing the horse until the end of my sophomore year or possibly the end of the summer after my sophomore year, because I want to make sure I earn and secure the proper funds to support the horse. With proper saving, goal setting, and determination, which I have outlined above, I should be galloping all over Columbia by junior year.

Crum is a freshman studying journalism at the University of Missouri.

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