If you've found your way onto this blog, you probably like bike stuff. If you like bike stuff, there's a good chance that you sometimes break your bike stuff. One way or another, you've likely found yourself thinking either, "I wish I could afford those $500 hypercolor grips that launch fireworks at cars that pass too close," or "I wonder if I can glue this broken crank arm back together until payday." Well, our friend Tiffany came up with an idea that basically solves both of these problems.
The Trucker Slush Fund!
Tiffany has been riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker to work for awhile now, and every day she keeps track of her mileage. For each mile she pays herself twenty-five cents. At the end of the week, she deposits the appropriate number of quarters into a savings account, and though twenty-five cents a mile doesn't seem like much, there's always plenty of money in the account to cover repairs. Over the course of one year, Tiffany rode 10,000 miles and she had enough money to buy herself a new ECR for winter commuting.
The system is great for both budgeting for repairs and for making sure that upgrades are justified. Brilliant.
Obviously how you keep track of your mileage is up to you. Because I don't want anyone to take away my Ludite Card (which is actually too heavy for anyone to take away because it is chiseled into stone), I use maps and calculate mileage and write it down in a dumb little book with a quill pen.
You are free to use all sorts of GPS data and spreadsheets. You could track your earnings for each bike you own. You could charge/award yourself for all sorts of activities.
However you do it, you'll be more motivated to ride your bike (which you already like doing, even when you forget you like doing it), and you'll have every reason to keep your bikes in good repair. It's a win!