Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: South of Heaven
Very well put Spdbump, almost the exact mindset I had when I budgeted my first car's build at 17.
Shamarskii... Definitely look into what your current budget is, your long term goal is for your vehicle, as well as what ideal or key modifications you want to do as you go for said goal. Also if possible, don't put yourself in a situation were you are cheating yourself out of money by doing conflicting modification like doing a short ram/cold air intake and later doing HPD or even the Jackson Racing S/C. That SRI/CAI will not work with the S/C and potentially be a little bit of a financial loss if you sell it later. Same goes if you want to eventually coilovers and decide to go for lowering springs before hand.
Whatever you can comfortably save up in your monthly budget, toss right into your bank account that has the MOST monthly interest. Why? Interest over time will help you build up a few extra bucks for your modifications over time even if its a few coins a month... Pennies turn to nickles, nickles to dimes, etc. (I'm not familiar with Candian currency to be honest, point stands though) depending on amount in the account and interest rate of course. Also be mindful that you do have to have some room for routine maintenance!
Make a list (I would HIGHLY suggest using Microsoft Excel or similar for this since you can use "SUM"a functions to tally everything up) with the retail price marked up 10% and even put the part numbers down.
This way you can easily compare at any time if you check on your desired part to see if prices have fluctuated or if you stumble upon said part used and want to verify if its a deal or not. Also, take into consideration whether YOU will be doing to part installation or a shop because install labor is something that some people may forget about when budgeting. If you have access to install labor times, put the time as a note as well. Even take note of general sales trends that various companies put out throughout the year, even follow them on social media to keep track of said sales and possible give-a-ways/discounts. This tactic alone saved me at least 300 bucks when buying a replacement new Rotrex S/C for my Fit during Kraftwerks/Skunk 2's memorial day sale AND I got free shipping!
And finally goals... Since you said that you are interested in potentially tracking the car (be it road course or autocross), I would suggest if possible to occasionally partake in any events in as close to stock form as possible (excluding DOT 4 brake fluid, recommended but not required... yet) then go for it (assuming that all fluids are good; if not, replace your fluids accordingly). This way you can learn the car AND get a better gauge of what *insert modification(s)* are doing as you progress through your list. In addition to that, you'll be wearing down consumables that are fairly accessible/cheapish to replace since the car is "stock" at this time. If you feel the need to replace the OEM or OEM equivalent part once an item like brake pads or tires once they're spent/wasted, you can upgrade at that point if the consumed item is on your mod list and comfortably within budget since you're already replacing them.
Be mindful if you do the mod-as-you-go tactic though! Something as simple as a 45 dollar brake pad replacement can easily add up to a 300 dollar pad AND rotor replacement due to how aggressive some friction materials wear both themselves AND rotors. I'm speaking from personal experience again, with my Fit when it was my daily autocrosser.
In addition to that, if you happen to stumble across any CR-Z owners/drivers at said events and have an opportunity to pick their brain, ride along, or even the opportunity drive their vehicle then go for it. This way you can experience different modifications and setups they have done to their CR-Z as well as get a better understanding of how different combinations can yield different results.
Anywho... Just my 2 cents, I hope some of it helps.
Best of luck with your studies.
Veni, vidi, velcro... I came, I saw, I stuck around.