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  1. #1
    Dream it, Do it.
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?

    I ask this as someone who makes decent money. But with two kids, it's hard to lay out at least $2-3K for a new bike, let alone $5-6K for a bike. It is crazy how much bike prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years.

    In the past, I generally switched off upgrading a frame and then 2-3 years later the drivetrain & fork, but with young kids in the house I have put off upgrading my drivetrain for about 10 years now. So, I am now looking at complete bikes.

  2. #2
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    submit to credit card debit and join 90% of the rest of Amerika.



    (My signature was all purchased in the last year… I make decent money and so does my wife, the secret is no kids and high credit card limits.)
    Front Range, Colorado

  3. #3
    I didn't do it
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    Get a job and make decent money. Looks like you did that already. So then I would say budget and save. You got two kids so priorities change.
    Let's eat Ted
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    Remember, commas save lives

  4. #4
    AZ
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    If all else fails, Midget Porn.

  5. #5
    Perpetual n00b
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    I assume most people rely on credit cards. But keep in mind the number of people buying new bikes is significantly lower than the number of people not buying new bikes. It's just a very vocal minority.

    Personally, I have to pay cash. I was lucky enough to get a bonus this year for coming through on an emergency project. Got the wife and I a pair of used FS 26ers for less than 1k. Had to sell the 29ers though since we don't have the room to keep a quiver of bikes.
    Last edited by dgw2jr; 12-21-2013 at 06:19 PM.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  6. #6
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    Opening a bicycle department next to my Motorcycle business sure helped. :P

  7. #7
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    Work in the bike industry. If I didn't I'd probably still be riding my hardtail from the late 90's and my wife kids wouldn't be riding.

  8. #8
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    You really need the adventure of Craigslist. The only challenge is patience. I have seven bikes that total about $12,000 retail, and have actually paid less than $2,000 for ALL of them combined. They are all in nearly perfect condition. It's good to know what you want, before you get started....do a "Craigslist Search" and have at it. Learn to tinker...to service bearings, replace forks, tune up the deraillers....and you'll be singing while you save. I go onto Craigslist nearly every few days (not that I need anymore bikes, but a bug is a bug.) The only problem with Craigslist, is that if it is not close to home, rarely do they ship the goods....it's for local pick-up only. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttt..... if you make it easy for them (tell them to take it to the LBS and have them crate it and ship it (that's only about $75 for anywhere in the US). They just might bite on the easy of it. Good luck....be stingy. Smile.

  9. #9
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    My friends with kids buy 2-3 year old models from CL or through friends.

    I buy during the winter for deep discounts.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Get a job and make decent money. Looks like you did that already. So then I would say budget and save. You got two kids so priorities change.
    Yep. I don't have kids and bikes are a priority for me. I give up some other things I'd like to have and save up to buy bikes and bike stuff.

  11. #11
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Pick a favorite healthy hobby (mountain biking of course) and don't waste your money on other trash.

    Live simply otherwise.... modest home, vehicles, vacations, etc...

    Work hard and choose your profession wisely.

    Realize that while mountain biking is an expensive hobby, it does a great deal for your health. Few things are more important. Every day I care for sick, dying people. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, obesity - the plagues of America. I hope to stay healthy long enough to not be forced to retire. Biking is a big part of that plan. I'd like to work part time for many years after moving from full time.

  12. #12
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    I mean.... just think about it. Nearly every singel garage in the United States has one or more bicyles in it. 90% of those get ridden, almost NEVER. Times are harder than ever since the great depression....people are selling everything they don't use.
    There are DEALS everywhere, when the monthly mortgage is due. Just wait, lurk, search.... you will FIND what you want.

  13. #13
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    I buy last years model.. I saved 1k on my MTB and 3K on my roadie!

  14. #14
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    I go on CL and look for bikes that used to be 5-7k for 2.5k-3k. Typically you don't get a warranty on those but I've been lucky that I don't ever have issues with the bikes I buy. You can always wait for end of year sales to get that warranty. Some times, sellers of used or new parts online can offer those warranties if you worry about breaking anything.

  15. #15
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    I saved up for 13 months for the major parts, (frame,fork,wheels) and through out the year I would look for sales for the smaller parts. It may or may not cost more then buying a finished new bike but for me it's more fun. Your fortunate to have kids because my wife & I weren't able to so we spoil ourselves.

  16. #16
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    Ebay. I bought my SB95 for half the cost, almost perfect condition. My Horsethief was way under MSRP as well. Bought a Xcal as a demo for half off. Jenson USA probably hates how much I price match.

    Credit cards. Find a good 0% interest rate card, and pay it off before the rate expires.

    I do hate where the industry is going. I'm currently looking at forks and they are so overpriced. $1000 for a Pike, which is bad enough, but $1300 for a Fox 34. That's as much as replacing all the struts on your car. WTH! Then they only have a 30hr life before you need to do an oil change. /rant off

    Never pay retail, unless you are in a bind.

  17. #17
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptsube2002 View Post
    Ebay. I bought my SB95 for half the cost, almost perfect condition. My Horsethief was way under MSRP as well. Bought a Xcal as a demo for half off. Jenson USA probably hates how much I price match.

    Credit cards. Find a good 0% interest rate card, and pay it off before the rate expires.

    I do hate where the industry is going. I'm currently looking at forks and they are so overpriced. $1000 for a Pike, which is bad enough, but $1300 for a Fox 34. That's as much as replacing all the struts on your car. WTH! Then they only have a 30hr life before you need to do an oil change. /rant off

    Never pay retail, unless you are in a bind.
    What I find to be crazy is that I imagine that I am squarely in the bike industry's target as an ideal buyer other than having kids and being married. Maybe single guys who work in bike shops are the only people buying $6k bikes (at a discount!)?

  18. #18
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    dont want to insult anyone but i will tell you this. i have moved to usa some 8 years ago and i still cant believe how much unnecessary crap people buy here. seriously, when my neighbours open up their garages, there is stuff up to the ceiling that they dont use. my colleges complain how poor they are while making same money as i do while i can afford to get anything i want (be realistic here), while having kid and mortgage.

  19. #19
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    I am in agreement with everything with that has been said here.
    Except AZ... unless you were inclined prior to taking up cycling.

    My experience has been to purchase from various sources, but I have always been patient and set my price beforehand. Let curiosity lead you on a treasure hunt, be open to what comes along and be lucky.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  20. #20
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    I'm single no kids, so I probably have more expendable income. However, I refuse to pay retail on anything.
    I don't get how people drop $6k on a bike either. I haven't spent more than $2500 on any of mine. Patience is the key. It took a couple months on eBay each time I have bought a bike. You have to know what you're getting into, though.

    My uncle owned a shop growing up, and we paid cost. It wasn't a very big discount. I don't even think guys working at shops get great deals.

    Right now is a great time to buy. Tree Fort Bikes has great deals on 2013 Salsa's. Most shops are trying to get rid of their old stock. Look around as much as you can. It is possible to get a $4-6k bike for $2-3k. If I didn't already have a Horsethief, I would get the HT 2 for $1700 or the 1 for $2300. You really can't beat 50% off on a new bike.

  21. #21
    turtles make me hot
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    I've cut back on coffee and the subway. If I ride the train to and from work, it's 5 bucks a day. I used to drink over ten bucks a day in coffee. I also try to remember to bring lunch to work. it all adds up.
    Then... I don't buy complete bikes for retail. I'll purchase a frame and if I can find it on sale, so much the better. I Ebay, swap meet and constantly search sales on parts.
    I also got a second job building bike wheels to help support my bike habit. Almost done workin' off my fat bike.
    Next thing I need to do is go through all my old parts and hot rod stuff I never use any more and get it on Ebay and make some money.
    I like turtles

  22. #22
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    Simple, I can't afford them. Both my bikes are sub $1k, one was a cheap hardtail and my CX was given to me. I can't wait to finish graduate school!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ View Post
    If all else fails, Midget Porn.
    That's a more expensive hobby than MTB'ing

  24. #24
    007
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    Two words: Sugar. Mamma.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  25. #25
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    dont want to insult anyone but i will tell you this. i have moved to usa some 8 years ago and i still cant believe how much unnecessary crap people buy here. seriously, when my neighbours open up their garages, there is stuff up to the ceiling that they dont use. my colleges complain how poor they are while making same money as i do while i can afford to get anything i want (be realistic here), while having kid and mortgage.
    What you're saying is true. We buy a lot of stuff. We're encouraged to do so and we gladly oblige.

    Bikes are the only hobby I spend any significant money on.
    Axle Standards Explained

    Founder at North Atlantic Dirt, riding & writing about trails in the northeast.

  26. #26
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    I hear you OP. I am still saving, I am hoping to have about 2k put away by the end of 2014 to buy an end of year bike on sale. I have 3 kids myself and being the only income it takes time to save up. Currently I am riding a hand me down 2003 bike that was given to me, I replaced most of the small parts and wheels on it using parts I bought on clearance here and there, it should hold me over until then .

  27. #27
    Chris Bling
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    For me, a few things have saved me thousands of dollars. First off I worked in a shop for a number of years and learned nearly everything there was to know about fixing, repairing, servicing and otherwise taking care of your bike. I have never bought a new bike (other that when I worked at the shop ) and have always bought used. No big revelation here.

    That being said, when I do buy parts, I also buy them used and make sure that are extremely nice. Something my dad taught me was to buy the good stuff or you would end up buying crappy stuff and then replacing it with the good stuff you wanted in the first place. I have a pair of Chris King hubs I bought over 5 years ago and they are still going strong. I rebuild them a few times a season and rebuild my wheels as needed. It has worked out for me very well and I love the hunt!!!!!!!!
    The obsession of wheels fused with the passion of cycling
    Affordable Custom Wheels

  28. #28
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    I'm in the I don't camp. Nor do I think you can't get a decent bike for fairly cheap. I have an entry level hardtail, but that isn't what keeps me from going fast. I'm not a minute slower on a downhill stretch (slower than the fastest in strava that is) because of my bike. That is on me, my skills, my limitations.

    I am within 5 ten seconds of the guy I ride with who is riding a fs and had many more years experience. The bike could go faster and survive it just fine. So the bike is decent enough. And cost $600.

    I am sure one my skills and confidence improve, the limitations of y the bike will become more apparent but really since I am not racing, those limitations don't matter unless they keep me from have fun. At which point I will change whatever piece is limiting me the most.
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

  29. #29
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    No kids. If having kids, saving for their college and retirement, etc, is your priority, more power to you. Those are the choices we make.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  30. #30
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    Work all the overtime you can, and save. That is what I did
    when I worked.

  31. #31
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    It's a hobby man. We all spend what we feel comfortable with. Myself, I retired at a pretty young age so I have a pension. I'm lucky. I love cycling and bikes, and still wanted to work part time, so I went to UBI and now work as a mechanic in a shop. I don't drink, party, eat-out, or otherwise blow any of my discretionary income. I would rather spend it on my hobby. The poster that mentioned having high quality components is right on. I just posted a thread about spending a bit of money to stock up on and hoard my favorite nine speed stuff. My parts travel from frame to frame when One needs replacing. Otherwise, I'm extremely happy with my bike, and don't feel the need to get a new one every year like some do.

  32. #32
    used to be RipRoar
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    Credit Cards? Huh....use the CC to leverage a quick flipper investment (be wise), pay off CC immediately, take profits, save, buy bike....

  33. #33
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    I work for the australian public service. last pay and conditions negotiation somehow a bike advance scheme was introduced and accepted. i guess to encourage us to be more green. result was an interest free loan that is deducted from your pay over 12 months. quite a few took up the offer

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?

    I ask this as someone who makes decent money. But with two kids, it's hard to lay out at least $2-3K for a new bike, let alone $5-6K for a bike. It is crazy how much bike prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years.

    In the past, I generally switched off upgrading a frame and then 2-3 years later the drivetrain & fork, but with young kids in the house I have put off upgrading my drivetrain for about 10 years now. So, I am now looking at complete bikes.
    This isn't for everyone, but I buy 15-20 year old mountain bikes off of Craigslist for very little and then upgrade/rebuild them to my specs. Of course, I still end up shelling out about $2K when all is said and done, but I usually have a runner long before I've shelled out that much.

    Of course, it really helps that my tastes run to the geometry of this era bikes and that I don't like modern geometry, and have no interest in 29ers, and have been content with cantilevers so far.

    YMMV

    It certainly helps that we don't have kids and my girlfriend likes to mountain bike and cycle in general.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  35. #35
    Mulleticious
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    In the UK new bikes and kit is often 50% more expensive than in the US, so you guys are lucky! Here, it's eBay and winter double-discounts only...

    But rest assured it's a good investment: A triple by-pass costs a lot more than a new bike

  36. #36
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptsube2002 View Post
    I'm single no kids, so I probably have more expendable income. However, I refuse to pay retail on anything.
    I don't get how people drop $6k on a bike either. I haven't spent more than $2500 on any of mine. Patience is the key. It took a couple months on eBay each time I have bought a bike. You have to know what you're getting into, though.

    My uncle owned a shop growing up, and we paid cost. It wasn't a very big discount. I don't even think guys working at shops get great deals.

    Right now is a great time to buy. Tree Fort Bikes has great deals on 2013 Salsa's. Most shops are trying to get rid of their old stock. Look around as much as you can. It is possible to get a $4-6k bike for $2-3k. If I didn't already have a Horsethief, I would get the HT 2 for $1700 or the 1 for $2300. You really can't beat 50% off on a new bike.

    Two sides...

    Paying retail sucks. No doubt. I rarely do. But consider this... Spend hours looking for a deal online, ebay, where ever... that is time. Buy something used and it malfunctions that is time and frustration. Buy something from ebay and you get it and it is not as advertised. Again, time and frustration, in addition to the money.

    Every get really burned by a "deal" online or on ebay? A lot of folks have.

    If you have more time than money, then scrounging (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way) for deals is OK. That is what I did till I hit about 40. However, if you work hard at the job you like, make good money, and have two kids and a working wife then time becomes more of a limited resource than money...

    Axioms...

    You can always make more money. Not more time.

    A bike is cheaper than a trip to the cath lab.

  37. #37
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    Wifey and I do not buy brand new cars or carry credit card debt.

    I recently bought a new 29 Giant for about $2800. Last bike was a 2008 Giant.

  38. #38
    Ride More, Work Less
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    It is simple, I work for it. Always have.
    Craigslist & MTBR --free ads for all

  39. #39
    Kick Start My Heart
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    I've bought my mountain rigs new, '94, 04, 13. All cash saved from bonuses and so on. Between news upgrades are scrounged, Cl, eBay. My roadies are basket case '89 Centurion, and 2009 Fisher frameset built up. None of these happened overnight. Lots of scrimping and saving. It's a hobby. I don't fish, carouse, street race, vacation 2x year, or anything. I ride. My focus is my family, work, and bikes. Sometimes they change position a little.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

  40. #40
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    I have most components from deals that have come up over the last 2 years. Building your wheels helps.
    With that I wanted a frameset for my next build. Because it isn't available, I'm going with the lowest model and my lbs is open to swaps at a good discount. I worked a Black Friday discount on the bike and paid cash for 3% more on something he can get in with a future order. No special shipping. Negotiating goes in stages.

  41. #41
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Pick a favorite healthy hobby (mountain biking of course) and don't waste your money on other trash.

    Live simply otherwise.... modest home, vehicles, vacations, etc...

    Work hard and choose your profession wisely.

    Realize that while mountain biking is an expensive hobby, it does a great deal for your health. Few things are more important. Every day I care for sick, dying people. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, obesity - the plagues of America. I hope to stay healthy long enough to not be forced to retire. Biking is a big part of that plan. I'd like to work part time for many years after moving from full time.
    +1 on this
    Raising money, my friend broke his neck Mtbing, Please Share link. http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/elliottkeys/donations

  42. #42
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Strap a mattress to my back and wait at the busy intersection.....

    Just kidding.... Credit cards and a good job. Paying on my second bike as we speak.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  43. #43
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    What I find to be crazy is that I imagine that I am squarely in the bike industry's target as an ideal buyer other than having kids and being married. Maybe single guys who work in bike shops are the only people buying $6k bikes (at a discount!)?
    I'm not in the bike industry but have big $$ bikes.

    I just like them & as sad as it seems it is the cheapest hobby I have ever had.

    I know rich people that just wouldn't be happy on a big $ bike & people that don't have a lot of money that go without a lot to have a good bike.

    I am careful with the deals I buy so I don't loose to much when I upgrade. I just like nice gear.

    After all there are people that blow more than $6000 as they drive there new car out the showroom door for the 1st Time & that money is never to be seen again.
    Raising money, my friend broke his neck Mtbing, Please Share link. http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/elliottkeys/donations

  44. #44
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    I built up two decent bikes using CC's with 0% interest rates. I only had 1 kid when I built my first bikes but now the wife stays home and my family is growing. I don't want to risk putting a new bike on a CC so I just search for killer deals on parts which are far and few between...
    Killing it with close inspection.

  45. #45
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    Don't think I ever bought a complete bike. Usually I replace parts as they wear out and eventually replace the frame when it breaks or after 5 years or so. I always go for previous year frames when they're blowing them out. Not buying the latest technology can help save $ too. A few months back when my 2008 Titus broke, I found the best deals were on 26" frames. Got my Carbine SL for half price because no one wants 26ers anymore. Transferred most of the parts over and only had to buy a bottom bracket and headset. Kept my eyes on craigslist and eBay for a fork.

    The craigslist apps are great. Helped me find a used fat bike for a good price.

  46. #46
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    A couple of times in the past I have screwed a good deal out of a bike shop for 2 high end bikes & stripped 1 & sold it as parts & half funded the 1 I will be ridding
    Raising money, my friend broke his neck Mtbing, Please Share link. http://givealittle.co.nz/cause/elliottkeys/donations

  47. #47
    squish, squish in da fish
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    get good at growing medical grade and sell to dispensaries. it will benefit you in a couple ways

  48. #48
    mtbr dismember
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    Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?
    Stay in school, get a good education and grades, get a good job that pays decent money, and be careful how you spend your money.

  49. #49
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    Stock market.

    1. Stay in school or learn a trade.
    2. Don't have kids till you you have some money in the bank.
    3. Don't buy shit you don't need to impress people you don't like.
    15 Yeti ASR-c
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  50. #50
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    Earn decent money while saving money.

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