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Thread: What to do ...

  1. #1
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    What to do ...

    At nearly 37, I am about to pay off my student loans ($900/month). I thought that as a gift to myself for ten years of this burden, I would get a custom steel bike. After much research and feedback from forum members, I'm looking at a Waltworks 29er. I should also say that I already have a number of bikes, 3 hardtails, trials, SS cruiser, and a sweet Turner XCE.

    My dilemma is that I'm really beginning to feel somewhat guilty about spending a bunch of money on another bike. I have been in debt for so long that part of me feels like I should just bank all of my cash, save up for a house, new car, etc. It bothers me to think in these adult-like terms as I am generally a slacker who enjoys bikes, home brewing, and avoiding the pitfalls of the rat race. Any thoughts would be appreciated
    Last edited by steve v; 12-15-2005 at 06:43 AM.

  2. #2
    i worship Mr T
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    you ARE an adult.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve v
    At nearly 37, I am about to pay off my student loans ($900/month). I thought that as a gift to myself for ten years of this burden, I would get a custom steel bike. After much research and feedback from forum members, I'm looking at a Waltworks 29er. I should also say that I already have a number of bikes, 3 hardtails, trials, SS cruiser, and a sweet Turner XCE.

    My dilemma is that I'm really beginning to feel somewhat guilty about spending a bunch of money on another bike. I have been in debt for so long that part of me feels like I should just bank all of my cash, save up for a house, new car, etc. It bother me to think in these adult-like terms as I am generally a slacker who enjoys bikes, home brewing, and avoiding the pitfalls of the rat race. Any thoughts would be appreciated
    and buying a house is a much better investment in the long run than a 29er.

    just MHO.

    rt (38.5 yrs young w/ a house, a car, a dog, a cat, a job, and 8 bikes)
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  3. #3
    beer thief
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    Treat yourself and buy the bike, then save for a house, etc. If you've been paying $900/month since college you deserve it.

    Life's short.

  4. #4
    I throw poo
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    Send 2/3 of that to a retirement account, so you can buy bikes when you are old, spend the other third on bike stuff now.
    Dang it, now I'm running a coolness deficit for sure.

  5. #5
    Hey, wait up!
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    No regrets

    Is it possible for anyone here to ever regret buying a bike they have researched and want? If you're gonna use the bike, then spend the dough and get the ride. Mentally tying the new bike to throwing off the shackles of the student loans will make riding it so much more sweet. How much is the bike? Once you've paid the bike with the $900/mo. budget, use that monthly dough for other stuff.

    Don't ever think a bike you want and will use is irresponsible. That is the residue of our no-fun grinchy society that tries to tell us bikes are toys and not the positive life investment they really are.

    Non biker mindset:
    $50,000 SUV - OK
    $300,000 House - OK
    $80 blue jeans - OK
    $125 Chinese sweatshop sneakers - OK
    $2,500 television - OK
    $1,500 bike - are you crazy?

    Must fight this mindset. Fly your bike-freak flag high.

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    At the risk of sounding cliche..

    Live to ride. Don't let the thoughts of being "an adult" get in the way of something you love. Don't feel guilty about a purchase of a bike that you will enjoy for a long time, that will help improve your mental and physical well being, etc.

    I'm 30, living in the second house I've owned, with a very understanding wife, a new car and an about to turn one son, and a fully equipped bike shop in the basement. I've had to make the adult decisions and put bike stuff off, but I have never given up on it, it's part of who I am and part of what keeps me going. Splurge now, then in a couple of months start the adult saving.

    We're in a place now where we have a little extra money each month, so what did we do? She got a new digital camera and I've got a new SS frame clamped in the workstand. We'll start saving more in January, for now we are enjoying where we've gotten to. And I haven't had such a lucky kid at Christmas feeling in a long time.

    Get the bike if you can and enjoy it, guilt-free. Cause I don't know about you but I might be forced to get older, but I refuse to grow up.

  7. #7
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    Excellent perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by LCdaveH
    Non biker mindset:
    $50,000 SUV - OK
    $300,000 House - OK
    $80 blue jeans - OK
    $125 Chinese sweatshop sneakers - OK
    $2,500 television - OK
    $1,500 bike - are you crazy?
    Buy the bike, then get back to saving for other things.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCdaveH
    Don't ever think a bike you want and will use is irresponsible. That is the residue of our no-fun grinchy society that tries to tell us bikes are toys and not the positive life investment they really are. Must fight this mindset. Fly your bike-freak flag high.
    ^^^You are the wind beneath my wings.^^^

    I too have a very understanding wife and she thinks that I deserve a new bike. How about that. I kind of figured that most people would say to go for the bike but I still appreciate everyone's perspective on things. Two months worth of loan payments would get me a sweet bike with a respectable build. Now for a little more money....hmmm
    Last edited by steve v; 12-16-2005 at 07:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    3 hardtails, a turner a trials bike etc....I suspect your collection is not limited to whole bikes. Try gathering as many bike parts (ie: parts you swear you'll use somedy, and maybe as you can find, pay your $2, post in classifieds, after 2 weeks, post it all on ebay, send us all the link) youd be surprised what people are willing to fork over $5-10 for, often even more. Just dedicate an hr or so 3 times a week to selling bike stuff...your wife will thank you for clearing out some extra space, and suddenly you'll find yourself sitting on a few hundred dollars...when that price drops by a few hundred it becomes much easier to justify.

  10. #10
    grasso e lento
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    Think of this

    If you die what would you rather have under your ass.....

    $50,000 SUV - NO
    $300,000 House - NO
    $80 blue jeans - NO
    $125 Chinese sweatshop sneakers - NO
    $2,500 television - NO
    $1,500 custom bike - you are not crazy!


    You can't take it with you.....
    If you wish to be out front, then act as if you are behind

  11. #11
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    The collective wisdom of bike geeks - I love it.

    I actually thought about selling my old Trek but then I thought "no wait, that's my beater bike." I also have a cool old Cannondale frame and fork I could sell - "no, I'm going to build that up into a single speed one of these days." Maybe I could sell my blood or something

  12. #12
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    $900 a month - holy f---!! Now that's a loan. With that off your shoulders it seems like it would be no problem to buy a bike and then save for a house etc.

    When my wife and I realized that we will be buying a house this summer we ran out and bought road bikes and new skis the very next week. Gotta round out the toy chest before you get saddled with a mortgage payment.

  13. #13
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    Normally, I would tell you to save the money. However, in this case, you have been working hard for 10 years to pay off your student loan (you could have taken the 30 year plan and chose to buckle up and do it in 10 years). You deserve a reward. Take 2 months of the payments for your new toy and then start saving.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  14. #14
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    money

    In the long run it won't make any differance at all.For that kind of money on student loans you should be able to get a pretty good job.You just need to get a job with a good 401k plan.Hopefully matching to 1k to 2k,per year,whatever.And in a short while you can take advantage of the first time home buyers loan on the 401k.You only have to pay yourself back a like 5% interest.Beyond that I can't even begin to calculate what I've saved not driving the last 15 years!I just quit my job at 54 only cause I had some 401k money.Been riding alot.FTW!

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    If you need the bike, buy it. If you don't, don't.

    So in your case, do not buy it. You got way too many bikes. Some of your bikes are probably not getting any love.

    Take that $900 and put it aside every month. Each month, do not touch for as long as you can. As soon as you touch it, your habits will change and you will get used to spending it.

    francois

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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T
    $900 a month - holy f---!! Now that's a loan.
    Funny, when I read the original post I thought to myself, "$900/month student loan? How cute!" I wish mine were that low. Mine was $1800/mo. x 10 yrs. until I stupidly consolidated and refinanced it to $1350 x 30 yrs. Such a thorn in my side.

  17. #17
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    you could be dead tomorrow - run over by a bus or something - so don't wait, buy the bike.

    just be carefeul if you ride it on the street near a bus...

  18. #18
    Hey, wait up!
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    What a buzzkill

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    If you need the bike, buy it. If you don't, don't.

    So in your case, do not buy it. You got way too many bikes. Some of your bikes are probably not getting any love.

    Take that $900 and put it aside every month. Each month, do not touch for as long as you can. As soon as you touch it, your habits will change and you will get used to spending it.

    francois


    "Live within my means? Where's the fun in that?" --Homer Simpson

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    Francois makes me sad

    How often do we really need another bike ? This has helped to get my perspective back in order. I'm actually fairly responsible - good job, retirement plan, stocks, etc., it just pains me to think that these things are all that important in life. Bikes make me happy and that what's important. Props to LCdaveH who managed to quote both Homer Simpson and David Crosby

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve v
    How often do we really need another bike ? This has helped to get my perspective back in order. I'm actually fairly responsible - good job, retirement plan, stocks, etc., it just pains me to think that these things are all that important in life. Bikes make me happy and that what's important. Props to LCdaveH who managed to quote both Homer Simpson and David Crosby

    Hey.... at least I didn't ask you to calculate your net worth!

    You said you had 6 bikes. That's a lot. Make sure you are getting full use out of each one. Otherwise sell them. Think about selling two, then getting the new one.

    I have 4 bikes now I can't even ride them all even though I rode 5 days a week all season. One time, I had 8 bikes and two more in progress. It was kind of fun but kind of painful.

    A house is the goal. Think about that cozy garage to store all the bikes and all the beer!

    fc
    Last edited by francois; 12-17-2005 at 10:22 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Think about that cozy garage to store all the bikes and all the beer!
    fc
    I do have a separate beer fridge too. Thanks fc

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    If you need the bike, buy it. If you don't, don't.

    So in your case, do not buy it. You got way too many bikes. Some of your bikes are probably not getting any love.

    Take that $900 and put it aside every month. Each month, do not touch for as long as you can. As soon as you touch it, your habits will change and you will get used to spending it.

    francois
    I agree with francois, mostly.

    After 10 years of hard work, you should give yourself a raise. You're used to having a $900/month payment going out each month, so you should not put that money into your spending account. Put, say, $600/month into a Roth IRA, rainy day savings, other retirement account and give yourself a $300/month raise. Then, take your $300/month and save for a new bike; in less than a year, you'll have the money for whatever bike you want, plus be buidling your retirement.

    You do deserve some reward for your dilligence. Give yourself the raise and then do with it what you want. But keep the discipline you've taught yourself up by putting the bulk of that newfound disposable income into savings.

    In the end, you'll have your bikes and the wherewithal to ride them when and where you want.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve v
    I do have a separate beer fridge too. Thanks fc
    If you've been in school that long and owe so much you're probably getting yourself lined up for a financially secure future. Nevertheless (and it sounds like you've experienced it) there will always be a sweeter bike to buy - just like there will always be prettier women than your wife, a job with more prestige than your own, or the new version of your car. This is where the lost arts of self-restraint and committment really come in handy.
    "What is truth?" - Pilate to Jesus

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