Budget buster spending on the horizon

March 27, 2012 at 11:02 am (things I may buy) ()

I just did a big post on severely cutting back on my overspending. One week later, and I’m contemplating an $800 purchase! I’m considering buying a new road bike. I currently have a clunker, heavy, in need of some serious TLC and a challenge for long rides.

This past weekend, my girlfriend S and I went out for our maiden ride of the year. 30 miles and very bruised seatbones later, we discussed riding regularly (like our weekly hikes the previous 2 years) – S has a foot problem that is hampering her ability to walk let alone do a 6-hour hike. So we are going to focus on doing bike rides this year. In fact, I want to, by the end of the summer, be able to do a ride around Lake Washington (about 60 miles).

My current bike will definitely not cut it. So I started bike shopping. I know my bike sucks. I bought a road bike a year or so ago because i wanted to try it out. However, the one I bought is vintage and has the gear shifters halfway down on one of the frame bars. I feel like I’m reaching to the ground when I shift, very freaky and uncomfortable! Needless to say I haven’t ridden that bike at all. $200 wasted.

I know I need a new bike. New entry-level bikes cost $600-$800. Not including accessories like paniers for carrying extra water, lunch, a repair kit, a spare jacket. I’ll also need some more clothes (one pair of bike shorts is not sufficient): pants, a pair of shorts that don’t hurt after 1 hour (the seams are poorly done and cut into my skin), arm warms, etc. So, minimum $700-$900. Ugh.

I am serious about sticking to my $200/month spending limit on non-budgetted items. So how am I going to pay for this?

1) $200 for selling my recently purchased rug (that I bought in January) – it didn’t work in my new apartment and S said she’d buy it for me (it is perfect for her place). Money is pending, but I should get it from her shortly.
2) Sell the vintage road bike I bought for $200. I figure I can at least recoup the $200. I’ll post it on craigslist this weekend and keep it up until it sells. Bike season is coming, and I’m sure people will be looking to buy.
3) Buy it on a credit card – that will defer payment due (in full) an extra month (note that I do not have any credit card debt and would use it for ONLY something major like this, with the understanding that I would fully pay it off by the end of the statement due period).
4) Use part of the $200/month extra money over April/May – I figure I’d be able to get about $100/month to put towards a bike.
5) Defer accessory purchases until later on, after the bike is paid for (probably June or later).

This will give me about $600 by May. Not quite the full amount I need. Mixed in with the pressure to “buy now” is that I need a smaller frame, so there are less options for my size. Bike season is coming and inventory will be going down as summer approaches. I’m an REI member, and they have a 20% off coupon for a single item, availble until April 15. So if I use it, I need to purchase it before then.

Still working out the plan, but I’m carefully shopping. I went to 2 places this past weekend and will go to a few more places this weekend. I’m going to try and rent/borrow a ride bike from some local bike stores – I’ve never really ridden a road bike before (my current clunker is a hybrid). I’m putting in lots of research – this isn’t an impulse buy, and I need to do my homework.

Remaining focused,


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