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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Should I pay for personal training?

January 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm (monthly budget, things I may buy) ()

So here’s the conundrum. I have a lot of weight to lose. I’m just starting back up at a gym. I’ve done it a lot before, so I’m not unfamiliar with what to do, but I’m having trouble putting routines together of what specifically to do.

Do I spend money to purchase personal training sessions to get me set up to do weight routines on my own? Or do I save the money? After all, I am in austerity mode.

3 sessions will cost $129 at 24 hour fitness (my gym). I have extra in the budget for a variety of categories, after my 2011 budget revision. I have $250 for whatever (making art, housey purchases, health, fees, overrun in any other category), though keep in mind that with my emergency fund currently scraping bottom at zero, anything I don’t spend in this area would go straight to filling it up. With only 1 full week into this month’s budget, I know there will be things i’ll need to spend money on during the remainder of the month (remember, my budget officially runs the 5th through the following month’s 4th, which is based on when I get paid, which starts on the 5th).

I think I know what I’m going to do, but I’m curious what other pf-minded folks would do?

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