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Old 03-30-04, 12:46 PM   #1
DEK
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My Dilemma. Your Thoughts.

I put a bike on lay-a-way at a very good price; at least I think it is. It's a new '03 model at a sale price of about 45% of the original price. Just recently, however, I found out I may be losing my job as my company is being bought out. My wife has told me to go ahead and get the bike because the one I have is old (> 30 years) and it's hard to get parts for, it's old technology, etc. I just don't know if I can buy the bike and not feel guilty about it when I may not have a job to pay the bills. But then I think I may never get a chance at a price like this again on a bike I really like.

So, the question is: do I buy the bike or not?
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Old 03-30-04, 12:48 PM   #2
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Buy the bike. Worst case scenario is that you'll have lots of time to ride it.
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Old 03-30-04, 12:49 PM   #3
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Listen to the woman and buy it.
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Old 03-30-04, 12:54 PM   #4
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How long can you keep it on layaway? How much savings do you have or can get by okay with your wife's salary? Are you in a career that you will find a job fairly quickly?

If you can won't be starving when you buy the bike, get it.. I was layed off 2 years ago and because of the economy, it took me 4 months to find a comparable job. You have to do something you enjoy besides worry about finding a job..
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Old 03-30-04, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bab
How long can you keep it on layaway? How much savings do you have or can get by okay with your wife's salary? Are you in a career that you will find a job fairly quickly?

If you can won't be starving when you buy the bike, get it.. I was layed off 2 years ago and because of the economy, it took me 4 months to find a comparable job. You have to do something you enjoy besides worry about finding a job..
4 months, not bad -- took me a year and a half to find a "comparable" job (in work, certainly not in salary though... bugger)... will you have unemployment insurance?
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Old 03-30-04, 01:00 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear the bad news.
I was in a similar situation a few years ago. My wife told me to get the bike. She said it would be better for my health than a few extra dollars in the bank.
When you get stressed (job hunting) you can go for a nice stress-relieving ride and when you're sitting around the house (waiting for the phone to ring) and putting on the pounds you can go riding.
Get the bike!
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Old 03-30-04, 01:02 PM   #7
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bab: I can keep it on layaway for about another month. Between savings and severance I can go about 5-6 months before I would have to slit my wrists. We can't live on my wife's salary alone. My wife could support just us (mortgage, food) but I have child support payments, car payment, credit cards, etc. that she couldn't handle. I'm a computer programmer and the job market is way down. In fact, our new company is big on out-sourcing (many jobs sent to India) which adds to the possibilty of losing my job.

As for having the new bike for something to do, I already have a bike for that. Actually, I have 2 - a '73 Motobecane and a '01 Specialized Hardrock.

And this is probably the crux of the issue. Buying a new bike when I already have bikes and I might lose my job.
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Old 03-30-04, 01:33 PM   #8
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Depends on how much money your new bike will cost. Is it a few hundred, over a thousand, etc.? If it's only a few hundred & you can get by for a few months and the bike will get a lot of use, then I'd go for it. If it's over a thousand & you really need the money to pay other bills, then I'd pass. Have you talked to the LBS to see if they'll let you hold it a little longer, maybe give them a little more deposit? Will they let you make payments over time while you're looking for a new job. You have your wife's blessing to get it, so as long as you're both in agreement, you don't need to feel guilty. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-04, 01:35 PM   #9
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Without getting into too much detail, you have to compare the cost of the bike to how much longer it can hold you out in addition to 5-6 months. I was in kind of the same situation you're in with my part-time job right now and my girlfriend and I try to crunch the numbers before we commit to it. In the end, I ended up getting my first and only road bike for now.

If you already have two bikes and they're in relatively good condition and ridable, take it out and enjoy the ride. When things get better, you can get a new bike. You can always keep an eye out for last year's models later on, a lot of shops will be willing to give you a discount on them. I got my bike for nearly half off without much searching at my LBS.

If on the other hand the bikes are completely unridable, then definitely get a new one. Or if you can cut corners here and there enough that it won't significantly impact your financial situation, then definitely get the new bike, it'll probably pick your spirits up too if and when the inevitable happens.
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Old 03-30-04, 01:41 PM   #10
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Maybe leave it on layaway for the month to see what happens.
How long do you have left at that job? Are they giving you any kind of severance.? If you have some time before you are let go, maybe something will come a long quicker than you think..

I think Tech jobs have been tough to find, but they say the jobs are coming back(haven't seen it here in Florida yet) even though all you hear is about the outsourcing.. Florida unemployment tops out at $275 a week, so it was only good for helping pay the insurance..

Bottom line is you have to go with what will make YOU financially comfortable.. B If you find a job right away, you will kick yourself for letting the bike go. If it takes awhile to find a job, you will kick yourself for buying the bike.. Whatever you do, don't look back.. As the cliché goes, hind site is twenty twenty
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Old 03-30-04, 02:48 PM   #11
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I really appreciate all the input so far. Thanks.

Now I'll try to put answers to everyone's responses.

I talked to the LBS and they were reluctant to extend me any further as it's already an '03 model. I think they may be worried they would have to discount the bike even more to sell it.

At this point I have no idea how much longer I have at my job. It could be a month, a year or I may never get let go. Management is being very closed mouth about lay-offs at this point. I will get a severance but it's only 6 weeks. I got to this job because I was layed off from my last job and I was out of work for almost 6 months. Unemployment is a joke. Once the taxes are paid it's not enough for food for a week.

The cost of the bike (with tax) is about $500.00. When I first started looking at a new ride I was looking at some in the $800-$1000 range but my wife balked at that. So, when I found this deal she was cool with it.

My other 2 bikes are definitely ridable. I try to take care of them getting tune-ups regularly and overhauls as needed.

I'm really torn over this. I obviously would like to have the bike but I would definitely "look back" if I bought it and then got layed off.
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Old 03-30-04, 02:54 PM   #12
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I'm curious what is the bike you are looking at?
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Old 03-30-04, 02:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm curious what is the bike you are looking at?
It's an '03 Fuji Newest.
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Old 03-30-04, 03:04 PM   #14
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If really worried about it, save the money and post your wish bike on this site when you can afford it. Alot of bike shopp owners subscribe here and could very likely help you out. There is always E-Bay as well (though I personally have never bought anything from there).
If you didn't have a good riding bike I'd say buy it, but with a working bike it is a much tougher situation. The way I justify all my bike related purchases is simple: I ask my self "How much is my good health worth to me?" Granted that offers me the go ahead to buy Damn near everything I see
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Old 03-30-04, 03:19 PM   #15
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If you go ahead and buy the bike, and things get really tight financially, would there be much chance you could sell it? Given how little you're paying for it, you may be able to sell it for very little loss (or poss. even a break-even).
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Old 03-30-04, 03:19 PM   #16
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Hey your bike's almost like mine. I picked up a Giant OCR2 for 550.

I say get it. It's 500 and I'm sure you've got most of it paid for already. I'm really starting to enjoy my ocr and in the end, even if I have to cut back on other things to pay for it, the joy of riding it more than makes up for it.

I know for some people, they pay $500 for a set of pedals but for me and judging from your dilemma, $500 means a lot, at least it does for me but I know in the end, it's well worth it.
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Old 03-30-04, 04:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEK
I put a bike on lay-a-way at a very good price; at least I think it is. It's a new '03 model at a sale price of about 45% of the original price. Just recently, however, I found out I may be losing my job as my company is being bought out. My wife has told me to go ahead and get the bike because the one I have is old (> 30 years) and it's hard to get parts for, it's old technology, etc. I just don't know if I can buy the bike and not feel guilty about it when I may not have a job to pay the bills. But then I think I may never get a chance at a price like this again on a bike I really like.

So, the question is: do I buy the bike or not?
I am guessing but if you back out of the layaway don't you lose the money you put into it? If so get the bike cause then you could at least sell it and even though it would be at a loss. That money down is lost anyway and at 45% of the orig cost you could break even.

Or just get it and ride! Not having a job can really get you down but going for a nice ride always makes ya feel great.
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Old 03-30-04, 04:47 PM   #18
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I justify mine with the gas prices. I figure I save $40 a week on gas by riding the bike. Lets see 550/40 = 13.75 so you would pay for the bike in saved car expenses inabout 3 months with an extra week. I have commuted by roadbike ever since I realized my commute was basically' just a 20 mile bike ride (and what' a way to start the morning). Anyway, don't know if that helps you rationalize or not but it worked for me. If you lose your job will it be easier to afford a bike or a car? Just a thought.
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Old 03-30-04, 05:06 PM   #19
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I hate to be too practical here. But, you said the magic words "credit card debt". Take the $550 and pay it on the credit cards. Buy a new bike when the credit card debt is $0. If it is anything else, you really cannot afford a new bike. Then use Paul L's idea to commute (if it is safe in your area, where I live, no) and put those savings into the credit card debt also. When you get those suckers payed off, then start saving (not putting the plastic down) for a bike. You will be sooooooooo much better off in the long run.
PS. There are alway going to be "last years model" sales. Good luck with the job.
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Old 03-30-04, 07:53 PM   #20
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I'm a joker in life but I take the dang ole bills seriously. I say keep the bike in layaway as long as you can and hopefully you will find another job quickly. If not there will always be bike deals down the road. Nothing puts a strain on a marriage like a stack of unpaid bills. Atleast you have a couple other bikes to ride!
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Old 03-30-04, 08:27 PM   #21
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It's a wife trick! Take her suggestion and buy the bike and the wrath will come down on you later when she goes shopping and spends even more. Seriously, if I were getting laid off and were bicycle challenged as you say you are, I'd still save the money. This type of sacrifice goes a long way with wives. Then when you're back to work you can feel better about spending $2,000.00 on a much nicer model.
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Old 03-30-04, 08:57 PM   #22
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one of the great things about living in the chicagoland area <it ain't the weather> is the employment opportunities. this will turn out great and you will learn how to be conservative, but not completely shut yourself down. you can't put a price on comfort. your mental and physical comfort is important.
you'll work many hours, days, weeks, years in your life >>>>but getting a bike 55% off only comes once in a lifetime.

your wife obviously knows the bigger picture here by supporting this purchase. her actions tells me she knows the value of having her man happy. a happy guy is a productive one.
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Old 03-30-04, 11:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEK
bab: I can keep it on layaway for about another month. Between savings and severance I can go about 5-6 months before I would have to slit my wrists. We can't live on my wife's salary alone. My wife could support just us (mortgage, food) but I have child support payments, car payment, credit cards, etc. that she couldn't handle.
I don't know the law there, but here your wife isn't responsible for your child support payments. If your salary is zero, so should your child support be. Also consider selling the car. Concentrate on clearing the credit card as soon as possible too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEK
I'm a computer programmer and the job market is way down. In fact, our new company is big on out-sourcing (many jobs sent to India) which adds to the possibilty of losing my job.
Since you don't know how much longer you may or may not have, you at least still have some money coming in to build up a buffer. But I wouldn't be waiting around while they dither about deciding on your fate. I'd be out looking for a new job NOW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEK
As for having the new bike for something to do, I already have a bike for that. Actually, I have 2 - a '73 Motobecane and a '01 Specialized Hardrock.

And this is probably the crux of the issue. Buying a new bike when I already have bikes and I might lose my job.
Well, and I'm only speaking for myself here, with two bikes in the shed I wouldn't even be looking at new bikes, no matter how good a deal you find. Are your existing bikes really that unsatisfactory? Maybe you could sell the Specialised.

If you can get the money back that you've already put down (I suspect there'll be a penalty, but I'm sure they can't keep all of it) I'd say forego the new bike until your situation is more stable/certain. On the other hand, how much difference will $500 (less whatever you've already paid) make?

I guess all I'm saying is, ultimately it's solely a matter between you and your conscience. The fact that your having enough doubt to post here about it says a lot though. It sounds like a conflict between your conscience and your desire - which one wins is up to you.
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Old 03-31-04, 07:41 AM   #24
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Thanks to everyone for your input. It's very helpful.

I wish I could ride to work but it's not an option. I live about 40 miles from my ofice and I would have to ride thru some questionable neighborhoods; so, I take the train. And the train station is only about a mile away. So, I wouldn't save anything by riding to the station. In addition, given my current poor physical condition, an 80-mile round-trip ride everyday wouldn probably kill me - on the very first day.

For various reasons, I NEED a car. No option there, either.

Right now I'm leaning towards not buying the bike until things are better. I can get a full refund on the deposit so that's not a worry.

Maybe I'll put a little money into my '73 Motobecane and make it feel like new.

Thanks again to everyone for your help.
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