From Prudent to Extravagant in 40 Minutes

Now, you know we plan ahead for kid expenses, whether it be school fees or summer activities, we are thinking and budgeting in advance.  .  . (most of the time).

Our daughter sure grew this year, and surprise! her bike is ridiculously small.  We tried to drum up a used bike from friends — no luck.  Thought about a bike from Target or Amazon, but we’re not real comfortable with assembling a bike with so many gears.  That brought us to the local bike shop.  Are you seeing dollar signs?  Wait, it gets worse!

My husband and I previewed the offerings at the bike shop alone to avoid possible kid disappointment.  We thought we could aim for an entry-level TREK 24″ wheel bike.  I brought her to the shop and the clerk was about the same height as our daughter.  Turns out she is ready for an adult-sized bike, and not even the smallest adult frame!  Dollar signs!

While she was testing the bikes out I was, of course, texting Mr. Saver: “Adult bike… $ 400-500, not 300. as we planned! ”  The upside is that this bike should work for her for a long time unless she hits 6 ft tall.  I advised her that she can buy her next bike because this one should last until she is 35!

mcdonalds-grimaceWe hone in on one model, only to find out the entry-level adult Trek comes in one color:  charcoal gray.  This is a moment where your parental resolve is tested.  Naturally, there is a purple bike, with better components, and it is teetering close to $500.  The clerk calls the bike “Grimace” purple.

So, for Mother’s Day, mom bought a $ 500 bike for daughter.  Quintessential parenting moment.  We have been out biking together every night when the weather cooperates.  Her bike is much nicer than mine and I may be a bit jealous of her slick looking Bontrager puncture resistant tires.  We paid in full for it… I would never finance a bike even if it were the last Grimace-purple bike in town!

Trek 7.2






10 thoughts on “From Prudent to Extravagant in 40 Minutes

  1. "No Pension, Will Travel!" with Cheryl + Paul

    The prices of bikes continue to amaze us. Cheryl and I both recently bought new ones – “entry level” they call them – for similar prices. Prior to that, we had usually bought used ones from stores. We liked stores because we could still get some advice. There used to be a very good consignment store, but they had a lot of hassles with the police because there are so many bike thieves out there trying to sell their ill-gotten gains. So they closed. If you are comfortable buying privately, Craigslist or similar can work. I bought a pretty good one from the Buy&Sell about 10 years ago. A cycling-fanatic friend of mine (he owns seven priced up to $12,000!) recommended for used bikes – this might work if you live in a big enough city. Another option could be a police auction of unclaimed recovered lost or stolen bikes. Our annual local auction boasts about 400 but you have to act fast these days as the bidding is quite professional. Apparently it was easier in the past. When I was 11, my best friend found me my first bike at that same police auction. Regardless, glad you’re out enjoying yours with your daughter. It’s a great activity to last a lifetime.

    1. Jen @ HealthfulSaver Post author

      We are also finding biking to be a good platform for learning about driving.
      I think my Dad was smiling down on us with this unplanned purchase. When I was a kid he surprised me with a trip to the bike store, and I came home with a blue Raleigh road bike, which I had until I was 35 or so. Of course, my Dad bought himself a Raleigh too and never rode it. Trying to remedy that part of the legacy 😃

  2. Flo

    Once in a while you just have to do these kinds of things. I do think that a good quality bike is an investment though, and like you said, she will have it well into adulthood.

  3. melissanicolephillips

    Yep I just bought a new bike from the local bike shop as well and am in sticker shock. But I hope that it will make itself useful for years and years to come. If a bike is to replace a vehicle like mine is, it’s good to get one with lots of life in it!

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