Making the Same Mistake Twice

in Case Study, Home Expenses

I have the tendency to sometimes not think out purchases and end up spending too much money on something that I might only end up using marginally, or worse stop using after an initial “honeymoon” with the product. This has happened a few times and it annoys me that I keep falling into the same mind trap, and making the same mistake twice.

A case in point is about 9 years ago my wife and I decided to try to lose some weight, and we were doing a really good job, with diet and exercise. I decided at that point that since I liked the exercise bike at the gym I was using, we should get one at home. This decision was not a bad idea, having an exercise bike more handy might have caused me to keep up the exercise.

Where that decision fell down was that I got up sold by a young man at Fitness Depot, who convinced me that I should buy a good exercise bike to make sure that I got a quality work out at home. At the end of it, I believe we paid upwards of $700 for the bike (possibly more), and when we got it home, it did get used a fair amount, however, eventually my exercise regimen declined and the bike then started to languish in our basement.

Occasionally I would try to restart an exercise program, but the bike started having technical difficulties, which is not surprising given it had printed circuit boards in it, and a very fancy display. The problems were intermittent so sometimes it would remedy itself and sometimes it wouldn’t. This all happened long after the warranty had expired, and to repair it would cost upwards of $200, so that was out of the question.

At the start of this year, my knees started giving me problems, and after a fair amount of physiotherapy it was suggested I get back into biking to lose some weight and strengthen my joints as well. I went back downstairs to find that my fancy exercise bike was now most definitely Up On The Roof and it was not going to work at all.

I started catching myself looking at brand new exercise bikes on line and thinking,It’s a worthwhile investment, which it might be, however, my nagging side kept pointing out how much was spent on the previous bike and our experience with this.

Used Bikes?

I decided to try to see if there were other folks who had exercise bikes in their basement doing nothing, and see if they wanted to sell them. Tried the bulletin boards at work, and got one response, but nothing much came of that.

Finally went on to Kajiji (the home of cheap folks) and found 2 different exercise bikes that fit my needs, and ended up getting one for $100, that is older, but I like a great deal. We had to make a fairly long trip to go and pick it up, however, for the past week I have been enjoying using this bike, and I no longer have a nagging sensation that I might have spent too much money for this useful tool.

Is this used bike going to last forever? I think it will eventually wear out, or we may need to repair it, but for now it is helping me with my renewed regimen. Am I going to keep using it in the future? I hope so, but even if I eventually give up on exercising, I will not look at the bike and think of it as a money pit.

Any other stories like this out there?

{ 9 comments }

  • larry macdonald October 5, 2010, 2:09 PM

    My wife’s looking for a ping pong table. Anyone got one gather duct in their basement?

    Reply
  • Tiny Potato September 29, 2010, 10:23 PM

    I think it’s great that people are starting to look more often for used items. In addition to savings, it’s a more environmental solution!

    Reply
  • Financial Cents September 29, 2010, 5:33 PM

    Glad to read I’m not alone falling into the “honeymoon” purchase trap!

    Cheers, Mark

    Reply
  • Dd September 29, 2010, 12:31 PM

    I love kijiji!

    Unlike you, I try to find ways to stay out of shape–and let me tell you I am very good at it 😉

    I found a treadmill for $50 bucks on kijiji and now have trained my two Chocolate Labs to run on it 😀

    Reply
    • bigcajunman September 29, 2010, 2:00 PM

      OK now that is a good use of Kijiji, but a bad use of treadmills!

      Reply
  • Online Investment Pro September 29, 2010, 9:34 AM

    Ouch, sorry about the money pit fall with the first bike, but good job on the second bike. I have not fallen into any of those money pits yet, but my friend did sign up for a gym membership. Much like your story, her regime changed and when she tried to cancel it, they charged her more than $400.00 for an early cancellation. I know how much she suffered, so I won’t fall into those kinds of contracts…

    Reply
  • Credit Cards September 29, 2010, 9:27 AM

    Same story. My spouse decided to lose weight paid for a quarter upfront for a gym, rather than choosing a month option.
    And in the end the visit to the gym lasted only for a week rest gone down the drain.

    Reply
  • Balance Junkie September 29, 2010, 8:38 AM

    We wanted to get a new Mac computer, but didn’t want to pay top dollar for it. My husband found someone selling a new model on Kijiji. He was a young guy about to get married and I think he was in a cash crunch. He seemed to be suffering a little buyer’s remorse at having spent so much money on a new computer.

    We saved a couple of hundred dollars on the latest model and the young man had some cash in his pocket. You don’t find deals on Apple stuff very often. We just happened to look in the right place at the right time.

    Reply

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