I Need an Outside Opinion on a Disagreement Between My Husband and Me.
January 09, 2011
Fort Worth, TX
Hi ladies, my husband and I are having a heated disagreement about his possible purchase of a motorcycle and I'm wondering what all other Moms would think. My husband is hoping to purchase a $2-3,000 used motorcycle using part of our tax return and part of his bonus check from work. We are a young family (I'm 27); I still have to finish college and we are paying his student loan every month. While I'm not against him having a bike for a hobby, I feel like right now is not the appropriate time to spend the extra money. We have a 7 year old with an expensive hobby and 1 year old twins. Hubby thinks it's not a big deal to make this one-time purchase, saying it will be his stress outlet and it's something he's always wanted. I understand his need for an outside hobby because I really need one too, (I'm new to the area, haven't made any friends yet and stay home with the kids) but think he needs to choose something less expensive for now. I feel like any extra money we have should go into savings, paying off his student loan, and to save for my tuition so I can finally go to nursing school to help our family become more financially secure. We went to bed last night still arguing about this and I'm wondering who agrees with me and who agrees with my husband? Hopefully we can find a compromise, but this is a tough one for either of us to give up :(
ADDED: So far, I'm really appreciating all the answers, thank you! I should add that the financial aspect is what is bothering me, not the fact that he will be out of the house with his hobby. I think every person needs an outlet outside of the home! Our problem is that we don't have money in savings and we live paycheck to paycheck for the most part. I have read Dave Ramsey and feel like we should be putting our money into the bank for security for the family and for our future! I wish we were more financially secure right now because I would love for my hubby to have this bike and not worry as much about $$. The expensive hobby my son does (he races BMX) is due to and enjoyed by my husband, so it's not like my son is having all the fun in place of my hubby, it's something they enjoy together.
i feel for your husband. it's hard to be a young dad and give up all the fun things of being a young man because you've got a family and need to be responsible. that's a big switch for most guys.
but you're right. it's not just the expense of the bike, it's the insurance that will come along with it.
he should get his bike. but not until the student loans are paid off. maybe you can compromise, and agree to let him get a bike when his loans are paid off but before you start nursing school?
and be understanding. it's okay for him to want this, he's not selfish. but i do think your conclusion is the right one.
You both have a good arguement. Hard to say which would be better for you. If you didnt get the bonus and the tax return life would be going just as it is, right? One thing I've learned as I've gotten older is that when you do get some unexpected money such as a gift or a bonus, you should spend it on yourself rather than paying bills with it. I regret now all the times G. sent me a couple of hundred in a Christmas or birthday card and I used it to buy groceries or pay off something...... that exra cash was meant to be enjoyed not used for something like bills that will be with you ALWAYS anyway.
There is NEVER a good time to buy something like a motorcycle and never a good time to pay off a loan either. The bike will give your hubby something to do and they do get great gas mileage. Maybe he could put a thousand down and make payments and you could put a thousand towards your loan debt and compromise that way?
If he doesnt get the bike it will just make him resent working and not being able to have some pleasure from his toil.
I'd let him get it, but I'd worry every time he slipped his helmet on and rode out of the driveway tho :)
I say support him getting the bike. I know what your saying does make logical sense, but it will be something he can tinker on in the garage when he needs to get away and a happy husband pays dividends in the end! Plus, if you support one of his more frivolous needs, he will probably be open to support something you want to do in the future. If there is money for it, it won't actually put a strain on your family, I think it will be better to support him in it. Otherwise he'll likely resent it and think on it alot even if he tries to shove it down. It is a big purchase, true, but maybe down the road when you want xyz thing, the bike will pay off for you!! :D Of course in the end, you guys should do whatever you both agree on, but if it were me, I would go with it bc my man doesn't ask for much so when he does I try to make sure it happens. Good luck!!! Hope it gets worked out soon!
Hmm...so your 7 year-old gets to have an expensive hobby but your husband doesn't? I'm afraid I'm siding with your husband on this. A bonus check is a bonus, and life goes by fast, and there is always something practical to spend our money on.
I would instead talk with him about what having this motorcycle would mean to him and to the family. Would he ride it to work? Would he expect to ride it for hours on the weekends while you are home? Would he want to go on trips with it, alone? Or would it fit into your lives with not much change in routine for you and the kids? What are the ongoing expenses/savings of having the bike and how does that fit in your budget?
Then, if he gets a hobby, what hobby are you going to take up? You have the option, too, to have an activity that is just for you.
My husband just purchased a Harley-Davidson bike (almost new). BUT we are debt free, including our house. It's a much easier decision to mak when yu're not worrying about other (unpaid) bills. I think the responsible thing to do with any *bonus* type of money is to pay down, or pay OFF debt.
Are you a Dave Ramsay fan? Dave is all about "toys" BUT when you can afford them! Sounds like you can't. Your hubby needs to put on his bog boy pants and deal.
BTW, if you are getting a large "tax return" every year, you're doing something wrong. That's your money that you've been doing without all year. And NO interest. I don't think it's a good idea to use the Federal Government as a savings bank, I'll do that myself, thank you!
You can adjust your withholding until you break even---couldn't you use that money every month since you're living paycheck to paycheck? Just a thought......
I think its selfish for him to want to spend that much money soley on himself right now while your trying to raise a young family. My husband recently wanted to buy a $5000 four wheeler. Im pregnant with my third kid, I have been at a loss with my business for the past 3 years and he is on the verge on being laid off. Finally after fighting about it, I said "FINE" You use your own common sense and judgement and if this is something you really feel like you NEED to do right now, then do it, but I hope you are loving that damn four wheeler when you get laid off and we cant pay our house payment. No, its selfish!
I personally think its whats wrong with the ecomony today, people buying things they dont need, while not being able to afford the things they do. Makes me crazy!!
Honestly, if it will bump his attitude positively, and it's a one-time big purchase (doesn't need an extra couple of hundred dollars to fix up)... let him go for it. Just this one time. Then, whenever he wants to buy something else you don't need, tell him to take a ride. He'll stop whining and love you to pieces for 'allowing' him to get it. Who's to say you won't even get enough back for it? I would support him on this one... think of it as an IOU... he will definately owe you after this one. It also kind of sounds like you resent him for coming up with a hobby when you don't have one for yourself. I get like that. And I know that there are better ways to spend the money (there will ALWAYS be a better way to spend the money)... but sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot. I hope that makes sense. I've struggled with this exact same situation in the past with my fiance and a 3 wheeler... but you know what? The second money got tight, he sold the 3 wheeler, and I hadn't even brought it up. Just support him on this one. I know I'm playing devils advocate, but... I think once he's happy, you'll be happy... and like I said, he'll owe you one, BIGTIME!!
Any debt you have whatsoever -student loans, car loans, credit cards -you need to take the tax return and pay it off. Let him know that he can certainly get a bike someday, but right now all debts need to be paid off and if you have no debts (although you do have student loans) then it needs to go straight into tuition for you or a savings account. He can find a different hobby that doesn't require an initial 2-3000 dollar investment. Plus, that's to buy the bike. If he's going to be working on it and fixing it up, then he'll need to spend money on it constantly. He will also need insurance for the bike, and that will cost money. Anyone living paycheck to paycheck does not need something like this! When you have 3 kids and no savings, you just have to suck it up and wait for expensive hobbies.
This is really hard. Overall, your husband is wrong. That is an irresponsible thing to do with the money, when you have debt, etc.
However, knowing what I now know about men, I think it might be worth it in the long run to let him have it, and suffer the financial consequences. When men feel they are deprived, they can take it out of the family in many ways. When they feel fulfilled, they are much more pleasant to be around.
So I say suck it up, make it clear this can be his only big purchase, and then ask him what he thinks you should buy with YOUR $2,000. (But, since you are financially responsible, you of course won't buy yourself anything that expensive.) Good luck, and good for you for being financially wise.
I see both sides to this. I think it's great you are thinking of the finances but really I get the feeling you don't want your husband to have a hobby b/c you don't. I would suggest trying to see how much your insurance would go up each month if he got a bike. That would really be the deciding factor for me. When my husband gets a bonus, we treat ourselves to something that we wouldn't be able to buy any other time throughout the year. Last year my husband bought me a professional camera so I could start doing photography. Maybe think of something you would want and treat both of yourselves to a new hobby. But again, back to the insurance. If it's going to go up a lot each month, then I wouldn't do it.
They need, they want....therefore, they will find any means possible - both financially & emotionally - to justify their actions. & this is not "mean-mouth" woman talk....it's simply a fact of life. & as women, we too justify our own needs.....
That said, I fully agree that this is not the best time from a financial standpoint for a motorcycle. No matter how much gas $$ he saves, it still does not compensate for what that $$ could do towards his student loans - which I assume carries an interest rate. That same couple of thousand dollars would create a very basic nest egg for your family. Are you prepared for an emergency ....where your husband could be off of work for 3 months? Do you have health insurance thru his employer? If so, & if your husband is off work ....in most cases, you are responsible for the monthly health insurance premium- not the employer. In our case, my husband's disability insurance covers only that health insurance premium & not our monthly bills! Are you prepared for this type of emergency?
I applaud you for your pragmatic stand on your finances. I also applaud you for having goals & devising a means to reach those goals! I wish you Peace!
Is buying the motorcycle keeping you out of nursing school?
I think compromise is the only answer, but you have to do it together. If you both try to "win" this argument someone will be left a loser.
Child's expensive hobby, motorcycle, nursing school.......... make a budget and time line so that it works. Ask your husband to help you get what you want, and you make it your goal to get what he wants.
Do you work part-time? Have you considered a business from home to help out the family? That's what I do. In this way maybe you can work towards your goals faster.
If I were in your situation, I would talk with my husband about the fact that it's not necessarily a one-time purchase. Sure, buying the bike would be the initial outlay of cash. But what about the other "stuff" that goes along with it? Ask him what it will cost to get the helmet (or helmets if you're going along for the ride!), any special clothing he would need, is he planning on joining a club to join others for rides?, bike maintenance, gas, the special training and licensure that he may have to get. That being said, with economic times so tough for everyone, it is a good time to get a "steal" on certain items like motorcycles and boats; can he maybe open a small account and add to it over the next six months to buy a bike? Maybe the two of you could pick something together that you would both like to develop as a passtime rather than using the tax refund and bonus to get him a hobby that will actually cause him to spend more time away from home?!
I agree with the fact that this is a difficult discussion - you both have great arguments! I agree with you in that there are other things to spend the money on, but as I have learned - I have to agree with the idea of a happy husband pays dividends in the end (my husband is a golf fanatic!). Anyhow, what if you suggest splitting the return in half - he gets half to do with it as he wants & you get the other half to do with it as you please? Then he can continue to put away money for his hobby & you can either find your own hobby or put it away for a rainy day (I would suggest spending it on you though because YOU need time to yourself!).
Remember that in most matters between husband and wife, resolution is not often achieved by one convincing the other that he/she is right. Although I think you are being more practical and rational than your husband, I suggest that you demonstrate respect for his desire, especially if you think it will not fade away. Tell him that you would love to make him happy, but you don't understand how the family can afford it. Work with him to review the numbers and let the numbers do the talking.
I'm on your side. This is an ongoing issue with myself and my husband. I am totally against motorcycles though. We have 2 girls and I tell him all the time that he needs to find a less expensive hobby for now. He once had a 4 wheeler that ended up sitting in the garage being rarely used. It was a HUGE waste of money. I told him that in the future, when the girls are a bit more grown and he still wants it, then he can get it. Mostly I am afraid of him being injured on it and it really worries me. I of course just hope he will grow out of it and not want one by the time he gets older :)
Luckily though, we really can't afford it right now anyway. And he has a great interest in all kinds of vehicles. So sometimes on different days, I can steer him in the direction of looking at pickup trucks or something like that. Do you think you can do that with your husband? Its worth a shot to see if you can steer him in a different direction.
I think if all yr you are only spending money towards bills you should be able to spend that tax return on a little something extra. My husband and i have a really tight budget and we look foward to when we get our tax return and can go on a little shopping spree. this yr we are hoping to get a second car since he is always using mine to get back and forth to work.
I think if all yr you are only spending money towards bills you should be able to spend that tax return on a little something extra. My husband and i have a really tight budget and we look foward to when we get our tax return and can go on a little shopping spree. this yr we are hoping to get a second car since he is always using mine to get back and forth to work.
I agree that this is tough to say who's "right". You both have valid points, but I feel like maybe this is more of an issue where you feel slighted that if he gets a motorcycle and your 7 y/o has a hobby...what do you have, besides taking care of the twins?! ;) You mentioned that you want an outlet too, and you should absolutely have one, but you can't stop him from one too. That money could absolutely go to the things you mentioned, but I also tend to agree that maybe putting it towards something you want is a good thing b/c it is a bonus.
Really to make this decision you have to discuss how the motorcylce will be used and how much more money will be spent on it. As others mentioned, will he need the rest of the stuff, like a vest, helmet, etc. Will he need to buy replacement parts, is it in good shape, is he planning on riding it to work, etc. If it's going to be of good use, besides being just a hobby, it might be a fruitful purchase. BUT, you have to also make it clear that you will be wanting to take some time for yourself too in terms of finding some friends, joining a book club, etc.
I think you should have a budget plan for how your debt is paid off (the student loan and anything else), how you build tuition savings and also get regular savings up to at least 6 months of pay. That plan would obviously extend over a period of time but you would know that as of xx/xx/xx, you can start school, his student loan is paid, etc. Any time you are under budget in a month, you could take 50% of the extra money towards extra savings or debt payout and 50% to mutually agreed upon purchases. Anything like the refund and bonus that is beyond your regular income, could also go under the 50-50 rule. So you could take 50% of the bonus/refund for savings, and split the other 50% between the 2 of you. He could have 25% towards a fund for a motorcycle, and you could have 25% towards whatever you chose (and you might choose to build the tuition fund faster). One important part of getting on track financially is to learn that you have to wait for things. Getting a couple of big checks doesn't mean it's time to self-indulge. This way his dream gets a big jump start, but you aren't ignoring the need to pay off debt and save.
ahhhh yes the boys and their machines!, If you have an expensive hobby also i would be more inclined to agree to it. Sometimes men need this kind of thing to survive, while us women only need the kiddos to be happy. If your husband doesnt already have a hobby for his own (and his own job) i think it is considerable, even with the student loans.
With all due respect, your husband is acting like a little boy. You can not afford this motorcycle. Every extra dollar needs to go towards paying off the debt you already have. Get a copy of The total money makeover by Dave Ramsey and read it together.
If you want to go to school, look into financial aid options now that you are in Tarrant county. There are incentives to go to TCC that may help pay the way.
There's never an appropriate time to spend extra money. Compromise. . Maybe you could get the 3,000 and split it. Put half in an interest bearing annuity or at least savings account to go toward your nursing school tuition or pay toward his student loans, whichever is the bigger priority right now. Then he can buy a 1500 bike or put 1500 down on a 3000 bike and pay the rest out.
My husband got a great deal on a motorcycle.. it was actually only $1000. He found it on Craigslist. He rode it for a few years. He repainted it worked on it and ended up reselling it for $3500.
He now rides a scooter! Another $1000. purchase.. it only had 50 miles on it (yes really) It is worth $2000, still..
I purchased a $100,000 life insurance policy for him the day he purchased that first motorcycle. That was my plan in case something happened to him. He also has another life insurance policy through his work.
See if your husband can find a real deal, and I like the idea of telling him to split the tax return with you so you can do what YOU want with YOUR half of the money.. You are not telling him no, you are compromising..
I think he is being reasonable. However, I have a suggestion for you. Once the money is all there and in the acct ready to buy how about you keep it in the acct for 6 months and if after the 6 months all of the funds are STILL there and the family has NOT needed to tap into the acct I would agree to the bike. To step up the deal you may also want to see how much gas he would be using for the bike monthly and see if that can be put aside monthly on a gas station of your choice's gift card and the extra funds for bike insurance put away as well. If these two things can both be accomplished I say DEAL! This way he knows you SUPPORT his idea of getting a bike for himself but you are also looking to go the responsible route about it. My man wants a bike, and we agreed we would get his/hers after our cars were paid off. Well they are both paid off but we decided to put that off until we buy a house. He has done a great job understanding that we need to make sure we are in a GOOD financial place to make this investment but he does have other hobbies that keep him happy for the time being (PS3). I think some compromise and smart agreements need to be made here, and the above is what I would reccomend at the moment.
I think the strongest marriages are the ones where each partner has some time to themselves - to enjoy a hobby they like. My husband bought a NEW Harley ($18,000) back in 2000. I was fine with it - he worked hard and deserved some downtime. But when I became pregnant again in 2007, I told him the bike needed to go - not because it was an expense, but because it was DANGEROUS. It takes just that one, old lady who doesn't see him and my children will be without a Dad and me without my husband.
Reluctantly he agreed and now does a lot of freshwater fishing, which our 10 year old daughter also enjoys. He loves it, it is a cheap hobby and he is safe and relaxed.
Tell him that if he needs a hobby, you are all for it, but a bike is not appropriate with children at this time (when they are grown, fine). Ask him if he is willing to do something safer, that he also enjoys. Maybe restore an old muscle car that will take years and hopefully, at some point, involve the kids. If he insists on a bike, then you need to insist on life insurance for him.
You need to tell him to use only his own bonus check... the tax return is for the FAMILY UNIT, not the HUSBAND UNIT. Remind him he's an adult, with responsibilities and a family... he's not a single guy anymore where he can spend his money whenever and whatever his immature heart desires.
IF his bonus check covers the bike - GREAT! If not, tell him to use that bonus to start a savings account for the motorcycle fund.
I think you both should sit down and read Dave's Total Money Makeover together....sounds like you want the Dave Ramsey's approach but he doesn't. Its either live like no one else NOW so that you can live like no one else later on in the future ;()) I totally agree with you but this is usually a woman's thing to want a "nest egg" and to "save" whereas men are not as concerned about it. Do you ever notice when you go shopping you tend to pick up "more" or "extra" of something whereas if the hubby goes he will buy what is needed for "now". We are like those wintertime animals where we like to save up for later because we want to be prepared if something happens. If you and your hubby have no debt and have a decent savings already then yes he should be able to do what he wants to with the money but you both have to be in agreement and right now you are not...........that's a problem. Someone is going to have to compromise. I picked up the Total Money Makeover for FREE at my local library .....both of you read it together before you both make any compromise or decision about how the money is to be spent.
If it's his part from the taxes and his bonus, then let him spend it accordingly and don't entertain his financial gripes down the road. Just go to the table with an agreement for future savings plans and next year's taxes and bonuses.
Id let him have this one time purchase. Unless this purchase is going to prevent you from starting school. That is. If your living pay check
to paycheck 2-3k$ isn't going to solve your problems, and maybe get you a hobby and spend a little on yourself...just to add, If he was looking at a new one I'd say NO!! And especially since your son does it I'd let him.
I would split the difference. Agree to 1/2 the avail money towards savings and 1/2 towards the bike. I'm the super responsible person in our marriage, so this is hard for me to say. but if he feels this strong about it, he will resent you if he gives in.
I personally side with you lol. I mean your adults and you have children and a family to support and if you need the money to put you through school and you have debt I mean that just makes sence. Your husband will have retirment and as your kids get older to do that stuff but as much as it somtimes sucks somtimes being a parent means giving up things you want. However I do see how everyone needs that hobby. So could you maybe compromise and put the bonus towards the bike and the tax return towards bills? Or start a special account to start putting 50 bucks here and there away so he at least feels like together you're working towards his goal instead of "yeah you can get it in 40 years when we retire and have money" lol...So maybe he won't get the bike in a few months but within the next year and a half or 2 years?
I am not at all bothered by the money, expense, having a one time big purchase for a hobby, etc.
I am completely bothered by the safety factor. Coming from a medical family with both ER docs and ER nurses....motorcycles are pretty much outlawed in our family. Especially to young parents with young children.
Honestly, you do not want to see the body parts of young men hit on motorcycles strewn all over the road. And you don't want to see the one's that make it to the ER either.
Everyone thinks those accidents only happen to others. They happen all the time, when you are least expecting, when you are not at fault.
Please be safe to raise your kids, then get a bike.
Yes, it's pretty expensive, and not something I would agree to let my husband do in your situation. You have student loans as well as no savings, two things that are pretty scary. Not to mention that he will also need to purchase insurance/registration and licensing fees to go along with the bike.
I am also a SAHM of twins (turned 3 today) and live in Fort Worth. I am a member of Fort Worth Moms of Multiples (Fwmom.org) lots of great moms & kids. Check out the website or plan to visit a meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. It would be a great place to meet people and to have support from others with multiples.
I haven't read the other responses yet, but I will say ...we are a young family too, Im sahm and my DH is a selfemploy so we lived week by week, Im also in a lot of debt and right now, I have legal issues with the father of my oldest daughter so ALL THE EXTRA MONEY for the last 2 years is been spend in lawyers, (haven't had a decent vacation either) because I always try to put the money on savings so we use it as we need it, we never had the chance to enjoy it, so let him have his bike that will take a lot of stress from your lifes and next year you take the money for whatever you want...(pay debt, start your savings or even a new hobbie for you too)
You have a lot of responses & I didn't read any of them. You said 'You' read the Dave Ramsey book, but what about your husband? I will assume he hasn't since you posted this question, lol. So my suggestion is that you tell him that both of you need to take the Dave Ramsey class together (it's way better than just reading the book) and after you both complete the class you will revisit purchasing the bike. Also this would be a good question to ask at the Dave Ramsey class since you will be talking openly in front of bias people. And I agree with you although I love riding too!
Before I read what you added, I would have said go along with your husband about the motorcycle. However, after reading that the 2 of you have no savings, I agree with you. If something were to happen, families have to have money in the bank to pay for home, bills, food, etc. Everyone thinks losing a job or something like that won't happen to them, but it does everyday. It happened to us several years ago right after the birth of our second child. I was a stay at home mom and it was right before the holidays. If not for our savings, we would have had a very difficult time. Use the money for the motorcycle to open a savings account instead. Your husband is so young, he has plenty of time to buy a bike in the future. When I need to release some stress, I go for a long walk. It's free!
hhhhmmmmm...I'm kinda stuck here. I love to ride!!!
1. He needs an outlet. It might a good way for him to get his aggression out.
2. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, my answer would be NO, not only NO but HECK NO!!!
3. Sounds like your son needs a less expensive hobby - BMX for a 7 year old?! Heck mine are 8 and 10 and their hobbies are Tae Kwon Do and Baseball....not expensive bikes and such.
4. If the refund and bonus are substantial - I would pay down debt and put some in savings or invest it. You need to save for your future as well as your children's. You are young - I wish I would've listened to my dad about retirement when I was in my 20s....things would be different now....but I've learned my lesson and "grown up".
5. If your employers have IRAs especially ones that match - take advantage of that -
6. if your employers have the education programs - take advantage of those as well!!!
Talk over with your husband about this "one time" cost - insurance, helmets, riding gear, etc. and find out if you can afford this "one time purchase" - has he thought about all the consequences of this purchase?
You need to sit down and have a open and frank discussion with your husband. You need to come to some sort of compromise to the hobby's and realize that even though you are young, it's NEVER too early to save for your future.
Paying down debt and living debt free IS possible. We are debt free with the exception of our home. We paid cash for both of our cars. We have 4 months of my husband's salary in savings. We need to invest more and save more....we have NO CREDIT CARDS! Zip, Ziltch, NADA (we are both bad at spending!!!) so we made the decision to be a no-credit card family. I'm not gonna say it's easy - it's not. But it really makes you THINK before you purchase something - do I NEED it or do I WANT it. HUGE difference.
Best of luck to you! I hope you can come to a compromise in regards to your finances!!
You really need to have an emergency cash fund of 8-12 months of your expenses. This is especially important in this job market. What would you do if he lost his job? Tell him that the emergency cash fund is for EMERGENCIES, not his motorcycle. And, I hope if he does get the cycle, that he also has life insurance so he doesn't go out and get killed on it and leave you with nothing.
I think tha tall members of a family should be required to save up for a purchase. Let him take a portion of the money (a third or a quarter)and stick it in a savings account and contribute a a little bit each month). We have a rule of any found money, we spend half and save half. I don't think that it is really fair to blow it all on something just for himself as he is a member of a family. That said, I think with this approach, you need to support his saving efforts and maybe put aside some money too to help him save.
Has your husband read Ramsey? I think that he needs to. I would not be okay with this hobby. My BIL recently went on an expensive trip and bought my sister an expensive camera to make up for it!! I wanted to shove that book at him and force him to read it. They are also living paycheck to paycheck. The right decision for the family needs to be made, and right now, that decision is to NOT buy the motorbike.
Ughh! No way to the bike right now. With one child and 1 year old twins, no way! You have debt, so no way! You have not finished school, so no way! There is not one thing in your situation right now that would justify spending that money on a fun hobby that is just for him. He can find fun for much cheaper than that at this point in time. The bike can be in the future sometime, but not right now, especially with the babies being so young!
I can sort of relate. My SO builds hot rods and muscle cars, both can get very expensive. Thats his outlet, he needs it, and I respect that. I don't have any "hobbies" but I do like to spend money on stuff I like (hair, nails, clothes, etc). Our rule is that as long as the bills are paid and we have X amount in savings, spend away.
I think the bike is fine, but now's not the right time. I agree with you. Have $1000 in the bank (no more at this point) and pay off loans. Once that's done, you can save for the bike. Maybe it could be a motivation for him that you want him to have the bike, you just want to have everything else in place first. We did the Dave Ramsey plan and it changed our life, for the better. It's definitely the way to go.
I'm sort in your shoes. My hubs got a nice bonus. He has many plans for it, none of it is for bills. I was out of work for over a year so we are behind on EVERYTHING. He reasons that it's a bonus , so money we wouldn't normally have anyway, like winning the LOTTO. I argue, well it's a gift and can get us out from under. So he agreed to pay one major bill we could no longer put off and the rest goes to other things he wants for himself and for us. Will your total money be what the cost of the bike is? If let's say a bike is $2K and you total with refund and bonus $4K can the $2K be put aside for loans and school? I totally get your side but maybe hubby can wait to see what actual money you will be getting before making the leap into buying the motorcycle?
my husband also wants a bike. But he understands there are more important things. One year we blew our whole tax return on a flat screen tv, ps3, and a wii, and that entire year, we had trouble paying bills. We could have payed off a $200 a month payment on a loan if we had just been a little smarter. Since then, our last two tax returns (this coming one included) have been used completely to pay off debt. I had told him after the last time we blew it, that if he wanted a motorcycle, that he needed to work to show me that he was going to make it affordable, and that we would not have a loan out on it (we took the Dave Ramsey class- so cash only). So he has been working with me to cut costs and get us out of debt (we will be after this next tax return) and then we will start saving cash for him to have his bike. There are other less expensive outlets for your husband. My husband likes to play his video games either alone or at a friends house, and that is something we already have. Your husband needs to understand that the day he decided to become a husband and father, is the day he dropped all those fun things a little further down the priority list. It would help to let him know that your full intention is to grant him that wish, as soon as it is feasable. He needs to know you are on his side too.
I haven't read all the responses yet, but I wanted to give my point of view. Will he be a "fair weather rider?" That means is he only going to ride on the weekends and when it's 85+ or is he going to ride regularly.
In Texas we have the pleasure of riding almost year round. (Hubby does ride year around.) If he plans on riding it to work and using it as his daily commuter (with the exception of when it's going to rain and it's freezing out) then I agree with him. Hubby and I both have motorcycles we ride regularly. We save about $100-$200 a month on gas riding our bikes instead of taking the SUV.
I say let him get it, with the stipulation that he rides to work regularly. In the long run you'll end up saving money. (We've figured my husband saved enough money in three months riding to work to pay for his first bike, which cost $2000)
I suggest both of you taking the financial peace course together. Maybe tell Hubby you'll revisit the bike situation after y'all have completed the course and done the homework. Put a certain amount in the budget each month to save for the bike. You're not telling Hubby "no", just "in a while."
Coming from a mom who also enjoys the stress relief of motorcycles... I would say that if you need tuition for school, that's what your tax return and bonus needs to spent on. The motorcycle can come after that is taken care of.
I'm more on your side overall. When we were in debt pretty bad for a while after a string of expensive medical biils and a couple expensive house things breaking at the same time we made it a point to put the bulk of any "extra" money towards the debt to pay it off. We allowed each other to spend a small yet bigger then usual playing amount on something "playful" that we wanted (like $100-200 each) to take the stressful edge off when we got tax refunds or bonuses.It's been several years now but we are 100% debt free (well..except for the house mortgage but that's a little harder to get rid of LOL). Both cars are paid in full, we pay any credit card charges off in full each month, never carrying a balance, and we have money in savings. We've been able to pay for emergencies in full when they've popped up. We paid in full when we replaced the broken garage door a little while back. We even have some money to play with. It is a wonderful feeling! It's a far cry from when my husband and I were first married and I looked at my grocery bill at the checkout and realized I didn't have enough to pay the $52 out of our checking account because there wasn't enough there and to charge it put me $2 from maxing out my limit, I had to dig for all the change in the drawers and pull the last couple dollars out of our wallets to add to the $5 or $6 in the checking account to make the $10 mininum payment on the credit card. Never again!
Funny, I was ready to answer you and then as I read your "ADDED" and then changed my mind. My own husband to wanted a bike but more for the reason of traffic and not for us to spend on other car but I see your situation is different. However, I was on your side till you said what hobby your son has and with that since your husband and your son like that I guess it would be good since then they will have more to do together or talk on. I personally fine it dangerous but at the same time like I tell my husband if you like doing it then it's worth the risk. So maybe you guys could compromise and save a set amount agreed each month till the amount is ready to purchase bike. I hope this helps.
A couple of things come to mind. Maybe you should both talk more about what is valued in your lives. You both seem caught up in making ends meet and careers separately, instead of your relationship together. Maybe the 7-year-old's hobby should be put on hold until the student loans or your college is paid off. Spend more family time with the children and let them pay for their own hobbies. Their time with you is for a very short time and is more valuable than sending them here or there to do something. Having them volunteer is more valuable to their character and that's what you want to focus on in kids. They will do and find what their talents are. Last but not least, sit down together and make up a Dave Ramsey plan so you are both on the same page with your finances. Maybe the bike could be a good diversion for both of you. But also think about asking for life insurance for your husband since it is a risky investment with his life.
If he is willing to use the motorcycle as his main transportation and not just a hobby then you can save money in the long run. The two of you should set a specific amount for the motorcycle. Say, 1/3 for the bonus and tax return for savings, 1/3 for you and 1/3 for him and that's what he gets to spend on the motorcycle.
My belief is that it isn't about your husband having a hobby. There are plenty of hobbies that are less expensive, until you can afford them. And if you go to nursing school and pay down your bills you will have plenty of money for fun stuff in the future. What if your car breaks down or God forbid one of you or the kids get sick and you need money that would have been in your savings. In this economy savings is a must and it must come first. People have gotten into so much trouble because they lived big and didn't save. SO the smart thing to do is to save a little bit each month for it, after you have a little in your savings that you don't touch, except in emergencies. My hubby wants a boat, but he realistic enough to know that we can't afford one for a couple years because we have other important things that we NEED. We both we still reward ourselves when we get our tax return back BUT the bulk of it will go to the savings and to pay down bills.
When adults put their "hobbies" before their family's welfare and/or financial security... trouble is on the horizon. Does he feel his personal enjoyment is more important that his babies futures? Sounds like it. Give him time to process what you have been saying to him. Try NOT to nag, but don't give up on your practical advice to him. Not only is this "hobby" going to cost your family money immediately, but it will increase your insurance and potentially put his life in danger... My husband always talked about getting a motorcycle when we were dating 10 year ago. The older we get, the less like a good idea I think it sounds. In your case, he is already enjoying the BMX stuff. Tell him to get a bicycle and ride with his boys.
I am wondering, since you talked about the money part, if you can qualify for any types of financial assistance in your schooling. There are lots of scholarships out there for all kinds of situations. Not just the standard Financial Aid packet but some other foundation or family trust type thing that might pay some of all of your tuition.
Once you get your nursing stuff done you'll have the options to save more and have that financial security.
If he needed it to get back and forth to work or for a second vehicle so you could keep a vehicle home with the kids then I might say he needed it. But if he really wants it now and it's going to destroy the peace in your home then how far are you willing to carry the argument? Is it worth the stress and anger?
I don't know how strongly you feel it's not worth it but I can honestly say my sister is about to divorce her long time husband over something I think is the silliest thing of all. He gives money over tithing because he feels led to and she thinks they need to have money in savings. She thinks since he already paid tithing that he should not give more. What a way to end up divorcing. Over Gods portion. That's just nuts to me.
If they were going hungry, if the utilities were being turned off, if the vehicles were being repossessed, so many other things then yes, he would need to keep the offering money for bills but if he wants to give extra money to his church then he should be able to if the other bills are met. I think it is good to try and budget and save money but it's not something I have accomplished yet.
I have told her and told her they both need an amount of money they get each month and that they have NO obligation to share what they do with that money with the other. If he wants to give it to God then it's his business. I also told her it should not cover any portion of any house hold expense like his lunches or travel to and from work. It should be 100% blow money. I think they would both benefit from that.
Just try and see what you can live with and try to compromise. You said you just moved here and had no friends yet. I think that means you guys just moved into a new home. Tell him to wait until.....make up some date, an anniversary, his birthday, your fist meeting/date anniversary, some significant day and tell him if he has saved up...10%, 25%, then he can go buy one up to $XXXX.
I think that you both should use the money to go out and spend alone time together instead of getting separate hobbies and use that money for babysitters and fine dining/movies!!! You might run into some people and make friends as well while your out!!! That's what I'd do anywhoo!! Good luck!!