So, the world must be ending. I know this because I went to a bicycle store this weekend. I don’t own a bike myself, but went along with my husband who was looking at getting some new bike gloves (I didn’t know that was a thing). Nonetheless, I could not have ever predicted what I would see at the bicycle store that would lead me to believe that we are really struggling as a society financially and that the end of the world must be near.
Ok, ok. I’m being overdramatic and extra sarcastic. But I really, really have never thought of the possibility of what I saw at the bike store.
First, I noticed that a lot of the bicycles were really, really expensive. Seriously, we are talking about $5,000.00. When I mentioned this to my husband he pointed out that the store must have gotten rid of their really expensive bicycles that ran up to $12,000.00. Seriously? A bicycle for $12,000.00? Unless you are a multi-millionaire or earn your income via riding a bike, then why would you consider spending as much on a bicycle as many people spend on a car?
Putting all of that aside, what really killed me was the signs I saw hanging on the $5,000.00 bicycles that stated, “6-Month Financing Available.” I thought I had contemplated all of the potential ridiculous things to finance in this world. I have blogged about why your are a financial mess if you find that you have to finance a furnace, but at least you NEED a furnace. I have written about financing mattresses and crappy furniture and cars for 7 years and how horrible I find all of those things. I believe the financing of veterinary treatment through care credit or similar companies is equally crazy. But, I had never thought of the possibility of financing a $5,000.00 bicycle. That is a new level of stupid.
The reason this is so crazy is that no one needs a $5,000.00 bicycle. I don’t begrudge parents for buying their children bikes or owning bikes themselves. It’s a great form of exercise. But you can find a bike for a whole lot less than $5,000.00. And, assuming that you are one of the few people who would be interested in a bicycle of price point, you better have more than enough cash. You better have so much money that paying $5,000.00 for something doesn’t give you a second thought. You better be maxing out your retirement, be fully insured with life insurance, own your cars outright, own your house outright (or be pretty damn close). You should be a person who has a lot of investments and hears only words of praise from their financial adviser about how well they are doing saving for retirement, etc. If you have children you better be maxing out their 529 plans. If there is any debt outside of a mortgage then a $5,000.00 bicycle is out of the question. If there is not $5,000.00 to pay for the $5,000.00 bicycle then it is really out of the question. If you don’t have $5,000.00 to pay for a bicycle and you finance one anyway I predict that you will see me or another bankruptcy attorney in the near future. No one wants to file bankruptcy, so do yourself a favor and step away from the $5,000.00 bike. Luckily, the store also had a lot of bikes for $499.00. This is a much more palatable price point, but you still better not even think of financing it.
There are few things that have shocked me in life. The ability to finance a $5,000.00 bicycle has done it. The very fact that this can be accomplished makes me afraid for the future of our country. Do us all a favor. Don’t finance a bicycle. Hopefully next time I go to the store all of the little signs will have disappeared because no one uses the loan program. If we are financing $5,000.00 bicycles the end must be near.