Author Topic: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower  (Read 11640 times)

thegardener

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My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« on: December 18, 2017, 07:54:29 PM »
Hello all,

This is a more of a relationship question than a money question, but I'm still soliciting some mustachian what would you do advice.

So we have a two acre lawn. Some of that is taken up by our modest sized house, a large circular gravel driveway, 21 garden beds, and a significant number of trees. The land is not flat. We have owned this house for just over a year. This year, we had a lawnmower that my father in law gave us. We knew it had issues, but we weren't sure what kinds of issues. My spouse and my father spent a lot of time working on this lawnmower this summer and have recently determined that it cannot be repaired. It is quite old (appx 1980) and would cost more to fix than it is worth along with requiring significant amounts of effort and tools that we would be unable to procure.

We obviously need a new lawnmower. My spouse's solution to this predicament is to purchase a $4k zero turn lawnmower we don't have the money to pay for in cash and would need a loan for. I think a $4k lawnmower is absolutely ridiculous. I grew up mowing other people's sprawling suburban lawns for cash with a late 1980s era 28 inch cut lawnmower that was not zero turn and I survived. My spouse thinks a $4k lawnmower is entirely reasonable because his father has a $15k lawnmower and my father has a $5k lawnmower. He is convinced that a $500 lawnmower off of craigslist is entirely unreasonable and that we would be buying someone else's piece of garbage. While I would love to take over lawn mowing entirely, I currently do the lion share of household chores and between that and work, have very little ability to take on more tasks.

A little bit about us. I'm a natural mustachian. My spouse is a natural spendypants despite having parents who are decently mustaschian. (The $15k lawnmower came many years after paying off $1.5 million in farmland and $2+ million in farm equipment. He also mows over 6 acres. His parents could be FIRE right now, despite raising 7 kids). My spouse is a network administrator in graduate school and I am a grossly underpaid research assistant working towards graduate admission. We save most of our income, but it is in hsa and retirement accounts, hence why we don't have significant savings around to buy an expensive lawnmower. Our only debt is $90k on a modest house. I refuse to borrow money for depreciating assets. I would prefer to never have another mortgage, but might be willing to have another one if it also had a super reasonable interest rate.

Sorry for the length here, but if anyone has any tips for approaching this situation in a more helpful way than telling my spouse that spending $4k on a lawnmower is ridiculous, I am all ears. TIA.

hdatontodo

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 08:05:45 PM »
For less, consider a Craftsman 46" riding mower.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 08:16:16 PM »
A) I have 2.6 acres and use a small push mower.

B) even if you do a zero turn riding $4,000 seems high.  Even a brand new zero turn 54" John Deere is $3,000, what mower does he need for $4,000???

It happens to all men. We get fixated on some toy we want, and any money or logic goes out the window.  You could try logic, or distracting him with shiny things, but if he's anything like me you're probably screwed.

Papa bear

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2017, 08:16:51 PM »
Suggest goats, then meet in the middle?

Good luck!  I would be looking on craigslist or using a neighbor's mower for a season until I figured out what would work. 


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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 08:17:22 PM »
Get him a new-to-you, or new, lawnmower for Christmas. Problem solved.

Next house, don't get a 2 acre yard.

Mikila

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2017, 08:28:58 PM »
Similar Experience here.

Our solution was to hire someone to mow it for $80 every three weeks while the house was for sale.  We moved into town.  Problem solved.

In a little more detail:  Our 2 acres and the mowing of it and the maintenance of the old mower we bought off craigslist for $200 that that had inexplicable electrical problems led me to realize that our yard was taking over my life. I refused to buy any mower that cost as much as a decent used car.  With a push electric mower (since it started every time and I don't know how to nor care to work on mowers), I was mowing our yard in shifts of 2 hours every few days just to keep the acre near the house mowed below knee height.  After 9 months of that I had had ENOUGH.  My dear spouse said, I love the country, I love the privacy, I don't want to move.  I said, It's taking over my life and my country dream was sipping lemonade on the porch, not sweating in the yard in all my free time.  We moved to a quiet neighborhood in town and are much happier in town where our $200 electric mower does the job.

Mikila

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2017, 08:30:36 PM »
We considered all sorts of livestock to keep it trimmed and decided all would restrict our travelling and require expensive fences.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 08:30:46 PM »
Get him a new-to-you, or new, lawnmower for Christmas. Problem solved.

Next house, don't get a 2 acre yard.

I actually love my two acre yard. If I had a smaller one, I couldn't have 21 garden beds and I grow 90% of the vegetables and fruits we eat in a year. Husband is unwilling to live in a house that doesn't have a significant yard.

I do like the lawnmower for Christmas idea, but since Christmas is so close, maybe I'll purchase one for his birthday in April. :)

middo

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2017, 08:32:38 PM »
I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2017, 08:35:21 PM »
A) I have 2.6 acres and use a small push mower.

B) even if you do a zero turn riding $4,000 seems high.  Even a brand new zero turn 54" John Deere is $3,000, what mower does he need for $4,000???

It happens to all men. We get fixated on some toy we want, and any money or logic goes out the window.  You could try logic, or distracting him with shiny things, but if he's anything like me you're probably screwed.

I'm actually in favor of a push mower, it would be free exercise. :) That's not going to happen though. Spouse wants a Torro because my dad has a Torro. :(

For less, consider a Craftsman 46" riding mower.

Do you maintain your own mower? Thoughts on that? My dad is anti-Craftsman lawn mower, (pro John Deere and Torro) so I've grown up with that mindset and my dad has also convinced my spouse that Craftsman lawn mowers are inferior. I will need solid arguing points to go up against that view.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2017, 08:38:00 PM »
I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Geese keep your grass short? Do you get any other benefits from them? What kind of geese do you have? This is a very promising solution. Spouse grew up with goats and hates them.

katsiki

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 08:56:34 PM »
For less, consider a Craftsman 46" riding mower.

This is the solution.  I mowed ~1.25 acres for nearly 10 years with a 42" craftsman.  Worked great.  Various items started breaking and it was better to replace (I'm not handy).  Went with a poulon for a bit more money for the replacement.



middo

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 09:38:38 PM »
I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Geese keep your grass short? Do you get any other benefits from them? What kind of geese do you have? This is a very promising solution. Spouse grew up with goats and hates them.

Geese eat lots of grass. They do also eat other things from tge garden, so some low fencing of veggies or flowers might be required. Geese can be eaten, and their eggs can be eaten. They are also good watch dogs, but can be noisy.   They poop a lot.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 09:41:58 PM »
I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Geese keep your grass short? Do you get any other benefits from them? What kind of geese do you have? This is a very promising solution. Spouse grew up with goats and hates them.

Geese eat lots of grass. They do also eat other things from tge garden, so some low fencing of veggies or flowers might be required. Geese can be eaten, and their eggs can be eaten. They are also good watch dogs, but can be noisy.   They poop a lot.

The only geese I am familiar with are Canadian geese, but all of the above sounds great. I can handle some poop in my yard. I think part of the solution to this problem is going to be some geese. :) Thank you.

Syonyk

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 10:13:22 PM »
I actually love my two acre yard. If I had a smaller one, I couldn't have 21 garden beds and I grow 90% of the vegetables and fruits we eat in a year.

Can you clarify what your property mix is, in terms of lawn/house/garden/etc?

There's a big difference between, say, 2 acres with a few thousand square feet of lawn over the septic field, and 2 acres with a house in the center and the rest maintained turf.  I don't have a good feel for what your space is, though the 21 garden beds would imply there's a lot of "not-exactly-grass" around, which would make a large riding mower a challenge to use.

I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Is this because they keep the grass trimmed, or because you used it once, and the geese were such royal pains in the rear (literally) that you haven't gone out with the mower again?  My impression of a goose is that it's a pissed off device for spreading watery goose crap all over everything and biting anything moving that comes near it.

Do you maintain your own mower? Thoughts on that? My dad is anti-Craftsman lawn mower, (pro John Deere and Torro) so I've grown up with that mindset and my dad has also convinced my spouse that Craftsman lawn mowers are inferior. I will need solid arguing points to go up against that view.

At this point, a depressingly large number of the home equipment brands are just different lines of the same company.  Check into it, but I think Craftsman and Troy-Bilt are the same, I'm pretty sure Cub Cadet is in there, and I'm sure there are a few more that are literally just the same thing with different motors and different paint.  Differentiated by random features that may or may not matter.

===========

I like my lawn tools as much as the next guy, but I'm more inclined to get old stuff and fix it/maintain it.  My tractor is 75 years old (handles snow removal, driveway maintenance, and dirt work), I've got maybe $2000 into it so far, and it needs new rubber next year (so probably another $1000-ish), but then should last decades with minimal work.

I don't have that much lawn to mow, so I deal with a normal walk behind gas mower - the lawn turns our septic field into mulch material fairly efficiently.

And the rest of the property is cheatgrass, which I deal with (poorly) with a 30 year old walk behind DR trimmer (big weedeater on wheels).  Plus I've got a smaller trimmer and chainsaw for dealing with the wood piles (there were a bunch of dead trees we had to pull down to get the house in, and I'm slowly turning them into firewood for my inlaws).

It really comes down to what the property is, and what you need to maintain it.  I certainly go against the standard grain here in terms of property equipment, but we have 2 acres and are somewhat responsible for a bunch on either side of that (we live on a chunk of my inlaws property and share responsibility for a lot of it - I maintain the tractor, but my father in law uses it for driveway maintenance, the DR trimmer is his old unit I've restored to function, etc).

But, in general, I do think a $4k mower is a bit overkill unless it's a good power unit with a snowblower and some other attachments as well.

middo

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2017, 10:48:29 PM »


I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Is this because they keep the grass trimmed, or because you used it once, and the geese were such royal pains in the rear (literally) that you haven't gone out with the mower again?  My impression of a goose is that it's a pissed off device for spreading watery goose crap all over everything and biting anything moving that comes near it.

Actually, the geese are not vicious towards us.  They do need training. Catch them once when they challenge you by grabbing their necks. Put them under your arm and eyeball them and they won't challenge you again.

When I did mow it was to clean uo some weeds that they were not eating, and some longer grass down our 500m long driveway. 

They do poop. I did mention that.  It is basically grass clippings reprocessed slightly.  We have "pilgrim" geese that are differently marked males and females.  The males are white, females are grey.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 10:51:43 PM by middo »

driftwood

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Don't Mow
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2017, 01:33:27 AM »
Unless you live somewhere where you're required by your city or HOA to mow, you could just let it grow.

Isn't spending time/money on cutting a plant that just grows back and that you can't eat kind of ridiculous anyways?

nora

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2017, 03:37:08 AM »
We have three acres of lawn. Up until now we have paid someone $140 each time to mow it 4-5 times a year. Now that we live there ourselves, we have two sheep and 8 geese, and hope never to have to have the mower come again. Looking forward to eating geese too.

One other option I think is growing a crop, or hay. Probably cost neutral for such a small piece of land. Someone comes and plants it, processes it and takes it away for the value of the crop.

Anon in Alaska

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 04:37:17 AM »
Hello all, [snip] We obviously need a new lawnmower. My spouse thinks a $4k lawnmower is entirely reasonable because his father has a $15k lawnmower and my father has a $5k lawnmower.

I'm not sure you need a lawnmower at all. What you need is the use of a lawnmower. Does your father or your father-in-law to live close enough that you can borrow their mowers? Will one of them to retire, downsize, and give or sell their mower to you, soon?

Failing that I bet you have a neighbor with a mower. You might be able to borrow his, pay or barter to borrow his, or pay or barter for him to mow your lawn.

thegardener

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Re: Don't Mow
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 07:27:53 AM »
Unless you live somewhere where you're required by your city or HOA to mow, you could just let it grow.

Isn't spending time/money on cutting a plant that just grows back and that you can't eat kind of ridiculous anyways?

Iím totally in favor of this idea, in fact the grass is currently 1.5 feet tall and I donít care. However, my spouse wants the yard mowed at least once every 2.5 weeks and I donít want to listen to continued complaints about how ugly our yard is when we donít mow it.

I actually suggested replanting our entire yard with creeping lemon thyme and that idea was shot down.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2017, 07:34:55 AM »
Hello all, [snip] We obviously need a new lawnmower. My spouse thinks a $4k lawnmower is entirely reasonable because his father has a $15k lawnmower and my father has a $5k lawnmower.

I'm not sure you need a lawnmower at all. What you need is the use of a lawnmower. Does your father or your father-in-law to live close enough that you can borrow their mowers? Will one of them to retire, downsize, and give or sell their mower to you, soon?

Failing that I bet you have a neighbor with a mower. You might be able to borrow his, pay or barter to borrow his, or pay or barter for him to mow your lawn.

Unfortunately, no to all of the above questions. His father lives 40 minutes away and is only now turning 50. His family also believes idle hands make room for the devils work, so he probably wonít retire for at least 20 years if possible. My dad lives 45 minutes away and despite being close to retirement, significantly upsized his yard when they purchased a new house last year. Our neighbors house is vacant as the owner moved to a nursing home. Neighbors house is mowed by a professional company thatís quite expensive. Mowing costs are quite high around here so a year of paying someone else to mow it every other week would pay for two reasonably nice (according to me) Craigslist specials.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2017, 07:37:53 AM »
We have three acres of lawn. Up until now we have paid someone $140 each time to mow it 4-5 times a year. Now that we live there ourselves, we have two sheep and 8 geese, and hope never to have to have the mower come again. Looking forward to eating geese too.

One other option I think is growing a crop, or hay. Probably cost neutral for such a small piece of land. Someone comes and plants it, processes it and takes it away for the value of the crop.

If our land was flatter and had fewer trees, weíd do this. We have access to planting and bailing equipment we could use for free.

I'm a red panda

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2017, 07:39:50 AM »
Could you buy an inexpensive lawnmower to use while you save for the fancy one?

boarder42

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2017, 07:49:30 AM »
why would you buy something that wastes your time when you could get a 2 robo mowers for 600 each and never mow again.

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2017, 08:19:05 AM »
My responses is going to be quite quite different than the others, but here goes.

Assuming you plan to live in this home for the foreseeable future, mowing your property with say a 61" Zero Turn and with other trimming, blowing, etc. (not sure of obstacles or other things that would influence the work time in total) would likely save you, say on average 2 hours per cut. If you mow weekly, this would save you approximately 8 hours per month in the growing season. For this example, let's say you have 30 mows per year, which would save in total 60 hours PER YEAR.

Everyone values their time differently, but these 60 hours is something to consider.

Additionally, IF you decide to purchase a mower, do NOT buy anything from Lowes or Home Depot. A common purchase would be a NEW mower from one of these big box stores for $3K-$4K. These machines are crap and will break down and not last many years. Conversely, again this is assuming you plan to stay at this house for the long term, you should buy a USED commercial version such as an Exmark, Ferris, or Scag (all of those are great machines, you would simply need to choose the brand that has a dealer closest to your house). You can buy these machines used and with hour meters (the equivalent of an odometer on your car) and if you take care of them, these will last for MANY years versus buying and replacing whatever you buy from a big box store.

Like all decisions, it's all a tradeoff and just depends on what is most important to you.

wenchsenior

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2017, 08:33:48 AM »


I'm going to suggest goats or geese.  Since we got geeae 12 months ago I've used my mower once.

Is this because they keep the grass trimmed, or because you used it once, and the geese were such royal pains in the rear (literally) that you haven't gone out with the mower again?  My impression of a goose is that it's a pissed off device for spreading watery goose crap all over everything and biting anything moving that comes near it.

Actually, the geese are not vicious towards us.  They do need training. Catch them once when they challenge you by grabbing their necks. Put them under your arm and eyeball them and they won't challenge you again.

When I did mow it was to clean uo some weeds that they were not eating, and some longer grass down our 500m long driveway. 

They do poop. I did mention that.  It is basically grass clippings reprocessed slightly.  We have "pilgrim" geese that are differently marked males and females.  The males are white, females are grey.

I LOVE geese.  We raised Africans (so pretty) and Emdens, and both varieties could mostly be tamed quite well to be stroked and hand-fed. Occasionally an individual goose will remain a tough customer, but that never bothered me, even as a little kid.  Just stand your ground or rush them when they rush you. They learn.   They are definitely somewhat messy poopers, but otherwise quite charming.  Excellent lawnmowers, property guards, and ok for pest control in some parts of the vegetable garden (large, tough plants or plants in raised beds...geese do tend to get excited and 'trample' small plants).

One big note, however.  If your geese are going to free-roam during the day (they of course should be protected in a coop etc at night), you have to VERY alert to any roaming dogs in the neighborhood, who will sometimes chase and attack geese for fun. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2017, 08:42:55 AM »
I think Jeff2017 has it.  If you got a real tractor, not suburban toy, you could also use it to haul loads, put a front end loader on, put a snowblower on (you are in Ohio, I assume snowy winters), etc.  I have a small MGD* lawn tractor that pulls a cart as well, and I wish I had a bigger stronger machine for winter snow clearing.  I know someone with a small Kubota who is on 2 acres, and that machine does everything.

*MGD is a manufacturer that does lots of brand names as well as their own brand.  Sort of like buying President's Choice.

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2017, 08:47:28 AM »
Couple things that echo what several others have said.  2 Acres is not substantially large and if you do it every couple weeks, the time won't be terrible.  While there may be a need or substantial want for a Riding Mower, a ZTR mower would be deemed excessive for the acreage you have.  A riding mower/tractor would suffice.  The other thing to consider is in the future you could add accessories to your tractor - a small trailer to help you with gardening and harvesting, a snowplow to help snow (if needed), etc. 

Do NOT purchase a mower from a Big Box store.  Those are Big Box specials.  But it's a John Deere?  It's a HD or Lowe's John Deere.  To keep costs low inferior interior components are used.  That's why (not just mowers) but HD and Lowe's have products from manufacturer's where the product number is xxxxx-1 or xxxxx-HD or something.  It's slightly different from their brand model sold independently and through independent dealers. 

Are there any lawn mower / equipment specific dealers near you?  Those types of places often sell used equipment.  I'm not talking about huge equipment DEALERS, but rather a local shop that sells a variety of brand models, etc.  Check there. 

Otherwise I'd opt for a lesser priced tractor anywhere from $800 - $2,000.  That's a large, but good range.  Craftsman on the lower end and others in there. 

Here's some cursory information:
https://www.consumerreports.org/lawn-tractors/best-riding-mower-for-your-property/
 

Fishindude

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2017, 08:52:22 AM »
It's December, you won't need a lawn mower for four months.   I would either save between now and spring to buy a good one, or seriously consider hiring out your lawn mowing.

$4,000 Is not a ridiculous price for a decent mower and $5,000 may be more like it.    A good zero turn; Deere, Grasshopper, Ferris, Scag, etc. is the way to go if you elect to buy.   Stay away from garden tractor style unless you want to pull a wagon, plow snow, etc. as they don't mow nearly as fast.   Stay away from the cheap Home Depot, Lowes, & Sears type stuff as it won't last long, and stay away from anything $500-1,500 used unless you want to be fighting and repairing it all of the time.   In the midwest your riding lawn mower is just about your most used tool you will own, so you want a good reliable one if you elect to handle your own lawn care.

It might well pay to consider hiring it out.   If you could get it done for $75 a whack X (30) = $2250 annual expense -vs- a $5,000 mower and a couple gallons of gas each time, plus blades and maintenance it will take a few years to justify mower ownership.   Put any value on your time mowing and it's that much harder to justify.

Laura33

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2017, 08:56:15 AM »
First, I don't know jack about lawn mowers.  What I do know is spendy husbands and splitting up chores.

You are at a significant disadvantage here, because mowing the lawn is his chore.  My general rule is that the person who does the chore gets to decide how it gets done, and if the other partner doesn't like it, then we can swap chores.  But in your case, the issue is more complicated, because the partner who is doing the chore is trying to solve his problem by throwing money at it, and you don't have that money to spend.  And IMO it is entirely reasonable to draw a line in the sand that says "we are not taking on debt for fancy new toys, even if they do make the chore easier."  And to tell him that you will be more than happy to buy a fancy new toy like your parents' when you two are in your parents' position.  :-)

What I have found works ok with my DH is to couple a clear "no" with several reasonable alternatives.  E.g., you can say that you are not comfortable taking on debt for a mower that is fancier than your car.  :-)  But then give him a number of other options:  (1) a Craigslist "fancier" mower that is in your budget; (2) a new-but-cheaper mower if he's worried about used mowers being unreliable; (3) turning the lawn into a field of wildflowers or thyme or something; or (4) you take over the mowing and he takes over XYZ chore(s) that you are currently doing.  And then tell him you will consider any other options he can come up with that don't involve taking on debt (cutting the budget to trade "extras" he likes for a fancier mower?).

A couple of other longer-term options to think about:  You can modify how you manage your finances so you each contribute whatever to cover the basics, and then you each get a certain amount of money each month to spend on whatever you want.  That way, he can spend his extra on an upgraded mower, and you can stick yours in savings to meet your preferred savings targets (this is what DH and I did, btw).  You could also couple your current mower offer with a specific future date at which you will reconsider the fancier mower -- e.g., it sounds like you guys are in a somewhat-temporarily-restricted income situation, so maybe when you are both done with grad school and making $X target income (and presumably have no student loan debt), you will agree to to the mower then.  Maybe he will be less worried about a used mower if he knows it only needs to make it a few years.

The thing is, this isn't about the mower -- well, it is, but the mower is the least of it.  Some guys judge their success by the fancy/shiny/blinginess of their things; throwing money around actually makes them feel successful and powerful.*  And you will always, always be fighting about money if your solution forces him to admit to himself that he is not powerful and successful.**  And, frankly, some people just want to buy whatever the heck they want, when they want it, and just assume that money will appear when needed, or define "afford" as "fit the payments into my monthly net, even if it will take 20 years to pay it off."  So more than a particular answer to this one question, you need a long-term solution that will allow you and your DH to solve these kinds of problems whenever they come up so you're not always butting heads over stuff like this.  You cannot fall into the role of the money nag, because then you're the mom, not the wife -- the one who reins him in, who prevents him from doing the fun stuff he wants to do.  And that is a bad, bad relationship dynamic.

And meanwhile, go read the "how to convert your SO" sticky, if you haven't already.  Because while you are negotiating daily life with Mr. Spendypants, you are also showing him how happy and fulfilling life can be without shiny new fancy toys, and making him feel like he is hugely successful just for being himself and doing what he does.  But that's the secret 20-year plan.  :-)

*Ask me how I know.  Sigh.  The number of restaurant meals my DH treats his friends/family to could feed a small third-world country. . . .

**Not that this is anywhere near the truth, of course, but that's how my DH interprets those kinds of demands.

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2017, 09:00:25 AM »
Did a cursory google search "Dayton, OH yard equipment dealer" and got some results.  Could call and get more information from these, ask questions and see if they have used equipment for sale (most will).  You just need to figure out what's the best for your situation.  A tractor will be slower cutting but allow for attachments of accessories that would help gardening and yard and house maintenance.  ZTR would do your lawn in no time, but your limited beyond that.  While a tractor type would be slower 2 acres wouldn't be horrible (especially if you got a push mower and could both tackle the yard at the same time) and allow for more versatility. 

Here's two dealers from the google search I did (I'm obviously not endorsing these at all, just giving you what came up when I searched):
https://www.paulsoutdoorpowerequipment.com/

https://www.jeffschmittlawnandmotorsports.com/

http://www.themowershop.info/

https://www.heilbrothers.com/



Retire-Canada

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2017, 09:09:58 AM »
Let him buy the $4K mower once you can pay cash for it.

Car Jack

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2017, 09:32:36 AM »
I have over 13 acres.  Only 6000 square feet is lawn (0.15 acre).  The rest is woods or beds that have fabric covered with stone.  Just because you own acreage doesn't mean you have to keep it all lawn.  Get a nice Honda self propelled mulching mower for about $300-$400 and reduce what's considered lawn.

I'll also admit that I love tools and things with motors and have a $13,000 Kubota 3 cyl diesel 4 wd tractor with a bucket loader.  But this is used to move snow in the winter so I don't go on another 6 week long term disability bout for my back.  I use it for that and to help with getting firewood from the woods to the house.  Yes, I paid cash for it some years ago and it's used about 10 hours every weekend year round.  It does NOT have a mower attachment.

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2017, 09:42:53 AM »
 My dad buys a cow calf pair every spring, they eat/mow his grass all summer on his hobby farm property. He sells them both each fall, for a small profit. Breaks even approximately on the momma cow but profits on the baby that's now, well, big enough to eat.

He's done it for years, greets his grass taken care of and usually makes a few 100 bucks.

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2017, 09:57:37 AM »
Let him buy the $4K mower once you can pay cash for it.

Yeah $4K isn't bad as long as it's his daily driver...

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2017, 10:43:41 AM »
I'll also admit that I love tools and things with motors and have a $13,000 Kubota 3 cyl diesel 4 wd tractor with a bucket loader.

Not gonna lie.  I'm jealous. :)

I need to go get the rest of the three point attachments for mine from the person I bought it from (I've got a single sided plow and a set of discs), set my draft control up as a position control instead, and I'll be good, but a neighbor has a nice John Deere with a hydrostatic pedal controlled transmission and bucket on the front, and... man.  Buckets. :)

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2017, 10:48:32 AM »
Justifiable homicide.

thegardener

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2017, 01:06:17 PM »
Could you buy an inexpensive lawnmower to use while you save for the fancy one?

Absolutely yes, I just would have to convince my spouse of the merits of this option. He's very all or nothing. EX, we must spend $4k on a lawnmower, or it should be free.

My responses is going to be quite quite different than the others, but here goes.

Assuming you plan to live in this home for the foreseeable future, mowing your property with say a 61" Zero Turn and with other trimming, blowing, etc. (not sure of obstacles or other things that would influence the work time in total) would likely save you, say on average 2 hours per cut. If you mow weekly, this would save you approximately 8 hours per month in the growing season. For this example, let's say you have 30 mows per year, which would save in total 60 hours PER YEAR.

Everyone values their time differently, but these 60 hours is something to consider.

Additionally, IF you decide to purchase a mower, do NOT buy anything from Lowes or Home Depot. A common purchase would be a NEW mower from one of these big box stores for $3K-$4K. These machines are crap and will break down and not last many years. Conversely, again this is assuming you plan to stay at this house for the long term, you should buy a USED commercial version such as an Exmark, Ferris, or Scag (all of those are great machines, you would simply need to choose the brand that has a dealer closest to your house). You can buy these machines used and with hour meters (the equivalent of an odometer on your car) and if you take care of them, these will last for MANY years versus buying and replacing whatever you buy from a big box store.

Like all decisions, it's all a tradeoff and just depends on what is most important to you.

Anything we buy is coming used. A 61 inch mower would be a massive pain to navigate around all of our trees, so it's not very practical at the moment. This is not a forever house, the future house would preferably have more acreage, but no area to mow. We're very familiar with farm equipment, my husband would be trying for a tractor if our land was flatter.

My dad buys a cow calf pair every spring, they eat/mow his grass all summer on his hobby farm property. He sells them both each fall, for a small profit. Breaks even approximately on the momma cow but profits on the baby that's now, well, big enough to eat.

He's done it for years, greets his grass taken care of and usually makes a few 100 bucks.

I like this idea, but my husband hates cows. Staying married is better financially. :)

I have over 13 acres.  Only 6000 square feet is lawn (0.15 acre).  The rest is woods or beds that have fabric covered with stone.  Just because you own acreage doesn't mean you have to keep it all lawn.  Get a nice Honda self propelled mulching mower for about $300-$400 and reduce what's considered lawn.

I'll also admit that I love tools and things with motors and have a $13,000 Kubota 3 cyl diesel 4 wd tractor with a bucket loader.  But this is used to move snow in the winter so I don't go on another 6 week long term disability bout for my back.  I use it for that and to help with getting firewood from the woods to the house.  Yes, I paid cash for it some years ago and it's used about 10 hours every weekend year round.  It does NOT have a mower attachment.

The husband would LOVE a tractor. I am slowing advocating for reducing the lawn, but my husband loves lawns, I will never understand.

Did a cursory google search "Dayton, OH yard equipment dealer" and got some results.  Could call and get more information from these, ask questions and see if they have used equipment for sale (most will).  You just need to figure out what's the best for your situation.  A tractor will be slower cutting but allow for attachments of accessories that would help gardening and yard and house maintenance.  ZTR would do your lawn in no time, but your limited beyond that.  While a tractor type would be slower 2 acres wouldn't be horrible (especially if you got a push mower and could both tackle the yard at the same time) and allow for more versatility. 

Here's two dealers from the google search I did (I'm obviously not endorsing these at all, just giving you what came up when I searched):
https://www.paulsoutdoorpowerequipment.com/

https://www.jeffschmittlawnandmotorsports.com/

http://www.themowershop.info/

https://www.heilbrothers.com/




My preference is to buy from somewhere like the places you mentioned above.

First, I don't know jack about lawn mowers.  What I do know is spendy husbands and splitting up chores.

You are at a significant disadvantage here, because mowing the lawn is his chore.  My general rule is that the person who does the chore gets to decide how it gets done, and if the other partner doesn't like it, then we can swap chores.  But in your case, the issue is more complicated, because the partner who is doing the chore is trying to solve his problem by throwing money at it, and you don't have that money to spend.  And IMO it is entirely reasonable to draw a line in the sand that says "we are not taking on debt for fancy new toys, even if they do make the chore easier."  And to tell him that you will be more than happy to buy a fancy new toy like your parents' when you two are in your parents' position.  :-)

What I have found works ok with my DH is to couple a clear "no" with several reasonable alternatives.  E.g., you can say that you are not comfortable taking on debt for a mower that is fancier than your car.  :-)  But then give him a number of other options:  (1) a Craigslist "fancier" mower that is in your budget; (2) a new-but-cheaper mower if he's worried about used mowers being unreliable; (3) turning the lawn into a field of wildflowers or thyme or something; or (4) you take over the mowing and he takes over XYZ chore(s) that you are currently doing.  And then tell him you will consider any other options he can come up with that don't involve taking on debt (cutting the budget to trade "extras" he likes for a fancier mower?).

A couple of other longer-term options to think about:  You can modify how you manage your finances so you each contribute whatever to cover the basics, and then you each get a certain amount of money each month to spend on whatever you want.  That way, he can spend his extra on an upgraded mower, and you can stick yours in savings to meet your preferred savings targets (this is what DH and I did, btw).  You could also couple your current mower offer with a specific future date at which you will reconsider the fancier mower -- e.g., it sounds like you guys are in a somewhat-temporarily-restricted income situation, so maybe when you are both done with grad school and making $X target income (and presumably have no student loan debt), you will agree to to the mower then.  Maybe he will be less worried about a used mower if he knows it only needs to make it a few years.

The thing is, this isn't about the mower -- well, it is, but the mower is the least of it.  Some guys judge their success by the fancy/shiny/blinginess of their things; throwing money around actually makes them feel successful and powerful.*  And you will always, always be fighting about money if your solution forces him to admit to himself that he is not powerful and successful.**  And, frankly, some people just want to buy whatever the heck they want, when they want it, and just assume that money will appear when needed, or define "afford" as "fit the payments into my monthly net, even if it will take 20 years to pay it off."  So more than a particular answer to this one question, you need a long-term solution that will allow you and your DH to solve these kinds of problems whenever they come up so you're not always butting heads over stuff like this.  You cannot fall into the role of the money nag, because then you're the mom, not the wife -- the one who reins him in, who prevents him from doing the fun stuff he wants to do.  And that is a bad, bad relationship dynamic.

And meanwhile, go read the "how to convert your SO" sticky, if you haven't already.  Because while you are negotiating daily life with Mr. Spendypants, you are also showing him how happy and fulfilling life can be without shiny new fancy toys, and making him feel like he is hugely successful just for being himself and doing what he does.  But that's the secret 20-year plan.  :-)

*Ask me how I know.  Sigh.  The number of restaurant meals my DH treats his friends/family to could feed a small third-world country. . . .

**Not that this is anywhere near the truth, of course, but that's how my DH interprets those kinds of demands.

Oh, I totally understand that it's a relationship problem and not just a lawnmower problem. My spouse needs to do a significant amount of maturing- he acts like a teenager most of the time and he admits this. He's seeing a therapist about that. We are actually probably going to be switching yard work roles because I am so sick and tired of listening to complaints and being nagged about how he NEEDS a fancy lawnmower and the world is going to end with out it. We usually don't have issues like this because he gets a personal fund for guns and other fancy things he wants for himself.

Couple things that echo what several others have said.  2 Acres is not substantially large and if you do it every couple weeks, the time won't be terrible.  While there may be a need or substantial want for a Riding Mower, a ZTR mower would be deemed excessive for the acreage you have.  A riding mower/tractor would suffice.  The other thing to consider is in the future you could add accessories to your tractor - a small trailer to help you with gardening and harvesting, a snowplow to help snow (if needed), etc. 

Do NOT purchase a mower from a Big Box store.  Those are Big Box specials.  But it's a John Deere?  It's a HD or Lowe's John Deere.  To keep costs low inferior interior components are used.  That's why (not just mowers) but HD and Lowe's have products from manufacturer's where the product number is xxxxx-1 or xxxxx-HD or something.  It's slightly different from their brand model sold independently and through independent dealers. 

Are there any lawn mower / equipment specific dealers near you?  Those types of places often sell used equipment.  I'm not talking about huge equipment DEALERS, but rather a local shop that sells a variety of brand models, etc.  Check there. 

Otherwise I'd opt for a lesser priced tractor anywhere from $800 - $2,000.  That's a large, but good range.  Craftsman on the lower end and others in there. 

Here's some cursory information:
https://www.consumerreports.org/lawn-tractors/best-riding-mower-for-your-property/
 

Yes, we have plenty of equipment dealers around, but they mostly sell large stuff, i.e. combines.

I think Jeff2017 has it.  If you got a real tractor, not suburban toy, you could also use it to haul loads, put a front end loader on, put a snowblower on (you are in Ohio, I assume snowy winters), etc.  I have a small MGD* lawn tractor that pulls a cart as well, and I wish I had a bigger stronger machine for winter snow clearing.  I know someone with a small Kubota who is on 2 acres, and that machine does everything.

*MGD is a manufacturer that does lots of brand names as well as their own brand.  Sort of like buying President's Choice.

A real tractor won't fit between all the trees in our yard. Otherwise, we'd do that. Husband dreams of owning a barn full of tractors. Of course, once we have one, he's going to want another one...

Dave1442397

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2017, 01:18:15 PM »
I found a 36" Toro mower for $400 at this landscapers' forum - https://www.lawnsite.com/forums/marketplace.51/

frugaliknowit

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2017, 02:19:18 PM »
If you are unable to convince your spouse that his plan is less than optimal, being that it will be the ONLY non-mortgage debt you have, I would just accept that relationships are give and take, so that sometimes you will need to do sub-optimal things.

I suggest you guys have a "pow-wow" about how much savings you should keep.  With a house and a ton of land, expenses are higher and uneven and there will be more emergencies than if you lived in a small house on a small piece of land.  Good luck!

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2017, 02:28:45 PM »
I heard 4K lawnmower and immediately thought of a lawn mower that mows the lawn by itself.  How cool! 

But alas I am disappointed.  Perhaps you could consider getting a bunch of artificial turf so that you never have to mow the lawn again?

nope those only cost 600 dollars.

Worx Landroid

if i were OP and my land was flatish i'd be showing my husband these. almost cheaper than a washing machine

clutchy

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2017, 02:47:59 PM »
Hello all,

This is a more of a relationship question than a money question, but I'm still soliciting some mustachian what would you do advice.

So we have a two acre lawn. Some of that is taken up by our modest sized house, a large circular gravel driveway, 21 garden beds, and a significant number of trees. The land is not flat. We have owned this house for just over a year. This year, we had a lawnmower that my father in law gave us. We knew it had issues, but we weren't sure what kinds of issues. My spouse and my father spent a lot of time working on this lawnmower this summer and have recently determined that it cannot be repaired. It is quite old (appx 1980) and would cost more to fix than it is worth along with requiring significant amounts of effort and tools that we would be unable to procure.

We obviously need a new lawnmower. My spouse's solution to this predicament is to purchase a $4k zero turn lawnmower we don't have the money to pay for in cash and would need a loan for. I think a $4k lawnmower is absolutely ridiculous. I grew up mowing other people's sprawling suburban lawns for cash with a late 1980s era 28 inch cut lawnmower that was not zero turn and I survived. My spouse thinks a $4k lawnmower is entirely reasonable because his father has a $15k lawnmower and my father has a $5k lawnmower. He is convinced that a $500 lawnmower off of craigslist is entirely unreasonable and that we would be buying someone else's piece of garbage. While I would love to take over lawn mowing entirely, I currently do the lion share of household chores and between that and work, have very little ability to take on more tasks.

A little bit about us. I'm a natural mustachian. My spouse is a natural spendypants despite having parents who are decently mustaschian. (The $15k lawnmower came many years after paying off $1.5 million in farmland and $2+ million in farm equipment. He also mows over 6 acres. His parents could be FIRE right now, despite raising 7 kids). My spouse is a network administrator in graduate school and I am a grossly underpaid research assistant working towards graduate admission. We save most of our income, but it is in hsa and retirement accounts, hence why we don't have significant savings around to buy an expensive lawnmower. Our only debt is $90k on a modest house. I refuse to borrow money for depreciating assets. I would prefer to never have another mortgage, but might be willing to have another one if it also had a super reasonable interest rate.

Sorry for the length here, but if anyone has any tips for approaching this situation in a more helpful way than telling my spouse that spending $4k on a lawnmower is ridiculous, I am all ears. TIA.
 

As a fellow Dayton, OH kid.... I spent $9k on a mower 2 years ago.

it cut my 2 acre time from 3.5 hours down to 1:15. 


It's probably the single best value purchase I've ever made.  Every week I get 2.5 hrs of my life back and sometimes twice a week in the summer.... 


SomedayStache

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2017, 03:13:32 PM »
My avid gardener spouse really wants to get a BCS walk-behind tractor with a lawn mowing attachment for our 2.5 acres.  It's super pricey (to my frugal eyes), but I think this would be a good decision in the long run since he can also use other attachments for other gardening needs. 

Syonyk

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2017, 03:56:17 PM »
My avid gardener spouse really wants to get a BCS walk-behind tractor with a lawn mowing attachment for our 2.5 acres.  It's super pricey (to my frugal eyes), but I think this would be a good decision in the long run since he can also use other attachments for other gardening needs.

I know the whole MMM front page thing is "use a reel mower and what are you doing with more acres than you can push mow anyway?"

But the older walk behind tractors, and older tractors in general, are wonderfully useful for all sorts of stuff around a property.  Mine doesn't have live PTO capability which limits what I can use it for somewhat (though, realistically, the lack of horsepower means I can't run bigger stuff also), but it'll do an awful lot.

And if you have one good, well maintained motor unit, it's a lot nicer than having half a dozen random motors that you have to maintain.

stashing_it

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Re: Don't Mow
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2017, 04:13:38 PM »
Unless you live somewhere where you're required by your city or HOA to mow, you could just let it grow.

Isn't spending time/money on cutting a plant that just grows back and that you can't eat kind of ridiculous anyways?

Iím totally in favor of this idea, in fact the grass is currently 1.5 feet tall and I donít care. However, my spouse wants the yard mowed at least once every 2.5 weeks and I donít want to listen to continued complaints about how ugly our yard is when we donít mow it.

I actually suggested replanting our entire yard with creeping lemon thyme and that idea was shot down.

Do you have any other suggestions for ground cover you don't have to mow?     I have a section of brambles I'm clearing out and planting fruit trees in.  I'd like to plant something on the ground that isn't grass so I don't have to mow it.

I'll research lemon thyme, but are there any other good plants in your opinion?

For the record,   I have a 2.5 acre property, about 1 acre of lawn that I mow with an electric push mower.  It's probably an hour chore that I do every 2-3 weeks in the summer.  (I'd let it go to 4-5 weeks but the family prefers 2-3, which isn't shocking given they they aren't doing the chore)

jeff2017

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2017, 04:22:12 PM »
Hello all,

This is a more of a relationship question than a money question, but I'm still soliciting some mustachian what would you do advice.

So we have a two acre lawn. Some of that is taken up by our modest sized house, a large circular gravel driveway, 21 garden beds, and a significant number of trees. The land is not flat. We have owned this house for just over a year. This year, we had a lawnmower that my father in law gave us. We knew it had issues, but we weren't sure what kinds of issues. My spouse and my father spent a lot of time working on this lawnmower this summer and have recently determined that it cannot be repaired. It is quite old (appx 1980) and would cost more to fix than it is worth along with requiring significant amounts of effort and tools that we would be unable to procure.

We obviously need a new lawnmower. My spouse's solution to this predicament is to purchase a $4k zero turn lawnmower we don't have the money to pay for in cash and would need a loan for. I think a $4k lawnmower is absolutely ridiculous. I grew up mowing other people's sprawling suburban lawns for cash with a late 1980s era 28 inch cut lawnmower that was not zero turn and I survived. My spouse thinks a $4k lawnmower is entirely reasonable because his father has a $15k lawnmower and my father has a $5k lawnmower. He is convinced that a $500 lawnmower off of craigslist is entirely unreasonable and that we would be buying someone else's piece of garbage. While I would love to take over lawn mowing entirely, I currently do the lion share of household chores and between that and work, have very little ability to take on more tasks.

A little bit about us. I'm a natural mustachian. My spouse is a natural spendypants despite having parents who are decently mustaschian. (The $15k lawnmower came many years after paying off $1.5 million in farmland and $2+ million in farm equipment. He also mows over 6 acres. His parents could be FIRE right now, despite raising 7 kids). My spouse is a network administrator in graduate school and I am a grossly underpaid research assistant working towards graduate admission. We save most of our income, but it is in hsa and retirement accounts, hence why we don't have significant savings around to buy an expensive lawnmower. Our only debt is $90k on a modest house. I refuse to borrow money for depreciating assets. I would prefer to never have another mortgage, but might be willing to have another one if it also had a super reasonable interest rate.

Sorry for the length here, but if anyone has any tips for approaching this situation in a more helpful way than telling my spouse that spending $4k on a lawnmower is ridiculous, I am all ears. TIA.
 

As a fellow Dayton, OH kid.... I spent $9k on a mower 2 years ago.

it cut my 2 acre time from 3.5 hours down to 1:15. 


It's probably the single best value purchase I've ever made.  Every week I get 2.5 hrs of my life back and sometimes twice a week in the summer....

Bingo... This is how I think of this. It seems a lot here are FI and perhaps have more time on their hands than others, so can't justify spending the $$$, but others (myself included) would look at more than just the cost, and the return of my time.

Goldielocks

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2017, 08:56:30 PM »
Quote
Oh, I totally understand that it's a relationship problem and not just a lawnmower problem. My spouse needs to do a significant amount of maturing- he acts like a teenager most of the time and he admits this. He's seeing a therapist about that. We are actually probably going to be switching yard work roles because I am so sick and tired of listening to complaints and being nagged about how he NEEDS a fancy lawnmower and the world is going to end with out it. We usually don't have issues like this because he gets a personal fund *for guns and other fancy things he wants for himself. "


OP.   this is it in a nutshell.  You nailed it.

If he gets a personal fund, then he has the ability to save for (or take a personal loan for and make payments on) the lawnmower himself.  This should not actually be a problem for either of you... except that he has likely spent all of his personal fund, and now wants to spend the family money that is budgeted for other things.

I would solve it by allowing $1k or so out of the household fund to be spent on it as a home maintenance item ($1k is the value of a new oven for when yours dies, to set a precedent), and have him fund the rest himself.

Also -- what is he planning on doing with the extra time saved?  I hope half of it will be transferred to taking on one of your chores -- may I recommend his taking on most of the laundry, (all but your personal clothing) perhaps?   Would you feel better about the lawnmower and the impact of this discussion on your relationship, if you power-negotiate chore duties as part of this lawnmower discussion?  (You did say in the OP that this was a relationship question, not a lawnmower technology question.)

*I hope that you get an equivalent personal fund, btw.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 11:18:48 AM by Goldielocks »

cchrissyy

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2017, 09:58:28 PM »
how about if you hire somebody to do the yard right now, so that these discussions don't get sidetracked or pressured by arguments about "the current state of the lawn".

since he's impulsive and spendy (sigh, ugh, sorry) maybe one good tactic is to put off the whole topic until spring or summer. maybe he will lose interest by then. or maybe he'll decide he'd prefer to hire it out and have more free time and more money left over.  it's not like you have to mow weekly or even monthly. realistically you could hire this job out 6-9 times per year. keep that in mind when calculating the "cost per mow" for this very expensive idea.
and also, realistically, would he even use the darn thing every 2 weeks? or is it like so many tools or toys, where you use it often at first then fade away? no good : (

Syonyk

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2017, 10:15:43 PM »
Lawns do tend to keep growing...

I'm still not sure how much of the two acres is lawn though.

koshtra

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Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2017, 11:22:03 PM »
Wow. I would have a hard time viewing someone who proposed buying a four thousand dollar lawn mower on credit as an adult. But I understand that different relationships have different rules, and possibly my quirks present their own challenges to my spouse...

I suppose some of the difficulty here is that he views mowing the lawn as a necessary maintenance activity, rather than as an expensive hobby, so for him it's not in the "shiny new toy" category, but in the "sober, responsible home-owner" category. Like keeping the roof sound or something.

I wonder if you could propose doing without something of equivalent value, which you BOTH like, so as to save up for the mower? That way you finesse the "mean mom" thing Laura33 mentioned, but you put the mower back the universe where you only get one thing by doing without another of the same price. (Like going out to dinner eighty times, or buying 500 pizzas, or... Jeebus, $4,000 is a LOT of money. He really wants to spend this on a lawn mower?)