Author Topic: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower  (Read 11649 times)

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2017, 12:03:05 AM »
If you think $4k is a lot for a mower, you haven't looked at riding mowers much.

Or property tractors.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2017, 05:38:43 AM »
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.
That's my spouses argument too, glad to hear it's not just him that thinks the one quality motor is the way to go.
We've been limping along with a series of used mowers and he spends more time on repairs some weeks than mowing.  But we'll manage until we can pay without debt.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2017, 05:43:57 AM »
still dont understand why we're not discussing a robomower here ... they make many that cost much less than 4k and would likely do the job.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2120
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2017, 06:50:02 AM »
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 : (

I'm in a state right next door to the OP and we were cutting grass about every 5-6 days all last summer for several months due to plentiful rainfall.   If you would have let it go 2-3 weeks, you would have a real mess and next time you mowed would be miserable.   It's not unrealistic to mow 30 times per season if you want to keep your place looking nice.   This requires good equipment.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5630
  • Location: Norway
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2017, 06:56:51 AM »
I think you should tell your spouse that financially smart people don't take up a loan for a consumer product. Normal behaviour is saving first, buying later. This should be ingrained in his future behaviour.

When it comes to this mower, I think you should look out on Graig's list for a good used alternative mower that can do the job equally well. He might see the value when he sees something similar.

Some time ago, after we moved into our new home, I wanted a new dining table. I had some ideas about a model. What I wanted would cost approx 1900 USD. DH said he wasn't convinced. But some weeks later he had found me a dining table in the same style second hand on our version of Graig's list, and some second hand chairs that fitted nicely with the table. I was convinced that this was a very good alternative for a much better price than my original choice.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10845
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2017, 07:18:37 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.
That's badass.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1197
  • Location: Ohio
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2017, 07:47:53 AM »
 Can you use the mower to mow the neighbor's lawns that are paying a service?  Make it a business and have a capital expense.  Earn $$, expense equipment.

Makes this more palatable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Anon in Alaska

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2017, 08:04:12 AM »

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.

What a strange part of the world Ohio must be. Here in Anchorage you only need to mow your lawn about five times a year.

Could you change an acre or an acre and a half of lawn into farm? If you've got that much land maybe you should be growing food on it.



MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2017, 08:09:15 AM »
My husband and I went through a similar compromise when we were looking at riding lawn mowers.  We live on 6 acres but about 2 acres is actual yard, not counting the garden, etc.

My husband, while not mustachian, does not like to buy things on credit anymore.   He wanted a very expensive lawn mower with lots of bells and whistle, plus tractor capabilities.   After MONTHS of going around and around, I finally said this is how much money I am comfortable spending on the lawn mower and wrote him a check (we have a his/hers/theirs bank account system). This amount was about 1/2 the amount of a mid-range riding lawn mower.  I said if he wanted more than that mid range model he can make up the difference out of his pocket, but not allowed to put it on credit.   

He ended up going with a slightly higher than mid-range but not as outrageously expensive as he originally wanted, so he did pay more than what I put in out of his account, but it worked out for both of us.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2186
Re: Don't Mow
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2017, 08:09:34 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.

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)

Do you need to be able to walk on it?  If it is sunny and not too dry, I LOVE white clover.  It grows dense, about a foot tall, and the flowers support bees, which need all the help they can get right now.  You could mow paths through it, if needed.

koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Mole
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2017, 08:25:19 AM »
If you think $4k is a lot for a mower, you haven't looked at riding mowers much.

Or property tractors.

Yeah, I'm the guy who planted corn in his front yard because he couldn't stand to see perfectly good land being wasted on ornamental grass, so I probably don't belong in this conversation. To me the whole point of playing English Lord On His Parkland Estate would be the half dozen gardeners on the payroll, discreetly cutting the grass by hand.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2017, 09:20:09 AM »
That's my spouses argument too, glad to hear it's not just him that thinks the one quality motor is the way to go.
We've been limping along with a series of used mowers and he spends more time on repairs some weeks than mowing.  But we'll manage until we can pay without debt.

There's a reason those walk behind tractors and such were popular - they can do an awful lot.  And it's a lot less annoying to deal with a single high quality motor than a bunch of disposable motors (which is what most consumer equipment comes with - you can't really rebuild them, and they're built as cheaply as possible for the designed lifespan).  I've got a bunch of "property motors" that are a pain come spring, but I'm still working out what I need around and what I don't.  Or, rather, what works as-is and what needs upgrading - my chipper does not swallow tumbleweed, for instance, though I think I can build a new feed ramp for it that might solve my issues.  Maybe.

But the older motors are really designed to be maintained forever by farmers - you can replace pretty much every wear item on them.  My Ford 9N has sleeved cylinders and you can rebuild it until you crack the block eventually (which is usually an awful lot of thousands of hours of heavy use - and by no means a guarantee, that just usually is what ends the rebuild cycle).  The old walk behind tractors are the same.  They're built to work.

One chunk of advice: If you have a lot of less frequently used motors, always keeping a "storable fuel" in them saves a lot of sanity.  I run ethanol free premium with Stabil and Seafoam in all my property motors, and rarely fight with bad gas issues anymore.  Ethanol is awful for small motors - it pulls water out of the air (since none of them have a sealed fuel system) and generally makes your life a pain.

still dont understand why we're not discussing a robomower here ... they make many that cost much less than 4k and would likely do the job.

You answer your own question, and don't realize it.  Have you used one?  Do you know it will work on the property in question?  There's usually a huge disconnect between what the marketing papers say it can do and what one can actually do.  Dropping $600 on a robot mower that doesn't do the job isn't exactly a good use of money.

Can you use the mower to mow the neighbor's lawns that are paying a service?  Make it a business and have a capital expense.  Earn $$, expense equipment.

A $4k mower is a residential mower that won't stand up to commercial service for any useful amount of time - it might handle one neighbor, but there's a reason the commercial guys aren't running residential mowers.

What a strange part of the world Ohio must be. Here in Anchorage you only need to mow your lawn about five times a year.

The midwest gets a lot of sun in the summer, and a lot of rain.  There's a reason that many of the farms out there aren't irrigated - they simply don't need to be.  On the flip side, your lawn grows insanely well.  It's a great source of mulch and compost feed, though!

Yeah, I'm the guy who planted corn in his front yard because he couldn't stand to see perfectly good land being wasted on ornamental grass, so I probably don't belong in this conversation. To me the whole point of playing English Lord On His Parkland Estate would be the half dozen gardeners on the payroll, discreetly cutting the grass by hand.

In a lot of areas, that's illegal - which is a problem, I entirely agree.

Our lawn is mostly a low root depth device for extracting liquid out of our septic field and giving me feedstock for the compost bins and mulch.  It extends a bit beyond that, but it's not useful area to grow other stuff on, and we do want a lawn area for kids to play on (or, at least, my wife does, and I don't mind it because I get the good greens out of it).

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2017, 09:24:58 AM »
@Syonyk Yes i have a robomower.  i inquired about the property in question but received no answers as to its flatness.  typically most properties will work unless they have steep grades.

i'd agree dropping money on something that doesnt do the job isnt a good use of funds.  but there has been 0 discussion around that but lots of talk about buying bigger more expensive equipment b/c thats more mustachian obviously.

MrMoneySaver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 161
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
If you think $4k is a lot for a mower, you haven't looked at riding mowers much.

Or property tractors.

Exactly. I don't find it to be all that absurdly expensive (unfortunately). For a 2-acre property, it's not necessarily crazy. With 21 gardening beds in the yard, there may be a lot of turns to make and a zero-turn would solve a lot of problems there.

Riding mowers are something you can certainly buy used, but you'd better be quite handy. Getting them worked on is a pain and it's expensive. You're either hauling it somewhere or paying extra to have someone come to your house.

A yard of that size is a lot to take care of and it's best to have decent equipment. Whether this is the right mower, I don't know, but I don't view this as just a guy wanting an expensive toy like a boat.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2017, 09:40:30 AM »
Yes i have a robomower.  i inquired about the property in question but received no answers as to its flatness.  typically most properties will work unless they have steep grades.

Yeah, the lack of description about the property/lawn is getting annoying.  Because it really does bound the problem.  How does yours dock/charge?  I have no power out by my lawn unless I charge the thing from my office, and even then, it's a bit of a rocky climb up to the lawn, which probably doesn't work for them.

Quote
but there has been 0 discussion around that but lots of talk about buying bigger more expensive equipment b/c thats more mustachian obviously.

There's been discussion about buying the right equipment for the job, which varies, heavily, depending on the job.  I don't think $4k for a good lawn mower is unreasonable if you have a lot of grass to mow.  I know people who have them.  It doesn't make sense for me, but I expect an awful lot of people don't think a 75 year old tractor is a useful thing to have around on a property.

I also tend to distinguish between "toys" and "property related equipment."  If you have property, you need to maintain it, and maintaining a few acres in the country is harder and typically requires more than maintaining a tiny lot in Denver.  Especially if it's not been well kept before you moved in.  I live on a few acres that were pretty much left to their own devices for a decade before we moved in, and it's a long project to get it beat into shape.  I own a chainsaw, even though there aren't that many trees on the property, because I've got a lot of piles of trees to disassemble and turn into firewood.  After I finish all that, the chainsaw gets kept around for when I need it, but it won't be used nearly as much.

If it's a device that you purchase once and that, if properly maintained, lasts decades, I don't see a big problem spending money on it.

Exactly. I don't find it to be all that absurdly expensive (unfortunately). For a 2-acre property, it's not necessarily crazy. With 21 gardening beds in the yard, there may be a lot of turns to make and a zero-turn would solve a lot of problems there.

A drone map of the property or something would be really helpful here. :)

Quote
Riding mowers are something you can certainly buy used, but you'd better be quite handy. Getting them worked on is a pain and it's expensive. You're either hauling it somewhere or paying extra to have someone come to your house.

Right.  Occasionally, you find someone selling one because they're upgrading, but usually someone is selling something like a mower or tractor because they don't want to deal with the problems it has.  If you can fix those yourself, awesome.  A lot of people don't maintain equipment, run it until it breaks, and then sell it - fix that stuff up, you're good.  But it requires being able to repair the stuff yourself, and I don't get the impression the OP is particularly handy.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2310
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2017, 10:30:32 AM »
IMO, whether $4K is a reasonable price for a mower is beside the point here.  The real question is whether $4K is a reasonable amount to pay for a mower when you need to take out a loan to afford it.

My answer to that is no, it's not.  That's when you buy a cheap, used push mower and suck it up for a few years until you can afford something nicer/better -- or plant over your lawn with stuff that doesn't require mowing. 

Yard maintenance at some basic level is usually a necessity to keep the neighbors happy and overzealous authorities off your back.  Maintenance of 1-2 acres of grass with a 4-digit comfy ride-on zero-clearance mower is not.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6436
  • Location: BC
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2017, 11:24:22 AM »
I am at a loss why the DH doesn't have a sizeable chunk of this money saved up from his personal fund.... or why he can't work on selling some of the items he already owns to pay for some of it.  Or even take out a loan and get a  temporary part time job to pay off the loan if it really saves him that much time.

There are many ways to get the money for it, based on the description OP gave of their overall situation.      I think the issue is that he wants the money to come from already budgeted household accounts, without impacting personal spend, and OP does not.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2017, 11:45:48 AM »
@Syonyk You have to put a boundry wire in the ground and when it gets tired it will find the boundry wire and follow it back to its dock.  its similar to an invisible dog fence.  Rocky terrain may or may not work well the grade really is what matters - 20% or less it climbs well i have one spot on my lawn it does struggle with the grade a bit, but got creative with the boudry wire.  its away for the winter.  And we may be a bit early in on the robo mower game buying one now - but i dont think we are more than a couple years away from them being everywhere.  there are some out now that dont require a boudry wire and that really opens the door up for alot of people.

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2017, 11:45:54 AM »

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.

What a strange part of the world Ohio must be. Here in Anchorage you only need to mow your lawn about five times a year.

Could you change an acre or an acre and a half of lawn into farm? If you've got that much land maybe you should be growing food on it.

Have you been to Ohio?  Everything here GROWS and grows aggressively.  I have to mow twice a week in the rainy summer months or the grass goes out of control. 

go look at a growing zone map sometime.  There's a blue(cold) zone that ranges from Maine out through colorado; except it turns green in Ohio.  Ohio is a big valley and combating the shrubs is a full time job in summer. 

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2017, 11:48:42 AM »
@Syonyk You have to put a boundry wire in the ground and when it gets tired it will find the boundry wire and follow it back to its dock.  its similar to an invisible dog fence.  Rocky terrain may or may not work well the grade really is what matters - 20% or less it climbs well i have one spot on my lawn it does struggle with the grade a bit, but got creative with the boudry wire.  its away for the winter.  And we may be a bit early in on the robo mower game buying one now - but i dont think we are more than a couple years away from them being everywhere.  there are some out now that dont require a boudry wire and that really opens the door up for alot of people.


I looked at robo mowers awhile back.  Maybe 5 years tops they'll be really usable for most people. 


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2017, 11:55:24 AM »
@Syonyk You have to put a boundry wire in the ground and when it gets tired it will find the boundry wire and follow it back to its dock.  its similar to an invisible dog fence.  Rocky terrain may or may not work well the grade really is what matters - 20% or less it climbs well i have one spot on my lawn it does struggle with the grade a bit, but got creative with the boudry wire.  its away for the winter.  And we may be a bit early in on the robo mower game buying one now - but i dont think we are more than a couple years away from them being everywhere.  there are some out now that dont require a boudry wire and that really opens the door up for alot of people.


I looked at robo mowers awhile back.  Maybe 5 years tops they'll be really usable for most people.

yep its gonna be a brave new world.  now to invent the robo edger attachment!

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3640
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2017, 01:21:06 PM »
@Syonyk You have to put a boundry wire in the ground and when it gets tired it will find the boundry wire and follow it back to its dock.  its similar to an invisible dog fence.  Rocky terrain may or may not work well the grade really is what matters - 20% or less it climbs well i have one spot on my lawn it does struggle with the grade a bit, but got creative with the boudry wire.  its away for the winter.  And we may be a bit early in on the robo mower game buying one now - but i dont think we are more than a couple years away from them being everywhere.  there are some out now that dont require a boudry wire and that really opens the door up for alot of people.


I looked at robo mowers awhile back.  Maybe 5 years tops they'll be really usable for most people.

yep its gonna be a brave new world.  now to invent the robo edger attachment!

Eh, I picked up a gas edger for $15 at a garage sale this summer. This is the type that is $150+ new I guess? As long as it works, I'll be happy with it. I'll only edge 2-3 times a year, if that much.

MicroRN

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1025
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2017, 08:18:17 PM »
Interestingly, we had a similar discussion last year.  My husband does the mowing, and we have 10 acres (2 acres flat by the house, then the rest mostly wooded, but with wide grassy paths).  The Craftsman rider we'd had for years took him about 2 hours just to cut the forward 2 acres. We looked at our budget, and I freed up about $3000.  His job was to find the mower he wanted within budget.  He managed to snag a used Hustler Super-Z, which sells new for about $12-$14K, for $2800.  It's older and not pretty, but it runs fine.  I could not believe the difference having a good mower made.  He can cut 2 acres in 45 minutes, and then go work on maintaining the trails, and even hacking back at the brush.  Maintenance is totally doable at home, parts are cheap, and there are a ton of maintenance videos available.

So, yes, if you have a lot of land, a good zero-turn is worth the money.  We always have too much work we need to get done, so saving several hours every week makes it possible to do other projects.  However, we would not have been ok with getting a loan for a mower.  We'd have kept sucking it up with the old rider until we had the money available, or paid someone to mow it.   

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11371
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #73 on: December 23, 2017, 12:55:35 PM »
My neighbour had a zero-turn machine and it was wonderful for cutting the lawn and the ditch.  That was all it did.  My ancient lawn tractor (bought used in 2010 for $750), still chugging) may not be quite as good at getting into tight places, but it also pulls my garden cart, which I use to move soil, compost, building materials, etc. 

So apart from the $, a proper needs analysis is required.  Is cutting grass the be-all and end-all?  Or could this machine be used for other chores as well?

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #74 on: December 23, 2017, 02:33:29 PM »

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.

We can go 30 minutes one way to a Lowes or Home Depot for a John Deere
We can go 45 minutes the other way to the John Deere shop that sells to a lot of the farmers around here. HD and Lowes have inferior John Deere mowers. The model numbers are different, made for the big box stores, not the John Deere dealer.
You get what you pay for.
Our first JD lasted 30 years - plus the guy we gave to tinkered with it and says it's still mowing!. We'll see how long this one lasts.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1753
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #75 on: December 23, 2017, 06:21:01 PM »

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.

What a strange part of the world Ohio must be. Here in Anchorage you only need to mow your lawn about five times a year.

Could you change an acre or an acre and a half of lawn into farm? If you've got that much land maybe you should be growing food on it.

Have you been to Ohio?  Everything here GROWS and grows aggressively.  I have to mow twice a week in the rainy summer months or the grass goes out of control. 

go look at a growing zone map sometime.  There's a blue(cold) zone that ranges from Maine out through colorado; except it turns green in Ohio.  Ohio is a big valley and combating the shrubs is a full time job in summer.

But itís not a year round job even here in verdant Ohio.

We mow maybe once in May, weekly in June and July, rarely in August (which is generally hot and dry), and a couple of times in September/October depending on rainfall and when the leaves come down. So youíre looking at 12 or 13 mowings/year, IME.

A big property may justify bigger equipment, but youíve got months and months to save up for it, so why take out a loan? OTOH, I spent my teenager years mowing about an acre of lawn in central Florida - which has a much longer mowing season - with a smallish push mower. We did a chunk every mornings ng before it got too hot. 2 acres isnít exactly a vast estate.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #76 on: December 23, 2017, 08:21:29 PM »
I donít have a lawn. I canít imagine anything worse than mowing the grass. Iíve read this entire thread, gobsmacked. Whatís motivating this guy to be so passionate about cutting the grass? Does he like his time outside, away from the family? Does he like feeling like master of his domain? Weird. I have nothing to offer. My fallback for these types of things is, heís probably either horny or bored. Let him get whatever he wants if he pays cash from his personal stash. And have more sex. ;-)

cl_noll

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Madtown, WI
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #77 on: December 23, 2017, 09:50:12 PM »
Consider planting a low Maintenace native prairie. Once established, they require almost no work aside from the occasional burning in fall and become a buzzing, vibrant haven for birds and insects.

The steps are as follows: kill most of your yard with roundup. Plant prairie seed (can be purchased or collected for free), mow it (d'oh!) once or twice the first year to keep bad weeds in check. Selectively weed it in following year so the good stuff gets fully established, and enjoy a fantastic new hobby and not mowing a stupid old lawn!

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11371
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #78 on: December 24, 2017, 08:03:47 AM »
I donít have a lawn. I canít imagine anything worse than mowing the grass. Iíve read this entire thread, gobsmacked. Whatís motivating this guy to be so passionate about cutting the grass? Does he like his time outside, away from the family? Does he like feeling like master of his domain? Weird. I have nothing to offer. My fallback for these types of things is, heís probably either horny or bored. Let him get whatever he wants if he pays cash from his personal stash. And have more sex. ;-)

Country living - somewhere under the lawn is a septic tank and leach field.  You want plants over a leach field, to suck up the water.  Anything growing over it has to be shallow rooted - no trees, bushes, or vegetable gardens.  The easiest plant for that is grass. 

MrMoneySaver

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 161
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #79 on: December 24, 2017, 08:03:58 AM »
I donít have a lawn. I canít imagine anything worse than mowing the grass. Iíve read this entire thread, gobsmacked. Whatís motivating this guy to be so passionate about cutting the grass? Does he like his time outside, away from the family? Does he like feeling like master of his domain? Weird. I have nothing to offer. My fallback for these types of things is, heís probably either horny or bored. Let him get whatever he wants if he pays cash from his personal stash. And have more sex. ;-)

In the majority of places in the U.S., you are going to run into trouble with your local municipality and your neighbors if you don't keep your lawn mowed.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2017, 10:23:21 AM »
I donít have a lawn. I canít imagine anything worse than mowing the grass. Iíve read this entire thread, gobsmacked. Whatís motivating this guy to be so passionate about cutting the grass? Does he like his time outside, away from the family? Does he like feeling like master of his domain? Weird. I have nothing to offer. My fallback for these types of things is, heís probably either horny or bored. Let him get whatever he wants if he pays cash from his personal stash. And have more sex. ;-)

In the majority of places in the U.S., you are going to run into trouble with your local municipality and your neighbors if you don't keep your lawn mowed.

What? Donít be weird. Iím not going to live in a jungle. Get some 13yo to cut your frigginí grass. Support youth labor. Use your adult time for taking care of your kids or something meaningful.

Finances_With_Purpose

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 664
    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2017, 02:01:38 PM »
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.

Laura33 for the win, again.  Agree.  I won't speculate as to what's driving your husband as I don't know, but she laid out the possibilities well.  Lots of wisdom there.

I'll say it again: Laura33, you need to start an advice column. 

big_owl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 656
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2017, 03:19:21 PM »
Wow people are reading quite a bit into this lawnmower thing.  Personally I think $4k for a lawn mower is way too much, but I only have 3 acres of which 50% is forested, though it is very hilly.  The rest used to take me about 1.5 hours to mow, but I've since reforested a lot more of it, as well as landscaped with native bushes, and now i'm down to about 30mins of cutting time.  So much so that this winter I gave away my old gas self propelled mower and am buying an EGO self propelled battery mower starting next spring.

Anyway, if the man wants his $4k mower then so be it.  I'd let him have it, it's probably not a sign of the apocalypse, impending divorce, repressed fetishes, or whatever.  My only stipulation...if he *really* wants the mower then he has to come up with the cash to pay for it, no debt.  Then you'll find out just how badly he *actually* needs the thing.

AccidentalMiser

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Age: 51
  • Location: SE Tenn
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #83 on: December 24, 2017, 09:00:48 PM »
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

This.  Get a used pro machine.

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #84 on: December 26, 2017, 10:44:00 AM »

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.

What a strange part of the world Ohio must be. Here in Anchorage you only need to mow your lawn about five times a year.

Could you change an acre or an acre and a half of lawn into farm? If you've got that much land maybe you should be growing food on it.

Have you been to Ohio?  Everything here GROWS and grows aggressively.  I have to mow twice a week in the rainy summer months or the grass goes out of control. 

go look at a growing zone map sometime.  There's a blue(cold) zone that ranges from Maine out through colorado; except it turns green in Ohio.  Ohio is a big valley and combating the shrubs is a full time job in summer.

But itís not a year round job even here in verdant Ohio.

We mow maybe once in May, weekly in June and July, rarely in August (which is generally hot and dry), and a couple of times in September/October depending on rainfall and when the leaves come down. So youíre looking at 12 or 13 mowings/year, IME.

A big property may justify bigger equipment, but youíve got months and months to save up for it, so why take out a loan? OTOH, I spent my teenager years mowing about an acre of lawn in central Florida - which has a much longer mowing season - with a smallish push mower. We did a chunk every mornings ng before it got too hot. 2 acres isnít exactly a vast estate.

I log about 25hrs. per year on my mower.  At 1.25 to 1.5hrs. per cut that's a decent amount for the season. 

I get back about $4k/yr. of my time (from what it used to take) so it's a good investment for me.  2 year payback... so the mower has paid for itself already!

SeaMaster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2018, 05:31:42 PM »
Hi. Sorry for bring up an old post but it is how I found this forum :)

My wife and I are wanting to buy a riding lawn mower for the spring, we have about 2.5 acres of land which mostly is lawn so we really need a decent riding mower. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I have been looking at the consumer report website someone linked to previously and also this gardeners blog http://www.gardenerschoice.net/best-riding-lawn-mower/

I have all but decided on the Husqvarna YTH18542 as it does have good reviews on amazon and youtube but just looking for some more options before I pull the trigger this weekend. Any advice?

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: My spouse wants to borrow money to purchase a $4k lawnmower
« Reply #86 on: February 01, 2018, 05:46:31 AM »
Hi. Sorry for bring up an old post but it is how I found this forum :)

My wife and I are wanting to buy a riding lawn mower for the spring, we have about 2.5 acres of land which mostly is lawn so we really need a decent riding mower. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I have been looking at the consumer report website someone linked to previously and also this gardeners blog http://www.gardenerschoice.net/best-riding-lawn-mower/

I have all but decided on the Husqvarna YTH18542 as it does have good reviews on amazon and youtube but just looking for some more options before I pull the trigger this weekend. Any advice?

this forum isnt about buying lawn mowers its about saving money so you can retire early - thats why the poster is opposed to the lawn mower purchase by her husband my advice is to go read this

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

then adjust your lifestyle appropriately -

you stumbled into a gold mine looking for a lawn mower please use this time to dig deeper and educate yourself

oh and on the lawn mower put that on hold - do some research find a good quality used one - or check out a robo mower - its probably cheaper than that thing and would make it so you dont have to mow.