Want to Buy a Snowmobile?

So you want to buy a snowmobile, you say?

You want to buy a snowmobile Messy MoneyAbout 8 years ago, we moved to a snowbelt region. We moved in the month of January and I remember it snowed every single day for 3 weeks straight.  It seemed like everyone in the area owned a snowmobile, and my husband was intrigued.  This was during our great spending death spiral period and one day he decided to buy a brand new snowmobile on a WHIM. He called me from the snowmobile dealership as he was signing the papers.  I was dealing with a preschooler and a “hell on wheels” toddler at that exact moment and just said “Oh, that sounds great honey,” and hung up the phone.  I paused for a moment and thought, “Hmmm, I am not so sure about this.”  I packed  up the kids, jumped in the mini van and drove to the dealership.

When I got there, I stood outside peering in through the windows.  I had one kid on my hip and the other clinging to my legs.  My husband was standing at the counter with the salesman, and they both looked over and saw me.  I must have been quite the vision standing out there with a look of despair on my face because the color drained from both their faces.  When a wife shows up during the signing of the sale, it is anything but good news.

Long story short, he bought the snowmobile and the cost disappeared into our line of credit, all $10,000+ of it.  Buying the snowmobile is just the beginning.  You need equipment.  Riders need a snowsuit to wear and since my husband does much of his riding over frozen water he opted for an expensive “floater” suit, designed to act as a life preserver if the rider falls through ice. Next boots, gloves and a heated helmet.  Once equipped for the conditions, insurance, trail passes, licenses and registration are next.  Not to mention the fuel and maintenance.  Maintenance is key because he knows that his chances of buying another snowmobile during my lifetime are slim. LOL.  He does drop hints though. Life would be much easier if he could just buy a brand new one.  I pretend not to hear those comments.

Here is a snapshot of the costs of running the snowmobile , year to date.

Annual Snowmobile costs messy money

 

The cost of ownership is not pretty.

You think that I would have learned a lesson here, and we could have avoided our hot tub debacle, but I guess some lessons don’t sink in so easily.

I have mixed feelings about the snowmobile.  He enjoys the sport so much and he has a gaggle of friends that all enjoy riding together and going off on snowy adventures.  I wish I enjoyed it too, because we could do it together as a couple, but I am more of an inside gal when it looks like a scene from “The Day After Tomorrow” outside.

I think I would feel better about it if it was his only expensive hobby.  It turns out that he also has a classic car that he is restoring.  (Restoring = standing in the garage with neighbours and beer looking at the car and talking about what work needs to be done).  To my knowledge very little work has been done but many tools have been purchased.  He is also a recovering numismatist.  What is a girl to do?

Does your significant other have expensive hobbies?  How do you deal with allocation of funds to said hobbies?  Do you say no?  Is it a source of contention in your relationship?

I understand his love of the sport.  (It is a sport, you should see him hobble around the day after a long run!)  To help you understand his passion,I will leave you with this – Sled Porn.  These guys are hardcore and it makes me think we need to increase our life insurance.  Oh – see there is another cost to think about.

Part of  brokeGIRLrich and Friday Jet Fuel #18 at Money Propeller

and

NOVEMBER 8TH: SITSGIRLS SATURDAY SHAREFEST 

29 Comments


  1. Having a snowmobile where I live would be so much fun! While it does cost quite a bit of money, I was once told by a very wise person that, “Experiences are always more important than money!” I agree. I have also seen studies where people who use there money on experiences are happier than people who use their money on things. You have an unique mixture of a thing that provides experiences.

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    1. My husband definitely believes that his snowmobile is worth the expense for the experiences he has had. It could also come in handy if we experience an end of the world snow event – like Buffalo saw last year. LOL.

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      1. Is snowmobiling something that your whole family enjoys together? It isn’t something that my family does together, although I would like to! I do have several friends that go all the time in the winter with their whole families and they seem to have so much fun together.

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        1. For now I am a snowmobile widow and I am ok with that.

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  2. Found your site on J$s Rockstar list and just had to comment on the snowmobile. I myself own a sled, and i have to give your Mr. some props for finding one that he liked and sticking to it. My first sled i bought 1 year old, the next season bought a brand new one and the season after that did the same. It is a very expensive sport to be into but it is worth the money. Getting out of the house in the dead of winter and doing some Male bonding is exactly what I need sometimes. Without the option to go away for the day to clear my head and bullsh*t with the boys i think there are times i would go crazy. Life is hectic sometimes and you need to be able to find ways to decompress and let it out. Sledding is one of the ways i am able to do it.

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    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Your comment echos a lot of the things I have heard from my husband. He LOVES his snowmobile and all his snowmobile buddies are giddy because there is snow in the forecast. Hope you have a great season!

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  3. Thanks for the sled porn. I love it! My husband doesn’t have an expensive hobby (Thank God), but he is having newer car fever. Every other day he sending me images or links to something. Our car is fine and totally paid for. He gets out the car when we’re together…and looks at stuff with perplexed facial expressions. LOL. Whatever….next car needs to be paid for in cash!!!
    Debt Free Divas recently posted…Healthy Meals in a HurryMy Profile

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    1. Oh the vehicles! I like nice cars but they are so darn expensive. I keep getting those perplexed looks and speeches about the snowmobile – the flux capacitor blah blah blah, injector system blah blah blah need a new power converter blah blah…maybe it is time for a new one. Sigh.

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  4. Oh no! Snowmobiles are SO EXPENSIVE and such a huge time drain, to keep them running. I would have lost it, probably. My coworker was thinking about buying a condo recently… and has now decided that he’ll stick it out another year or two living with some ski bums. In the meantime, he’s probably going to buy a snowmobile though:-/ That wouldn’t be my first choice, that’s for darn sure.
    Anne @ Money Propeller recently posted…Jet Setter Interview – Frank of Working with CreditMy Profile

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    1. LOL. It is an expensive sport. At least I think we have some options in the event of a snowy apocalypse. Sigh.

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    1. Oh yes the electronics can add up. We have a very sad, sorry collection of electronics – some of which are held together with duct tape. LOL

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  5. I know Mr. FW is going to want a snowmobile when we move to the homestead, but I’m OK with it since he’s planning to buy it used. It does look like fun… 🙂

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    1. My husband loves it – so excited to get out on the trails. It could come in handy at the homestead – gives you access to places that are hard to reach on foot when there is a ton of snow.

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    1. LOL – My husband and his snowmobile friends certainly have a great time. They are so excited when it snows – they are like a bunch of kids.

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    1. Oh I am jealous! I love snowy winter but it gets a little old after a few months. I have visited San Francisco (not sure that would be considered southern Cali) and it was beautiful.

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  6. Dang, snowmobiles are pricey. Definitely not a hobby I’d be super excited about. I think it helps to match whatever your own crazy thing is financially to your significant others. I used to date a guy who collected baseball cards like crazy. They were everywhere. There was literally a room in the condo for the baseball cards. The cost also seemed ridiculous to me… until I realized that as much as he spent on baseball cards all year was pretty much the same as one trip to Florida to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a weekend…. so I sort of shut up about the baseball card thing after I realized that.
    Mel recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #63My Profile

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    1. Oh the collections ugh! I married a collector or everything – it is all going to be worth something one day. Drives me crazy but at least baseball cards store easily!

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  7. My parents bought a snowmobile when I was about 12. My sisters were 16. I got to drive it and one of my sisters was on the back. Unfortunately it was the meaner sister. So I start driving and I love speed. A while into it I took a turn way too fast and flipped the machine. Boy was she mad! She chased me all over that yard. The snowmobile was sold soon after. Sister went in the Army the next year. I sure did miss that snowmobile!

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    1. LOL – that is hilarious! Thanks for sharing a good laugh.

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  8. We had snowmobiles when I was a kid. And as I recall, my dad was always working on one or another of them. 🙂 My hubby’s sport expenditures are for golf. He’s angling for a cart and trailer now….

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    1. Oh golf! Golf can be so expensive with clubs and green fees and the gadgets. It is tough when your significant other has an expensive hobby (or 3! in my case) – Where do you draw the line? What is fair? I haven’t found the answers yet. Always glad to hear I am not alone.

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  9. I consider myself pretty lucky that DH doesn’t have an expensive hobby except buying silly stuff in the name of car maintenance. His field of work does cost us in equipment/software which can annoy me at times even though it’s understandable. I also don’t have expensive past times so it keeps our costs low. Good luck to you my dear and hold out for as long as you can on a new snowmobile…they’re expensive! 🙂

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    1. LOL – I am holding out, we may have to come to a compromise where he saves up the money or gives up something else. Love and money can be a bitter cocktail.

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  10. Winter sports are so expensive, but so fun. My vice is skiing, but I haven’t been as much as I’d like the past few years because of either pregnancy or price.

    On one hand, I’d be angry as all hell if he went and made a $10k purchase without some long discussion and calculations first, but on the other hand at least it sounds like he’s really getting his money’s worth out of it. Would be so much worse if it were just sitting in storage, but I guess that would cut down on operational costs.
    femmefrugality recently posted…Free Tai Chi SessionsMy Profile

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    1. I skied when I was a teenager and I loved it. (But I was terrible and a hazard to other skiers) It is expensive though – I remember begging for skis from my parents for Christmas.
      He does get lots of use out the snowmobile but it is an expensive hobby/sport.

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