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The "finance committee " seems to have a grip and understanding of finances so just rent that tractor for the next 10 weekends at $600 to $800 a pop and at the end of 10 weeks tell her "the finance committee" just blew eight grand and that would have been half the money on a NEW tractor that you could use 24/7 at your convenience.
Honestly, this is not a dig or criticism towards you and your relationship and situation but I have never asked permission from my wife to buy anything Nor she from me. We're both mature and responsible enough adults to handle our own finances and also support each other's interests. Again, not specifically picking on you but I have seen similar post like this and honestly it makes me feel uneasy.
 

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Hey Mass guy's / OP,

I live in Middlesex County in the town where "Yankee Doodle" was written. The town was incorporated in 1655 which makes my home a fairly new dwelling even though it's over 110 years old. I bought the house from the caretaker of Walden pond for $25000, a fairly good amount of money to spend for someone just out of the Navy. However, the VA wouldn't give me a loan until I replaced the electrical system, plumbing, and installed city sewage. I made a promise to the VA inspector I would get the work done in 30 days or less and he approved the loan. I'm a very capable person and immediately replaced the knob and tube electrical with a 200 amp service with the help of a friend, a licensed electrician. I called another friend and he ran the 6" pipe for the sewage 6' down, from inside the house 210' to the street. True to my word the work was done in less than 30 days. We moved out of the apartment, into the house, and have been here ever since rebuilding the house. All of that work cost me about $1500 and a lot me breaking my back, and that was in 1979.

It wasn't a lot of fun, but it was a labor of love. So what does any of this have to do with a tractor?? Well, we didn't really have a lawn. The landscape was non existent, 200' pine trees were falling down, there was no grass, and no driveway. I called in some landscapers and every one of them wanted almost as much for the landscaping and tree removal as I had paid for the house. We, the CFO and I, decided to put off any ground work and put our money into the house itself. Our first step was to remove an entire 2 story section of the house that was built on top of the ground. Ever seen frost on your bedroom floor?? I have.

A big part of replacing that section of the house was digging the hole for the foundation, then back-filling when done. I called my sewage guy and the price for the dig and the back fill was almost 2 grand, so I asked how much just to dig the hole and he gave me a price of $900. So I took the deal and using my Sears credit I bought a GT18, AG tires, weights and a front blade, thinking that would do the back-fill. I also added electric assist and a sleeve hitch. The cost for all of that was just under $2500.

That GT18 struggled, but was able to back-fill the foundation, push the excess down the hill out front, drag logs, pull brush, and put down enough gravel to make a 3 car by 250' 3" thick driveway, all in the first summer I owned it, and that winter I used it to plow the driveway. I owned that GT18 for over 30 years, and in all that time I broke 1 belt, replaced the starter, and replaced the front blade after I wore it out. Sears had good garden tractors back then, and the GT18 was the top of the line.
TractorData.com Sears GT/18 917.25711 tractor attachments information

My next garden tractor was an X580, then an X738, and now my more than capable 1023e. I can't begin to add up the amount of dollars saved using these tractors, but it's much more than I'll ever pay for them combined. And the best part is my sales guy in Lancaster who has given me 95% credit for very upgrade I've made making my trades more of a rental for a year.

So OP, think about what's in the future and discuss that with your wife. Justify the purchase, even if it's not a 1 series machine. Get your foot in the door and she'll come around. And if she doesn't you've married the wrong woman.
 

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To be honest, I have never understood the concept of borrowing money to buy anything that I didn't really need. With the exception of my home, if I can't just pay cash for something, I don't buy it. For a lot of people, that type of discipline could be the difference between an easy retirement or being stuck with 3 squares of Friskies in your later years. Play the long game.
Debt is a tool like any other. People who use debt thoughtfully get more bang out of their buck than people who avoid it. And people who avoid it do better than people who make foolish and impulsive decisions.

People and businesses go bankrupt when they run out of cash--plain and simple. If you have 25K in cash to pay for a tractor, you would likely be better off taking a low-rate loan (esp. 0%!) and keeping that cash in savings. If you get a major medical bill, your furnace dies, or lose your job, that cash will do you a lot more good than a paid-off tractor will.

What gets people into trouble is that they take on more debt than they can afford to service through a predictable disruption like a layoff or medical problem that puts them out of work for a month or two. If you have a month of savings then you are counting on luck to be on your side--maybe if you're 25, OK. If you have a year of payments in the bank, then you can weather most of the storms life is likely to throw at you, as long as you're not too foolishly levered in fast-depreciating assets like boats, cars, or other toys that lose half their value the minute you take ownership.
 

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I suspect an experienced divorce lawyer might take issue with that claim. :)

To be honest, I have never understood the concept of borrowing money to buy anything that I didn't really need. With the exception of my home, if I can't just pay cash for something, I don't buy it. For a lot of people, that type of discipline could be the difference between an easy retirement or being stuck with 3 squares of Friskies in your later years. Play the long game. :)

Best,
I doubt that seriously. Buying something you want doesn’t lead to a divorce. If it would, you’re married to the wrong person.

About the financing part, large purchase for necessities, such as a house or vehicle, I understand.
Recreational item, such as boats, camping trailer and such is not a necessity. Same as a spare piece of equipped that you’re able to do without.
If a deal comes along, such as my ZT mower with zero down and zero interest for some many years, that’s a no brainer.
 

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I would love to have a good woman in my life, but that just hasn't been my lot in life. A crazy selfish, well I can find those all day long. Last year I had two different women offer to allow me the privilege of bush hogging their back yard when they found out I had a tractor. And if you have home improvement skills, well there are loads of women out there who had husbands who sucked at keeping their houses in shape before they left.

But if they come to your house and everything looks really good, and theirs doesn't, they will want you to make theirs look good, and of course, you need to pick up the tab as well. I have grown leary of that sort of woman. Never once have I found out a woman knew how to clean up a house and offered to allow her to come clean up mine.....

I guess the question I would ask is why does she have veto power? That doesn't seem like a supportive two way arrangement. If you have the disposable income to cover the purchase, and it makes your life easier, she should support it.

I co-mingled my $ one time. Never again.
 

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Marriage is give and take in my experience. You can still be "alpha" and be reasonable. Owning a tractor is a real treat! But not worth losing a good lady over. They are hard to find!
This... It was an option, it'll be one again. As much as I'd like say otherwise, I spend more time on my tractor then I do on my motorcycle in a given year and if I had to make a choice, I'd keep the tractor, too useful not to have. But if you're happy in your marriage a tractor isn't worth losing a wife or potentially damaging a relationship.
 

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Owning a tractor is a real treat! But not worth losing a good lady over.
IMO, the gentleman needs a tractor or he doesn't, it's that simple. Apparently the wife does not need one, BIG difference.
 

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What gets people into trouble is that they take on more debt than they can afford to service through a predictable disruption like a layoff or medical problem that puts them out of work for a month or two. If you have a month of savings then you are counting on luck to be on your side--maybe if you're 25, OK. If you have a year of payments in the bank, then you can weather most of the storms life is likely to throw at you, as long as you're not too foolishly levered in fast-depreciating assets like boats, cars, or other toys that lose half their value the minute you take ownership.
I am the poster child for just this. About 7-8 years ago when I got sick went for 9 months without a cent of income (wife hasn't been able to work for over 10 years) and never missed a mortgage or truck payment and all bills were paid on time.

When I look back I don't know how we did it, but we did.

That comes from living a very frugal life. I learned a long time ago the difference between wants and needs. For some a tractor can be either I guess.
 

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I am the poster child for just this. About 7-8 years ago when I got sick went for 9 months without a cent of income (wife hasn't been able to work for over 10 years) and never missed a mortgage or truck payment and all bills were paid on time.

When I look back I don't know how we did it, but we did.

That comes from living a very frugal life. I learned a long time ago the difference between wants and needs. For some a tractor can be either I guess.
Exactly. I had open heart surgery about 20 years ago and didn't work for about a year. That's when I learned my lesson about saving for a rainy day. I keep a minimum of 18 months of earnings in cash (or things that can be easily turned into cash) at all times now. These days it's more like 2-3 years. With proper discipline, almost anyone can do that. Just takes some time and focus on the long game. You'll sleep a LOT better at night.

There's no tension with Mrs. Ritz about buying things because we have a similar mindset. Amazing how much smoother a relationship is when you remove the tension over finances from the equation.

Best,
 

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late post here and didnt read thru the entire thread but...

5K budget will get you very good used compact tractor, there are several on TractorHouse in that price range, the loader is the challenge. Up your budget to 7K and you can find one for sure, even a green one! Yes they are very easy to maintain and are extremely reliable (at least the ones I have are).

They do sell quick in that price range, so be patient, shop smart, and be ready to buy.
 

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Less than $5,000 ...

I doubt it.
Have you tried your local Criagslist, etc.? Near Madison, WI, there are usually several "bucket tractors" for less than $5K. They may not be pretty, and are probably 30 to 50 years old, may be much larger than a 1025R and may not lift much more...not compact tractors, some row-crop with buckets.

Something functional, will not take abuse (but no good machine should be subjected to abusive use if you want it to last and work well), but may get the job done without breaking the bank. Some of these old row crop tractors are also great for pulling ground contact implements...surprising how much pull a 25 to 30 hp tractor which weighs 5K+ lbs. can have because of good transfer to the ground (less slippage)...think about how much a single horse (live animal) can pull!
 

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If your wife says no you might want to ask her why. My wife of 47 years handles the finances. If she says we can't do, then we can't do it. We worked that out long, long ago. However if she say's we can't do it she'll always tell me why.
 

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I just stopped over to my local dealer to see if he had anything come in. The lot is FULL of used equipment that apparently has been traded in over the past few weeks. Never seen so many used tractors and several really old ones. I would definitely check out some of the local dealers and see what they might have in your area.
 

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So, I was in a similar situation, without the muscle car, several years ago.
We moved, and I had a ton more outside work to do with the new place. I worked at it for a while, then mentioned a few times that I sure could use a tractor to save myself some personal wear and tear, and a ton of time. Nope. Too much money.
Over the next year, my neighbor and I worked to clear standing dead trees from the woods.
Very early the following Spring, one we missed didnt miss the house when it fell.
As we were assessing the damage, the wife told me to go to the local dealer and get a quote.
She understood then that having the tractor meant I would have likely gotten to that tree well before it fell.
Yes, its an expense, but its also a tool. And after seeing what its capable of, she sees it as a tool too.

Ill also agree with the above poster who said the wife calling tools toys is grossly in error.
While most men, and some women, enjoy using tools to fix or build things, they are tools, not toys. They are many times an investment, as is a tractor.
Having a very large and expensive tool collection myself, I know how it goes, but my wife understands when I need to buy a new tool, its because I need it for a specific purpose.
Once your wife understands that, youll likely be on new ground with a few things, and maybe that will open the door to the tractor.
I do have things I consider toys, guns, knives, axes and flashlights. Now yes, a couple of each are most definitely tools, but once you break a certain threshold, they are in the toy category because you no longer NEED them, they are just additions to a collection.

Anyway, good luck with your quest for a tractor.
 

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My wife takes care of our finances. I hate doing bills and stuff and she is really good at it. For that effort what she gets back is my respect when it comes to financial decisions and her input is invaluable.

I got a lot more to say about some of the "put your pants on" type replies to this post - but I fear it might break the rules of being nice to your fellow green tractor owner.
 

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I do not blame the "finance committee" for shooting down my request for approval for yet another toy. She is right. There is a muscle car and fancy SUV, and a huge amount of power tools, etc. etc. etc which only I use :) I have enough toys. Except I do woodworking for fun using huge white oak slabs I have sawyered and used a rented tractor last time to stack. And I am still grading parts of my property and doing lots of landscaping on weekends. Really would love to have a front loader and the ability to add forks. Blowing $600 for 8 hours of tractor rental and having to pass a test every time (in MA you need a commercial front loader license or pass a hobbyist test to rent one) does not make sense to me.

So I was thinking, are there any older JDs that are fairly popular, can lift 500-600lb with forks, can handle some pushing dirt around with a front bucket, and could be fixed by someone who is an OK backyard mechanic (if there is a youtube video or forum post how to fix something, I can learn and do it fairly well).

Could I get something like it with say $5K or below budget?
Then I would have the "finance committee" out there right next to me swinging a pick, shoveling dirt and snow, lifting wood slabs, raking, and so on. Then maybe she'll appreciate a nice TOOL, just like any nice tool you use in your woodshop. The equipment and tools you have limit the jobs AND quality of the WORK you can accomplish. Muscle cars are in fact toys, they don't DO anything that accomplishes a needed task (unless you race). A tractor on the other hand is a force-multiplier for jobs around the property. Too many possibilities to mention. We call them toys because they're tools that are quite enjoyable to use. Just because we enjoy it, doesn't mean it isn't work.
 

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Then I would have the "finance committee" out there right next to me swinging a pick, shoveling dirt and snow, lifting wood slabs, raking, and so on. We call them toys because they tools that are quite enjoyable to use. Just because we enjoy it, doesn't mean it isn't work.
Truth. Even though my wife was the one who told me to stop hemming and hawing over getting the tractor, sometimes I have to remind her that while yes sometimes the chores I am responsible for (outside work, house maintenance, vehicle maintenance, etc) can be enjoyable at times, they are still chores / work, no different than the chores she is responsible for. Mowing the lawn, weedeating, etc when its 95 degrees out isnt so fun regardless of being on the tractor for a while.
 

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What pushed my wife over the edge was watching me spend all day fighting a rental walk behind tiller. The nice Baretto I've gotten from the rental place in years past was broken, and so they gave me a Honda. They make nice engines, but that's the worst tiller I've ever used. I think she's also been seeing the number of projects on the backlog continue to pile up. We're getting stuff done, but there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes. I could rent a tractor for mowing the field, redoing the parking area, and tilling/leveling the new garden plot, a mini excavator for digging various trenches, a skid steer for some other work. However, the rental fees over the next few years start to get close enough to the purchase price of a tractor and implements that the purchase starts to make more sense. Plus, I like doing stuff on my own time. I might want to squeeze in an hour here or there between other stuff. She also buys stuff for her business by the pallet, and the freight trucks can't make it down the driveway, so they leave stuff out by the road. Also, factor in what your own time is worth. Finally, I'm not getting any younger. I'm not old, but I can tell that certain things are harder than they used to be. Any one of these factors aren't enough justification for me, but in the end it's death by a thousand cuts.
 
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