We Paid Cash: A Treadmill

Testimony from Brooke

About two years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted a treadmill but couldn’t afford one. With winter coming, we knew that our outdoor running was coming to an end and with two young children at the time, we knew that a treadmill would make life much easier.

We searched the newspaper and Craigslist for a while and finally found one for only $75 in a neighboring town. It was definitely not the treadmill we had envisioned but it would work. We took it home and it has worked for us… but it is definitely work to use it.

Since then, we’ve been on the lookout for something a little better — but still in our budget. We have a small savings account with about $200 set aside for big purchase items such as this.

As October approached, we started thinking of our winter exercise needs again. My mother’s co-worker expressed an interest to sell her treadmill a while back, but she wanted $450 for it which was out of our range.

When hers didn’t sell after a few months, she said she would take $250 for it. This was really tempting.

We went to look at it and it was like a dream compared to ours! It was only 3-4 years old and barely used with lots of bells and whistles. We decided that if we could sell ours then we could do this.

We put our used treadmill on Craigslist for $75, hoping to get at least $50 for it. Two days later, someone offered us the entire $75 for it and came to pick it up the next night. We bought that new-to-us treadmill for $250 and used our $75 to offset the price and make it $175!

We found out later that this was a $1200 machine, and after investigation of information on the machine’s console, we discovered it had only been used for a total of six hours! It was basically a brand-new $1200 machine that we got for $250!

We feel like we are running on a cloud now — especially compared to what it was like to run on the $75 machine. We enjoy it even more knowing we paid cash and saved so much money by having patience and waiting until we could find something we could afford. It was worth the wait.

Brooke is a wife and mother of three beautiful children; ages 5 years, 3 years, and 6 months. She works full-time as a third grade teacher. She loves spending time with her family, saving money for her family, reading, and scrapbooking.

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  1. Liz Shamansky says

    Thanks for the story Brooke…so encouraging! I was happy to see a “We Paid Cash” on here again, and even more happy to find out that the person who frugally obtained the treadmill was you…you deserve it. Enjoy that treadmill…we love ours and it is perfect for winter and when you are home with little ones.

  2. Sarah says

    Haha. Sorry, it was funny to me that it was only used 6 hours. If she paid full price we’re talking 200 bucks an hour to run on a treadmill!

  3. Amy says

    As inspiring as that is- and such an awesome deal, there’s a part of me that feel like it’s just cheating the original owner- at least you could have given her the extra $25, and that certainly would have been the least you could do. I understand the principals in saving money and holding out for the right price, and she obviously rather have some money than no money, but morally I just wouldn’t feel right.

    • Anna says

      That’s the beauty of a free enterprise society. Would you feel bad for the bank if you purchased a foreclosure at 10% of its original value? if you flipped the house and made money, would you give some of the profits to them? What about an antique shop that purchases rockbottom priced items at an estate sale then marks them up 3 or 4 times in their shop? There are 100 more examples.

  4. Michelle says

    Just a thought if someone else is in this situation – I use yak trax on my shoes in the winter and they work great for walking or running outdoors and not breaking a leg.

  5. Sarah says

    This one goes back to the “mindset of frugality” (patience) for me. This past spring my husband and I wanted to start running. Both for health, and to participate in a 5k for charity in honor of my aunt. We had bought a stroller that was for everyday/running when we had our son, but we knew we couldn’t make a toddler go with us in bad weather. Also, I was loathe to train just to have to take the winter off. I was starting to look at craigslist, and was trying to figure how to buy even a used one when my SIL posts that she’s getting rid of hers. I had my husband call her, and a few weeks later my FREE treadmill was in my house!

  6. Emily W says

    Thanks for the encouraging post! It is nice to get a great deal and feels so satisfying. Good for you for holding out for something in your price range.

  7. says

    Way to go! I don’t believe in going in to debt for something like exercise equipment either, and it is so awesome that you were able to hold out to get the price down into your budget! If more people were patient and waited for the perfect situation before making a big purchase, then everyone would be better off!

  8. k king says

    this year my husband got an older-model Bowflex home gym for $40 in excellent condition on Craigslist and also a co-worker gave him her mother’s barely used treadmill because her mother was going into a nursing home. Great deals

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