Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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I want a car!

I’ve come to realize that I’m impatient. Very impatient.

Right now, to go along with trying to get out of debt, get a permanent job, buy a condo, get caught up with my RRSP contributions, go back to school (?), and establish an emergency fund, now I want a car. I know I can’t possibly do all these things at once; it all comes one step at a time. But I want all of it now! LOL! Buying a car is definitely at the bottom of the priority list for me right now, but I can’t help but dream. I miss my old car. It’s a treat to me whenever I even get in a car nowadays. Not that I mind riding my scooter – it’s helping me achieve my goals by saving me money … but a scooter isn’t really that practical in the long run, and certainly isn’t going to do me any good if and when I move.

Of course, my dream car just happens to be a MINI Cooper S convertible – which is so completely out of my price range. But when I get one, I’m going to drive it into the ground. That’s how I’ll justify the purchase. I don’t want to buy a new car I’ll be just okay with for the next 20 years – if I’m going to buy it, I’m going to buy exactly what I want. And I know cars are the worst investment ever, and this is a total want vs. need scenario, but a gal only lives once!

I know I’ll probably buy used. A car that’s 1, 2, or even 3 years old doesn’t really bother me. Heck, I drive a scooter right now, so any car is better than what I’ve got (which is nothing!). According to Mini.ca, a brand new, bare bones MINI Cooper S convertible costs $36,600 not including tax, freight, etc. That’s a lot of money! Ones that are a few years old are going anywhere between $20,000 – $30,000 on Craigslist in the Vancouver area. I know I won’t be buying a car until 1) I’m out of debt, 2) I already have a mortgage, and 3) I have at least $10,000 saved up for it. So I figure that’ll be at minimum, 2 years away anyway. And maybe I can hold off longer than that … all I know is before I turn 30, I must have this car.

And you know what? I even feel guilty for even writing this post. I feel guilty for wanting something so expensive – for even looking at their website! I even thought about deleting the post, but that’s what this blog is for, isn’t it? The new frugal me says I should never buy a car this expensive because I’ll be right back in debt again, but the practical me says that it’s not that expensive if I plan on saving for it, and keeping it until it dies. Right?

Ugg, maybe I should plan on buying a fugly Yaris instead.

Scooters: not just for old, balding men

In September 2006, I sold my beautiful car (1989 Mazda 323). Okay, fine. She was a piece of crap, but she was my piece of crap, and I loved her. But I needed to sell her. She was one of my biggest expenses, and I wasn’t driving her enough to justify paying $80/month for car insurance. I worked downtown, so most mornings, I got a ride into town with my Mom, who worked in the building next to me.

I bought my lovely car in 2003 for $1800, and sold her 3 1/2 years later for $1600. Not too shabby, eh?

So what was I going to use to get around the city? I purchased a scooter! Better fuel economy, and way cheaper insurance – I couldn’t go wrong! So I ended up buying a 2005 Yamaha Vino 50cc scooter for $2200, which only had 34km on it so it was practically brand new.

A month later, I got a new job in a different municipality – which translated into a 45km roundtrip commute every day. If I still had my car, I’d have to either 1) drive to work every day, or 2) buy a bus pass for $60/month. 4 months into my job, and I can’t say that I love riding my scooter in every day, but for the money I’m saving, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Let’s do some math, shall we?

  • Price difference between car and scooter: $600
  • Price difference between annual insurance: $540 (from $80/mo to $35/mo)
  • Price difference for gas if I had to drive my car to my new job: $180
  • TOTAL SAVINGS: $120

So even though my scooter was more expensive than my car, it’s already paid for itself in just 4 months. A big bonus is that because my scooter is new, I haven’t had to do any repair work on it. With my car, I could count on spending at least $800 annually to fix something.

I do plan on buying a car again in about a year, but I’m definitely going to buy new, and drive it until it falls apart. My dream car is a Mini Cooper. The price tag is quite steep, and I may not be able to afford it if I end up having a mortgage to pay for, but I’d rather drive a car that I’m in love with for the next 20 years, rather than an ugly Yaris that I hate. However, that’s a long time away, so we’ll see!

Countdown to pay day: 3 days. Hoorah!

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