Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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Bi-weekly payments to the BF?

This July Transportation Challenge has really got me thinking.

If I want to keep going rock climbing in Squamish, and if I want to keep going hiking/camping and doing all the fun things that we’re currently doing, I’m going to have to start giving BF more gas money. It’s not fair.

Gas prices keep rising, and anywhere we want to go is at least an hour away from my house. Plus, he often picks me up from work (or from the bus station, or from the ferries, or from wherever I am), drives me to where I need to go, drives the both of us to do everything, lends me his car, drives, drives, drives.

A few months ago, I offered to give him a set amount bi-weekly, but he won’t take it. So I pay for parking when we go out, and I try to treat him to dinner or snacks or pay for whatever activity we’re doing, but often times he won’t let me do that either.

So, I think bi-weekly, I’m just going to start handing him a cheque (b/c I get free cheques through my bank, and since I have an online bank, it’s kind of inconvenient to get to an ATM). I’m positive if I just start handing him money, he’ll take it. He’s too nice and too polite to ever ask me for money, so this seems like a good way to help contribute to the cost of our relationship. I was thinking $25? That’s $50/month. Too little? I don’t know.

(Yes, I know he reads this blog, and no I don’t think it’s weird to talk about this in a post.)

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, 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

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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