Category Archives: car

Potential to buy a car sooner rather than later

So over the weekend I was contemplating buying a car sooner rather than later. BF and I talked about it a lot, and while I’d much prefer to have a huge down payment together, it might make more sense for me not to wait. Now hear me out before you tell me it’s a bad idea. There are a few reasons why I think this is a good option for me:

  • 0% financing. I know that 0% financing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. But for me, if I’m going to be putting away $300-500/month for a new car down the road, it makes sense to buy it now if it doesn’t cost me any interest (except the 1.05% I’d be saving in my ING account). The vehicles that I am looking at all offer 0% financing options, and I know that with my credit, I would most likely qualify for it.
  • Timing. Let’s say we decide to go traveling in 3-5 years. I don’t want to have to worry about a car payment. If I buy sooner rather than later, I will have the car paid off a year or two faster (than if I waited to save $10,000+).
  • Winter season. We currently don’t have a car that will take us anywhere in the snow. And that’s huge for us. I’m not just talking about going off winter hiking (but definitely that’s a consideration), but even getting around the city, going up to the ski hill, etc. When it’s icy or snowy, I honestly do not trust my current car. I’d feel much safer with a car that has AWD. After the accident earlier this year, I want to be as safe as possible. This is a HUGE selling point for me.
  • Minimal bills. Right now, I don’t have a lot of living costs. I can still afford a car payment AND continue to put significant money away for retirement, savings, travel, etc. And maybe a few years down the road, if we decide to not go traveling and buy a house – I don’t want to have a car payment. It would be hard on our budget, and might make it harder to get a mortgage.

So those are some of the things that I’ve been thinking about. In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of research into small SUVs or smaller cars with AWD or 4WD. There are some interesting choices out there, and there are a couple that I’m really keen on.

Anyway, I’m not making a rush decision, just weighing all of my options and seeing what’s best for my situation. J still hasn’t found out if he’s gotten that work-related opportunity yet, so we’ll have to find out about that before we go any further with this whole car-buying decision.

New Category: Car Fund

Last night I went and set up a Car Fund savings account through ING. I think that $10,000 is a good amount to try and save over the next 3 years. And considering I’m not saving $500/bi-weekly for travel anymore, I think I can pull it off.

Obviously I won’t be able to buy a new car for $10,000. I’d like to save $15,000 (which still isn’t enough), but it will depend on how long my current car lasts, and how much I want to save into this fund, knowing that it will take away from saving in other categories.

So for right now, $10k is the target. It may increase in the future, but for now, it is what it is.

The fate of my car

Originally I was going to sell the car and use that money towards traveling. But since I’ve moved in with J, I’m probably going to be able to save up the $10k by the end of this year (about 6 months earlier than I had anticipated).

So I’m considering letting my sister borrow the car while I’m gone (under her own insurance, that is). It would be nice to have a car when we get back from traveling, especially for job interviews and getting settled back into life.

Logistically, none of the details have even been discussed. I don’t even know if she’d want to borrow the car (and have to pay insurance/gas on a student budget), but I think I’m going to offer her the option of borrowing it if she wants to.

A few Thursday afternoon thoughts

So I’ve been commuting from my new place for the last few days. It takes me about 20-25 min. in the morning, and 35 min. or so after work. It’s not bad, but it’s still a long commute (compared to my 10 min. walk to and from work). I’m not used to being in a car during rush hour traffic. So frustrating sometimes!

But overall, I think we’re both glad that we have the car to get us around. We can be a lot more productive – trips to the grocery store, Home Depot, the mall, rock climbing, etc. are just short little trips in the car, whereas with a bus or walking would require a lot of planning and time. For example, going rock climbing from our place takes about 60-70 mins. roundtrip (according to Google Maps). But if we had to take the bus, it would be over 4 hrs. roundtrip, including 30 min. each way walking through an industrial area. Not cool.

Anyway yesterday after work I picked BF up from his work, and we drove to MEC in Vancouver. He had to pick up some fenders and tubes for his bicycle. The last time we were at MEC, I tried on 2 pairs of La Sportiva mountaineering boots ($325 and $535). I love La Sportiva because they seem to be wide enough for my toe box, but have a narrow heel so I’m not sliding around in them. BF said that eventually I’ll need to get mountaineering boots, as my entry-level hikers won’t cut it once I learn to do more advanced climbs. The $535 ones fit the best (isn’t that always the case?), and he said they would last for 10 years if I take good care of them. He also said they would be a better choice than the $325 ones because they are warmer (won’t have to double up on socks – which I HATE doing) and more durable. $535 for boots isn’t in my budget right now, and I’m not into those sorts of climbs yet. But when I am (hopefully by the time we leave on our trip next year), I’ll know how much I need to save.

Then he treated me to dinner at a delicious (and cheap) Mexican restaurant. I think the bill came to around $13 for the 2 of us.

Speaking of BF, I’m really excited for him because his work said he can work as much OT as he wants until June 6th. So that means he won’t be home until maybe 8 or 9pm (he leaves for work at 6am and starts at 7am). It’s going to be really tiring for him and probably not much will get done in terms of renovations around the house, but it will be worth it. He can take all of that OT $$ and put it into his Travel Fund.

Car vs. Bus

Tonight BF and I (and his brother’s family) have been invited to his aunt and uncle’s house for dinner. I’ve briefly met the uncle before, but I don’t think I’ve ever met his wife. It will be a nice quiet evening … which is good, because it’s been pretty chaotic ever since BF has been back. And the past 2 days I’ve gotten up before 5:30am in order to catch the bus to get to work in time from his house. Ugg.

Which leads me to this conclusion: I’m probably going to use my car to commute to and from work once I move. At first, it was definitely a question-mark. The bus isn’t bad, but it will cost me under 1.5 tanks of gas per month to do the commute. That cost of gas is considerably less than the $100 bus pass/month, and will save me just about 90 min. of commuting per day.

I know that doesn’t factor in the wear-and-tear of the car, so we’ll just have to see how it works for the first little bit. It’s really not the gas vs. bus pass cost, it’s the 30 hrs/month of commute time that I’d be saving by driving.

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