Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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No hockey tournament for me this year

I hate taking the bus. Not only is it always crowded (and I always have to stand for the entire 1 hr. trip), but it always smells like rotting fish. Always. It’s also expensive! It costs me $2.75 for a one-way fare to get to work, so that’s $5.50/day! Even if I buy the discount ticket sheet at $25 for 10 tickets, that’s still only a savings of 50 cents a day. Considering it costs me approximately $7/week in gas for my scooter, I try not to take the bus at all. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Tomorrow I’ll have to take the bus, and since I’m out of bus tickets, that means I’ll have to stop off at the store and buy a $25 sheet before work. I’m still on meds from my wisdom teeth surgery, and the weather forecast says 60-90 km/hr wind warnings, and there is no way in heck I’m riding in a wind warning. The last time I did that, I nearly got blown into on coming traffic!

In other news, I have decided not to go to the hockey tournament that my team enters in every May. Last year we won the whole thing! :) But after tournament fees, hotel, and travel costs, it’s about $200 … which is pretty good for a 4-day tournament … but that’s also not including food. Since we stay at a hotel, there’s no kitchenette, or even a microwave, so that pretty much eliminates making my own meals. Plus, since we’re there as a team, everyone likes to go out for team meals, which equals $$$ in a big way. Anyway, last year I think it ended up costing me a little over $400. I only budgeted $400 for all hockey expenses this year, and I’ve already allocated all of it to the fees for the 3 leagues that I play in. :( So unfortunately, no fun tournament for me this year. That makes me sad, but the debt takes priority. Hopefully I can go next year when I’m out of debt.

That means the only time I’ll get off this island this year is in the end of June, when a friend and I are going down to Seattle for the Canada Day long weekend. I’d better make the most of that trip!

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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