Categories
Budgeting Spending

My Car is 11 Years Old

I drive a 2010 Hyundai Tucson. Black. It is eleven years old now and shows no signs of stopping.

I FINANCED IT

I have to confess, I originally bought the car used and financed it over 5 years. My payment was $455/per month and I hardly put anything down. I had a great job at the time and didn’t worry about the payment. I thought, heck, I can afford it. And I could.

My position paid very well and I succumbed to lifestyle inflation. I bought the SUV and as well as nice clothing and other crap in the ensuing years.

I finally paid it off by 2015 and since then I have not had any car payment.

IT’S GETTING OLD

Now that it is 2021, my Tucson is getting old but I have to say the mileage on it is very low – 90K. You see, I don’t drive much, maybe 5K to 10K km’s each year. I am fairly lucky. I know that many people have to commute every day.

OTHER OPTIONS

You’re probably wondering – why even have a car? I supposed I don’t really need it. I could sell it, pocket the money and ride transit. Another option – the multiple of car-share companies available here in Vancouver. We now finally have UBER and LYFT.

But I enjoy the convenience of getting out and going wherever and whenever I want. I also need it to take my mom shopping. She is getting older now and struggles to go out on her own.

It’s already paid off, and I as long as there are no maintenance issues, my main costs are only gas and insurance.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM CAR OWNERSHIP

Now, that I’ve had my car for 11 years here is what I’ve learned:

  1. No more car payments again. Ever. I will never finance a car again. What a waste of money (if you don’t need to commute a long distance)
  2. Maintenance is key – I do at least once or two oil changes a year. My steering once started to leak and it turned out to be a known issue – a related part needed to be replaced eventually but I decided to bite the bullet and I repaired it on the spot at a cost of $1,000. It’s never bothered me since.
  3. The dealer is a rip-off. Go find a good mechanic somewhere else.
  4. I don’t care what people think. It seems that everyone looks at your car these days and judges you based on what you have.

THE FUTURE

I don’t understand this culture of upgrading our vehicles and a $500/month car payment is acceptable. When you add insurance and maintenance costs, total spending each month can easily approach $1,000.

I don’t care what I drive. I don’t need a fancy vehicle to show off my status.

I have decided I will drove my TUCSON into the ground.

Categories
Budgeting Spending

July Spending Update

Welcome to my first spending update!

I’ve been tracking my finances since the 90’s and have always had a pretty good idea of where my money goes. I use a program called Microsoft Money Sunset Edition (Sadly, it is no longer updated but you can find a copy free online at the link – use at your own risk!) I enter everything I spend on a daily basis – if I make a purchase on my credit card, I will post it into the software immediately (Don’t forget – I’m an accountant!)

JULY UPDATE

It is now just past the middle of July and a I’ve noticed a few things. I won’t go into detail of exactly how much I spend, but here is what sticks out:

  • I’ve spent too much on eating out.
  • I’ve also spent too much on Starbucks!

The weather has been nice and I haven’t felt like cooking or ordering from my usual meal plan service. I also love the ritual of buying a Starbucks on the way to work. It is just so relaxing!

MY WEAKNESSES

My biggest weakness involves a pub down the street. They have a wing night that I simply cannot resist – yes, beer and chicken wings is my vice of choice. But cheap wings aside, after a few drinks, the bill can get to $50 fairly quickly.

As mentioned before, going out and getting a coffee is one of my favorite activities, especially at the beginning of a long walk. I do make coffee at home in the morning, but to be honest, it is not the same thing. Without a doubt, though, I still spend less on coffee than I used to.

THE PAST

In the past, when I had a good job (I still do, but it doesn’t pay as much), I suffered from lifestyle inflation – I used to spend a fortune on travel, food and entertainment, clothing – you name it! I was seriously on the career treadmill – overweight and unhappy – running to desperately keep up.

I’ve made huge strides over the years and no longer attempt to keep up with the corporate lackeys I see downtown. I’ve gotten my spending down considerably, but it’s a process, even after all these years. Sometimes, I fall back on old habits and have to adjust in the following months.

I’ll keep doing these updates periodically. See you soon!