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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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!)


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 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.


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!