Sunday, 13 January 2013


It has arrived, that long awaited yet so sad day.  My parents are taking back their van, which was on loan to me for over three years while they were overseas.  Sob . . .  I will miss so many things about that van, like the turning radius and squeaking into parking spaces because my van is built more like a truck.  I'll never forget the warm feeling I got when I had to fill up it's tank from empty for a total bill of $120, knowing that it would guzzle it ever so quickly.  And oh that wonderful morning I got to spend with CAA because my sister ran down the battery.  Good times.

Ok maybe I'm laying it on a little bit thick.  It wasn't all bad.  I learned to drive in that van.  It let me get around for 3 whole years, vastly simplifying groceries.  With out it I wouldn't have been able to foster cats from the local humane society without it.  Not to mention a couple months ago I pretty much loaded my entire life into it so that I could move.  It's done a lot for me, I truly appreciate what it has done for me despite its difficulties.

So comes the question, should I replace it or not?  I've been waffling on the issue for a while.  So lets lay this out in a logical way.  15% of my budget is for transportation, which is about $538.20 a month.  $68.25 goes towards my bus pass.  That's not going to change, I need it to get to work and driving to work isn't an option.  The parking alone would be more expensive then my bus pass.  I would spend between $100 and $150 dollars a month on gas depending on if I go to see my parents once or twice a month.  That leaves me between $369.95 and $319.95 for all the expenses of a car.  Other expenses would be as follows:

Insurance (estimate) - $115 /month
Repairs, maintenance - $125/month

Which would leave $79.95 a month for payments.

I have savings set aside for a car to the tune of $5,692.79.  After speaking to my Grandfather I expect for a reliable used car, after taxes and registration the up front cost would be about $9,000.  Leaving me a deficit of $3,307.21.

I prefer to pay cash since I loath the idea of paying interest, and I'm not sure if I could get a payment plan that would make my payments less than $80 a month.  I could come up with the necessary cash up front, but that would mean pillaging the savings I have set aside to make extra payment on my mortgage, and it would take me 42 months to pay it back.

Pillaging my house savings account would mean that I couldn't double up my mortgage payments every month.  At least not until I start seeing whatever I will get from disability insurance and I have no idea when that will be.  The bottom line is that I want to pay off my mortgage as fast as possible and a dollar against it today is much more valuable then a dollar against tomorrow.  So for the moment a car is out of question.  So I'm just going to have to figure out the best way to get around without a car.

Any suggestions on cheap transport?

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