Thursday, December 4, 2008

Getting Closer

Right now we are a 2 car couple. I am revisiting getting rid of one of them. So, I've decided to calculate how much my car and cell phone is costing me. (If it were not for my perception that I need a cell phone because I own a car, I wouldn't have a cell phone at all)

My 1997 car cost $ 710/yr for insurance and licencing.

Gas costs are approximately $ 1863/yr. (I walk to work so my car is only used for cottage runs and some weekend outings--which is about the same km as he puts on his car with driving to work) I do find the gas costs high as my car is all wheel drive. I was told that had I been driving something like a Honda Civic, my gas costs for similar mileage would be halved.

My "pay as you go" cell phone cost $ 67.80/yr. (It's never on and used for emergencies. Most of the time, the time gets wasted--I guess that is a good thing that I do not run into emergencies much!)

Maintenance this yr cost $ 512.91 (ball jt replacement) and $ 50 in oil changes.

Total $ 3203.71/yr or $ 266.98/month.

Do the above numbers make you cringe too? Or do you think I am trying to cut corners where there are none? Would you pay that amount to stay mobile?

My husband drives the identical yr and make of car. He doesn't feel that it is worth getting rid of one. It would mean doubling the mileage on the other car and increasing the wear and tear. The only thing we would save is on maintenance, cell phone and insurance. The total gas costs would be the same.


  1. My opinion may be bias, but I say if it's not adding value to your life, it's clutter, so get rid of it and make room for what does enrich your life.

  2. Do you tend to do separate things on the weekends? It sounds like you can be easily independent during the week, so the decision is whether you can make do with one car on the weekend. If you are usually travelling together on the weekend or you are both flexible enough to allow the other the car when they need it, then you can probably do without the second car.

  3. I really appreciate your opinions and questions.

    Value is definitely something I have to weight and price out.

    I'm having a hard time getting my head around quantifying the value ie. of being able to go to the beach during the week when it is nice, visiting relatives, being able to run errands and go to appointments on "off times" thus avoiding the weekend crowds etc.

    On the weekends, we do almost everything together. It is the use of the car on my weekdays off that would be most impacted.

    As D works 2 days at home, I could use the car if we plan ahead. He could switch days and work at home on the 2 days I am not working.

    I believe my biggest issue (outside of money) is with my perceived restriction of spontaneity.

    I'm going to consult my calendar to figure out how many weekdays I acted spontaneous in 2008 and go from there!

    Thanks for your help!

  4. Over the past 6 months, I got closer and closer to selling the car (I only have one) and last week, I went through with it and sold the car. I have already replaced the car with a bike as a main means of transport and you know what, I'm not missing the car, I'm getting fitter and my wallet is thanking me.

  5. @ retire at 40 -- Congratulations on making that happen! Yes, I had read your article and it certainly has given me a push in that direction. Once I make the cut, I do not believe I will miss the car either.