Tag Archives: moving

Waking Up from The American Dream

Today, we received notice for our annual lease renewal. Our rent will be increasing $170 a month to a total steal of $2465 for a one bedroom apartment, not including any utilities. If we lived in the city the same apartment would be at least $1000 more. That’s life in the most expensive area in the country — no matter how much you make, you’re still not making enough to afford the life you thought you’d have at this point. You just have to wake up from the American Dream and realize it’s just that – a dream.

I’m incredibly fortunate to be one of the few who is making a high salary — more than I could ever had imagined making and more than I believe I deserve. At the same time, I acknowledge that in order to afford a house here you pretty much need to be taking home $400k (as a couple) which isn’t in the cards for our future, despite my relatively very high income – even if I manage to find success and stability in my job. I realize that many others will never even make as much as I do, and I feel I make too much, but it’s a loop of relativity when I try to comprehend how much I’d really need to make in order to purchase a 3 bedroom house with a tiny backyard.

Do I need a 3 bedroom house with a tiny backyard? Even if I don’t, soon our rent, for a one bedroom apartment, will creep up to $3000 a month, even in the suburbs. We won’t exactly be priced out but we’ll be able to save less and less each year. At some point, I think we’ll have to accept that it’s time to leave. And with a total income of about $250k, we’re doing much better off than a lot of people who live here. It’s just not enough and it will only get worse as we attempt to start our lives together.

If kids end up not in the cards, maybe it’s doable. We can stay in a one bedroom apartment, no need to pay for extra space when it’s just us. We can live in a one bedroom for the rest of our lives. This isn’t at all the life I had imagined, but we can survive easily without that much space. If we do have children that changes the story quite a bit. I don’t see how we can have children and remain here, especially if I need to take time off for any reason. The pressure of being the breadwinner, especially suffering from severe anxiety, is too much. If I am responsible for me, myself and I — that’s no big deal, I can roll with the punches, live cheaply when needed, and just weather any storm that comes my way. With children, we need a much bigger security net. We’ll have to move. We will have no choice.

I write this at a time when many entry-level workers here are seriously struggling, unable to feed themselves or pay rent on minimum wage. I feel embarrassed to look at my quite high income and still feel so hopeless, because if I feel hopeless, how on earth is the rest of everyone supposed to feel?

I’ve come to accept that if I’m going to have children we can’t stay here. I don’t have a solution yet or an answer to “where to do we go,” but sooner than later we have to get out. I’ll very much miss the beautiful scenery and sunshine. I’ll look back on my 20s and be glad I had the opportunity to live in such a glorious part of the world. But it’s time to grow up and move out. Or, at least it will be soon.

People say to not worry about the future and to just live in the moment. I find it very hard to do that. We now face the choice of staying in our current apartment and paying an extra $2000 to do so next year (and continuing my 3 hour a day commute) or finding a place closer to work that will either be more expensive or less livable or both. We’ll probably just stay here for another year – neither of us wants to deal with moving, and $2000 doesn’t seem like that much compared with the inconvenience of finding a new apartment and lugging our stuff to it… moving isn’t free either. So we’ll probably give it on more year here and hopefully by the end of the next lease I’ll be pregnant and we can then figure out where on earth we’re going to live in the future (aka not California.)

I had hoped that I’d be at a point in my career where I’d feel so distraught over losing my job / career in order to have a family… but while I appreciate my job for what it is now, and really admire my colleagues and am so grateful for this opportunity… I have no personal investment in this career. I feel no sense of pride in my progress or role. In five years, to continue on this path, I end up in a leadership role were I will never fit. I acknowledge it’s soon time to leave. Right now, the best I can do is hold on for dear life, do the best I can, and try to save money by living relatively frugally and bringing in a good income where most of it goes straight into the stock market / my savings accounts. This may be my last significant savings opportunity in my life, given I plan to move to an area with a lower cost of living and obtain a job which pays significantly less in my next career move. My goal is still to get to $500k in savings before I make this move, and the goal is becoming much more dire given that I’m rounding the corner of my mid 30s and I know I can’t handle this life for much longer. If I can just hold out until $500k — I can completely shift my lifestyle to one of lower income and greater flexibility in another part of the country. We can live off of, say, $100k total across both of our incomes and still live a decent life. If we make more than that, great, but we don’t have to (or, in the case of staying here, I’d likely have to earn over $300k in order for us to hit the $400k mark and afford a small home.)

What was once kind of this running silent joke in my head about how one day I couldn’t afford to live here and that I’d move away is proving true. I guess what has changed is that I’m more ok with that than I was before. I used to think that I didn’t want to trade my career for a simpler life. I didn’t want to be one of those women who had kids and no longer had her own identity, especially a professional identity. But now, I don’t know, my professional identity is not who I am. Despite not making it to Hollywood or Broadway I’m an actress nonetheless, everyday portraying someone who I’ll never be. I’m over this obsession with what I thought was success. I have nothing to prove, no one to impress, no game to win. I have maybe 60 good years left on this earth if I’m lucky, and many fewer with all of my loved ones in good health. I hope to make the most of them, and it doesn’t matter if that occurs within a tiny apartment or a giant house. It feels good to finally accept that… to embrace the loss of this embedded classism my parents have taught me, to stop feeling like if I can’t maintain the level of comfort and luxury from my childhood that I am a failure. The only true way to fail is to lock myself into a life where I no longer have any reasonable options for escape.

The First Page of the Next Chapter

Today I started my new job. I’m already buried in work, but I like it that way. The company is extremely different from my last, especially in its culture. I know that I’ll miss the fun, quirky culture of my last company, but one can’t stay in a job forever just because of the culture. I have such a great opportunity and I want to knock this one out of the park. I feel like I’ve paid for a startup MBA (in the form of early-exercised stock options) over the last four years, and now it’s time for the big leagues.

That said, I really wish I had a place to go at my office for quiet. While I didn’t love the cubicle culture of my old company, the whole giant room with desks and no privacy doesn’t help me focus on writing, which is a primary portion of my job right now. My boss mentioned he doesn’t mind if I work from a coffee shop or something but given the team is so small I can’t help but worry – at least for the first few months – that it would give off the wrong impression if I weren’t at the office all the time.

I’m excited to get my first paycheck as well. I’m now making – base – nearly what I was making with my full bonus at my last company. It remains to be seen if I can hit my full bonus here, but I’m going to work my ass off to get it, and if I can accomplish that then my salary will be $25k total more than my last company, and more like $35k over what I was actually taking home given the bonuses weren’t fully paid out as the company started to slow on revenues. I really can’t half ass my new job anyway, either I’m going to be a rockstar or fail miserably. I’m going to do whatever it takes to rock it. I’m focused on this one quarter at a time, otherwise I’ll be massively overwhelmed. At least the bonus structure is quarterly so that aligns with how I can set and track to my own goals.

There’s just so much going on right now, starting the job really made the whole next chapter of my life feel real. My neurologist has diangosed me with potential temporal lobe seizures and prescribed an anti-seizure med that I started yesterday. I’ve been packing like a maniac all weekend, as I have to have all my stuff out of my apartment by next weekend, and I’m also just dealing with the whole transition of moving to a new town that I don’t know, away from one that I’ve really grown to adore. The change will be good, though, and if I have anything to say about it this company will do very well and my stock options will buy me a house back in the town I love, where I can raise a family and have some sort of stability. In the meantime, I just hope my boyfriend proposes to me soon, because I’m about to give up on his ability to make that happen!

 

The Moving Saga Continues

Anxiety doesn’t begin to cover it. Within the next 26 days my boyfriend and I need to find an apartment where we will live for — at least — the next year. And no matter what, even if we live in some crappy area, our rent is going to significantly go up upon moving in together. It’s giving me major panic attacks.

He’s committed to a maximum of $800 in rent ($850 if we find a place that’s absolutely amazing.) That means we have to find a place for under $1600 if I want the rent payments to be equal. I do make more than him by about $40k, so right now I’d be ok with paying a little more. The problem is my job situation is very up in the air right now and I could easily go from making more than him to being on unemployment. I’d rather stick to an $800 monthly max for myself as well. That leaves us with very few options, and still a person $150 a month rent increase. Continue reading

Time for a New Chapter? It’s Time that Tells

As an E/INFP I rely a lot on intuition, feeling and perception. This means that instead of analyzing a lot of data to make decisions I wait until a decision feels right. An opportunity crossed my path recently and while it terrifies me (in terms of responsibility) it just feels right. Really right.

I’m nervous about making a change. It’s easier to change jobs if it’s a big company which will live or die just as well with or without you. Harder when you know your parting will hurt, and when you’re very loyal to a company. But at some point one has to do what is best for their career. I wasn’t really ready to make the move now, but maybe I need to stop being scared and go with what feels right.

It may work out that I move to another town and also start a new job in that own within then the next four months. I am really itching for starting the next chapter of my life. I need a clean slate. New apartment. New job? Well, my next chapter is probably marriage + kids so this one better be good. I’m ready. More ready than I thought I was.

Move at the pace of guidance is perhaps the best advice my therapist has given me to date. Earning her keep. Also, my good friend is pushing me to leave my job because he believes I can do better. This would be big. This is working for some serious heavyweights in tech. This is a great opportunity. I should go for it. Right?

Apartment Hunting: The Search is On

After driving in what seemed like too many circles in a three-block radius, we parked in front of a tiny row of one-story apartments and walked inside. The 450 square feet “one bedroom” apartment led you into a tiny room straight from the doorway, with another even smaller room in the back. The walls, you could tell, were extremely thin, as neighbors a few apartments over playing music were providing atmospheric entertainment. We looked around for a second then got back in our car and left.

The tiny Mountain View apartment was listed for $1175 a month.

I’m rather spoiled but I care about having a living environment that makes me feel good. This is an issue of both space and natural light, as the rest I can forgive. It seems though both space and light come at a vast premium around these parts.

Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day — a Long Distance Family Relationship

2,797. That’s the number of miles between where I currently live and where my parents live. 6. That’s the number of hours it takes to fly from coast to coast to visit, not counting the 2+ hours on either end to get to and from the airport. $350. That’s the average cost of a RT ticket between each destination, on a non-holiday travel schedule.

On holidays, my family, including my parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents tend to gather together and spend the day talking and enjoying each others company. Even though I didn’t have a very close relationship with my family, I cherished the time spent together, the conversations had, and laughter shared between my relatives.

Then, 10 years ago I moved away from home. First, for college, I moved 814 miles away from home, and then, when I graduated, moved even further away.

In that time, my parents, cousins, grandparents, have all aged. I see them at most two or three times per year. Three years ago my father was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and told he had two years to live. My grandfather, over the last ten years, has lost his sharpness due to Parkinson’s disease. I can barely recognize my mother, as she looks more and more like a “grandmother” every time I see her. My cousins have gone from elementary students to taller than me, and I missed everything in between. My sister is now a junior in college — I left home when she was seven.

10 years ago, I wanted nothing more than to run away from my childhood, to start a new life for myself, to prove that I could make it on my own. Had I stayed in New Jersey I might have maintained a more consistent relationship with my family, but I never would have grown up. I needed to get away. But looking back, I do feel a bit of regret. Of missing the time with my family.

On the other hand, seeing my family less frequently makes those times shared more valuable and appreciated. My parents drive me absolutely crazy, with their fighting and complaining about everything, so living at or very near home would probably be a poor decision. Still, I’m contemplating a move back east, maybe not in the very near future, but in the coming years — I still have more good friends in New Jersey and on the east coast than I do in California, and whenever I envision having a family (ie kids) I see myself raising them back on the east coast. California, as much as I love it, will never feel like “home” to me. That’s not a terrible thing — home can be boring, California, for what it’s worth, still makes me feel like I live on constant vacation, as the weather is always relatively nice, and the landscape is beautiful. But I miss my family and friends. And I think I’m getting more and more ready to go back.

Yesterday, my boyfriend asked me if I’d ever want to live on the east coast. He rarely discusses the future — he hates to think long term beyond next week — so it was a conversation I was not prepared for. I didn’t have an answer then, really. Yes? No? Could I leave California — a place that, just by being outside here, makes me happy — to go back to a place that is depressing for half of the year during those dark, cold winters? Maybe. Maybe I have to, at some point. Maybe California has given me the opportunities I needed to kick start my career, and perhaps my experience here will open doors for me in New York. Who knows. I just think that as I approach 30, and as I approach my 5th anniversary with my boyfriend, and likely marriage and settling down in the next few years, deep down I feel like that has to be in New Jersey or New York. I can’t imagine raising my children away from my family. I want them to grow up with that. But I’m not sure I’m ready to make the move just yet.

But one thing I’ve learned lately is that money doesn’t make me happy, relationships make me happy. It’s extremely hard for me to make friends, and I generally have trouble relating to people (esp people outside of the tri-state area) — my family will always be my family, but if I never see them, I’m throwing out the most priceless item in my life’s possession. The more pictures I see on Facebook of family gatherings, the more smiles of my family posing for a large group photo and I’m not there, the more I realize it’s time to rethink the whole “I don’t need family” thing. I mean, right now no one is dead, thank goodness, but I can’t imagine the guilt I’d feel if one day I get a call that anyone in my family has passed… or is in the hospital with only hours to live, and I missed the opportunity to see them, and to be there when they were healthy, and when they were ill. I think in that sense I need to move back, the question just is when.

She Really Doesn’t Want to Move

In 3 months, my two roommates will be moving out. And I will either be moving out also, or have successfully found two new roommates. Stressful moments of being a renter like these are the few times I think paying for a mortgage would be worth it. (Then again, in the Bay Area, the only place I could afford would be crooked and vertigo inducing or burnt and dirty — see the San Jose Mercury News cover story on Bay Area homes you can buy for the national medium home price.)

Today, I met up with a girl i know who has an apartment in another Silicon Valley City. It’s a 2br/1ba. Her roommate is moving out in July, so the plan today was to look at her apartment and extra room, and then for her to come look at my apartment. Her apartment is very small and, well, it feels like an apartment. It doesn’t feel like a home. That can be fixed, but it’s just so tiny. And the rent is higher than my current place because it’s a 2br. So rent there for a room that’s smaller than my current room in an apartment that’s not as nice would be $725.

My place is a 3br/2ba with a large room for $770 and two smaller rooms for $635. Free laundry in the apartment. A pool in the complex. The apartment is right off the highway. It’s 30 minutes or less to my office. And the more I thought about it today, the more I realized… I really don’t want to move.

So, I could just tell the girl I met up with that I’m not interested in her place. I bet she’s going to want to stay there because it’s close to her bf. We also discussed looking at other places when it gets closer to July, but it’s such a pain because we both would have to give 30 days notice, and we couldn’t even really start looking until the month before we’d have to move.

And… moving, on its own, is expensive and a pain. Renting a UHaul, dragging all your stuff from your place to the next place, it’s just no fun at all. So I’ve decided that unless I find an incredible place to move to, I really want to stay here. The hard part will be finding two roommates. It would be nice if this girl wanted to move in here, into the cheaper room. That way we can rearrange the rents so the two cheaper rooms are $575 each, and the larger room is $870. I think that’s fair since the larger room is giant, has a walk in closet and a big closet, and a private bathroom.

Hmmm…. this is really bumming me out right now.

Moving On… Out?

Sure, there have been moments where I wanted to pull my hair out living with my current roommates, and I’ve been guilty of causing these moments in return, but the past 2.5 years living in this apartment have been some of the most stable in my life. This has been the apartment of my mid 20s, and now it’s time to figure out the housing situation of my late 20s.

My current apartment — a room in a 3br, 2ba in a nice condo complex in the Bay Area burbs (next to houses that cost $1.5M+) cost me $632.50 a month. The room is small, but big enough for a full size bed, and has a wide widow overlooking greenery, blocking the parking area from view. It has large sliding mirror doors on the closet, which makes it seem more spacious, and much better than the room I first lived in when I moved to the Bay Area (in Burlingame) that cost $450 a month but really felt like a closet.

The rest of the apartment is nice. It has a balcony that I rarely use, a large living room / dining room space, full kitchen, the full bathroom that I share with one other girl, and another full master bedroom with its own private bathroom. The cost breakdown between myself and my roommates has never seemed totally fair… the private bedroom with walk in closet and private bath is $770 a month, where the much smaller bedrooms are $632 each. But I’d prefer to have access to a bath (not shower only) and like the window in my room, so never bothered to complain. The complex is nice, has its own small park-like area, and a pool that I’ve used probably 6 times total since I moved in (but enjoyed greatly on the rare really really hot days of summer.) And the location is pretty good too. It’s about 25 minutes to work, 30-45 minutes to the city sans traffic by car, 10 minutes to my boyfriends house, 5-10 minutes to the supermarket. I’m right by a freeway exit (off the better freeway in the Peninsula.) Oh, and there’s a washer and dryer in the unit!!!

So why move? Well, maybe I won’t. But whether or not I move, there are some major changes coming, because both of my roommates are moving out. One is moving out for her school program, she’s relocating to Southern California. The other is moving in with her girlfriend and closer to work. That leaves me with one 3br, 2ba apartment and no roommates.

While my landlord may choose to increase the price of the apartment when my roommates move out, they may not if I can find immediate replacements. And there are only a few reasons why I’d want to leave…

1) Finding two new roommates is going to be very difficult, and I’ve had so many bad roommate experiences before, that maybe I want to live alone right now

2) The location is ok, but it’s really inconvenient for biking anywhere as it’s up a giant hill. I’d like to live somewhere that makes it possible to bike to work, and use my car less.

3) Maybe now is the opportunity to move to the city. I’ve always wanted to live in San Francisco, and it makes a lot more sense to do it in my 20s/ early 30s, versus when I am ready to have kids and settle down. That said, it would be kind of dumb to move to the city right now, as it would increase my commute time. There are rooms in the city for the same price I’m paying now, or even less, but the apartments wouldn’t be as nice as the one I live in, and they’d also probably not be in the areas I’d want to live in the city (if I’m going to keep my cost the same)

4) Should I find a place that’s cheaper? 632.50 is not bad for a room where I live, but I could feasibly find a place that’s $500. It may not have its own laundry in the apartment, it may require a longer commute, but I could save more money (or have more money to spend on things I need like a car, mental healthcare, etc.)

So… I’m not sure what to do. I’m scouring Craigslist on a daily basis but it’s too early to look. My roommates and I have decided that our move-out date will likely be July 1, which means I can’t really start looking until Mid-to-late May. So that’s three months of driving myself nuts over this.

It could be a great opportunity to be in control of finding my new roommates for this place… but, to be honest, I’m just tired of having roommates. I want something more private, a place I can be a recluse in when I don’t need to be around people. Where I can watch American Idol in peace. But that dream is expensive. When I lived alone previously my rent skyrocketed from $905 a month to $1300 a month in just two years. I feel much wiser paying $600 a month vs $1300! Then again, if I was paying $1300 a month or more it would be an easier decision to BUY a place vs renting. Right now I think I’m doing pretty good renting. I’m able to put a good chunk of change into my investment accounts.

Is it better to own a studio apartment and put all my savings each month into that, or just put all that money into my investment accounts? Plus… with my mental instability (the joys of bipolar II) I think I need the freedom of not being locked into anything (like a mortgage OR expensive rent payments.) I guess I will just have to wait until May/June to figure this out. I’m so tempted to move to the city, but that’s probably an awful idea. What do you think?

Moving on Down, and Saving My Pennies

My rent has gone from $1050 a month to about $650 a month. This move, which is saving me a good $400+ a month, is probably the best decision I’ve made in my life. Even though my gas $ will be going up, I still think I’m going to end up saving at least $300 a month, and that doesn’t even include the additional $250 that I would have had to pay if I stayed at my apartment and accepted the ridiculous rent increase.

It’s kind of weird making these smart financial decisions now. I always relied on my dad to make those in the past. I didn’t go totally overboard on my living situation previously, but given how much I was making, I definitely should have gotten roommates. Now, I’m making enough to live alone, barely, but I’ve realized that just because you make enough money to spend it, doesn’t mean you actually should.

Instead, I’m going to really focus on saving money now. I’m pretty sure I want to go back to grad school at some point, prob for a degree in Human Computer Interaction (Berkeley has an awesome program) and I’m starting to take programming classes at the local community college (which happens to be a few minute walk from my new apartment) to make sure that’s the right path for me – but I’m pretty sure it is. I need to learn the programming side and the research side, and then I’m ready to become a key player in web 3.0…

In the meantime, I’m dealing with some other things. Speaking of my father and his wisdom, it won’t be around for much longer. He was recently diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer. I knew he probably had cancer, but wasn’t really prepared to hear this. Basically that means he has a few years to live, at best. Well, what this means, besides all the emotional havoc it’s having on me and my family, is that all that money I’m saving on not renting the more expensive place might be spent on plane tickets. It costs about $400 to fly across the country these days. Ugh.

And it really is going to be time for me to step in and help my parents with sorting out finances for the future. My mom is such a duntz when it comes to that sort of stuff – I get my bad spending habits from her. My dad’s mostly a saver, and I’d like to be more like him. It makes me nervous to think that I’m going to have to take over for him, at some point.

Meanwhile, just the thought of losing him is really hard to deal with. We’re not really that close, and for most of my life I hated the guy, but he’s done a lot for me and my family outside of the mental and physical abuse, including working hard for most of his life and making sure we had enough money to live very comfortably. It’s tough to know that he’s worked so hard for most of his years – he just retired like a year or two ago – even though he is only in his late 50s – and now he’s looking at the end. He won’t get to enjoy retirement or that huge 401k he’s accumulated. Or he likely won’t… besides facing the fact that the cancer treatment will stop working in 1-10 years, he also is dealing with so many other medical issues. He can’t even enjoy his last few years on this earth, because all he does is sleep all day. I can’t tell how much is because he’s weak and how much is just depression. Regardless, it makes me sad to think of the life he’s led, working so hard, married to a woman he doesn’t love, saving up for retirement… and then, he gets to retirement, and he’s sick, and he’s dying…

It makes you think twice about the value of saving so much for so long. Not that I won’t be putting money away for retirement or focusing on getting and staying healthy so I can live to enjoy it, but… some people don’t make it that far. And our entire society is set up to work and work and save and save… but then what? What if that’s all you get?

An Update on the Little Big Move

I’m moving out of my apartment. This weekend. I’m kind of unhappy about it. But deep down, and not-so deep down, I know it’s for the best. Spending about $1300 a month on rent, even with utilities included, even with a job that pays me enough where it’s possible, makes no sense at all.

What I need to do is save up for a house. Saving up for a house in this area requires a lot of sacrifice. It might even be logistically impossible. But I want to try.

Next month I’m cutting my “room” costs by staying with a friend. It’s just a temporary thing en route to my new, yet-to-be-determined place. I offered to pay her rent, but the most she’ll accept is $350. She prob should take more, but I said I’d buy her lots of meals so hopefully at some point I won’t feel like I’m jipping her. Add to that about $200 in storage fees, and my monthly rent, at least for July, has been cut in half.

The big question is – how much will I spend on my next real place. There are so many options and – as I’m a bit picky when it comes to (everything) where I live, I find that most of the places I like are going to be pricey. Maybe not the full $1300 my current studio would cost me to stay in, but not far from it.

I’ve seen a few places so far. The only one I liked at all was a small garage-turned-studio in the back of someone’s house, but it was missing one very important thing – a closet. I’ve got too many clothes to live sans closet. Oh, and it didn’t have a stove either. Just a hot plate. But it’s not like I really cook all that often (though I plan to) so I guess I could deal without the stove.

Other than one place I tried to check out yesterday (the guy stood me up, hmmph), I’ve put off looking at places until after I get settled into my friend’s house. I’m looking prob for an Aug 1 move-in now, so most of the places haven’t been posted yet.

I really wish I had enough money for a down payment right now. There are so many houses on the market around here, it’s ridiculous. I went down one street today and within a single block, three houses were for sale. It’s nuts!

But instead I’m going to waste more money on rent for the indeterminate future. It’s not the end of the world. I just feel like now I should be living in some shit hole and spending very little in order to save my pennies. And by shit-hole I mean “nice shit-hole in the good part of town.” Heck, the place I lived in for my first few months here was only $580 a month, utilities included. Of course, I had 3 roommates – 4 if you count the roommates’ boyfriend that lived there practically, and for a while there the gal who was supposed to be providing me with “utilities included” wifi decided she didn’t want to deal with getting it fixed (uh, and I needed it for my job). But that place was in a really nice area. So these things are possible to find. Maybe not at $580 in the renter’s market right now, but maybe something around $800…

I saw one 2br/2ba that was right around the corner from my worth that was going for $850, utilities included. Pretty good deal. The apartment complex had a pool too. But it was kind of run down. And the smell was getting to me.

See, I’m picky.

I can move further south and get something nicer for the same price. If I get a place near the train that’d be ideal. I don’t know if I’d sell my car (what would it be worth now that I’ve banged it up so much driving into inanimate objects?) but I think I’d still save money not paying for gas. It’s at $4.70 a gallon around here. Not driving sounds like a really good plan if I want to save any money at all.