I’ve been fairly happy renting thus far in my life. At 26 years old, I’ve never really contemplated owning my own place until now. My rental costs have varied greatly over the years…
My car started having “issues” a few months ago. In the mornings, sometimes it wouldn’t want to turn on. I’d try a few times, hold my breath, and eventually it would work.
But then the other day it just – kaput – gave out. It was time to get it towed to a repair shop and see what was wrong, and just how much it would cost me.
So my insurance company sent out a tow truck, and the guy jump started my car so I could drive it to the auto repair shop I read about on Yelp that was beyond the “free towing” distance. I drove it there, safely, and found out that the inspection would be $100 just to find out what’s wrong.
I agreed to that (it seems normal) and got a call a few hours later letting me know that… I needed new back breaks ($$), I should get a 150k checkup ($$) and I probably needed a new starter ($$$$) and my battery chords were all messed up so they had to get replaced too ($$). The total price came to $1018 to fix/check out my car.
I can’t help wondering if I got ripped off. I know it costs a lot to repair cars, and my car wasn’t starting, but that’s a lot of money. Still, I think it was worth it for my car. The guy said the engine and battery look good and should last me.
The only thing I’m pissed about is that when I got my car back my radio was broken. So, it was kind of on the fritz before, but it had been working no problem. Now it won’t turn on. I haven’t gone back to ask about that because I’m sure he’ll say that he didn’t even touch the radio – but really, it’s not turning on, at all. I don’t really want to pay to get that fixed too!
I’m not a fitness buff, though I am trying to get in shape. When I lived in Berkley a few years ago, pre-car ownership, I bought myself a fairly decent bike to get me to and from work. It was about a 30 minute bike ride each way – flat for the most part, though to was a bit uphill and home was a bit down (which worked out perfectly, who wants to ride uphill on the way home?)
My weight has fluctuated from 163lbs to 123lbs over the last 4 years. The lowest, 123, was after I biked to and from work five days a week for about three months. Well, I had gotten down to about 130 and then went through about a month of deep depression and didn’t eat much of anything, which was an unhealthy way to get down to 123.
Regardless of my weight, I’ve never felt “healthy.” The closet to healthy I’ve ever felt was at 130lbs, when I was eating normally and biking daily. That’s what I’m hoping to get back to again.
But apparently the sheer quest for health isn’t enough of a motivator for me. What make me bike when I lived in Berkley? Sure, I wanted to get healthy. But the real reason I biked every day was that my other option, a BART ticket (BART is the subway in the bay area) would cost me about $3 round trip a day. $3 a day? That seemed like such a waste of money, esp since I owned a bike that could get me to my destination almost as quickly.
Ever since I’ve bought a car, I find it’s easier to ignore the specific cost of fuel as you travel from one destination to another. But with gas prices hitting an average of $4 a gallon around here, my bike is once again becoming my new best friend.
I need to get back in the swing of biking, really, as it’s tough to force myself to leave 45 minutes for my commute to work as opposed to 15 for the drive. But those 45 minutes are precious me-time that could either be spent moping around in bed or out and about enjoying the day’s sun. And I certainly know that I need my time in the sun in order to be healthy and happy.
So – thanks to $4 a gallon gas, I might get back in shape again. I hope I will. I won’t be in great shape when I leave for Israel in a month, sadly. Even riding my bike every day and eating healthy won’t help me look good in a bathing suit. But maybe I won’t be completely embarrassed by wearing the appropriate swim garb.
Meanwhile, there is one pair of Banana Republic jeans I bought when I was 123lbs, and my goal right now is to fit into them again one day. Of course, that means that most of my other clothes won’t fit anymore, but it would be worth it just to be able to wear those jeans again!
I set this afternoon aside to organize all of my late bills and pay off what I can. My auto insurance bill was two payments behind (out of sheer laziness on my part). So I called up and requested to pay it off. It turned out they had my wrong address down, and then when they found out I moved (closer to work) I was told that I could get a discount for driving a shorter distance each year.
So I’m saving something like $100 a year just for calling up because I was late paying my bill. Also, I found out if I pay online w/ auto pay (which I was planning on signing up for anyway, it just wasn’t working because they had my old zip code down), I can save $50 a year. Sweet.
I’m still probably paying too much because I have full comprehensive coverage in case my car gets broken into again and I have to get the window repaired. After having it broken into two without the full comprehensive coverage I signed up for it, and low and behold it got broken into again and I got it fixed for “free.”
Meanwhile I just paid off my dermatologist bill and put my medical claim filings into an envelope to be sent out. Now I just have to get my health insurance set up on auto pay and I’m set… as long as I have enough $$$ in my checking account. I’m keeping it fairly low, which is scary for me. I usually keep a few thousand dollars in savings with free overdraft in case I overdraw my checking. I refuse to let myself rack up credit card bills, so I use my debit card for just about everything. That kind of sucks when my bank account runs dry, but otherwise works quite nicely.
I can’t blame anyone else for this mishap. My registration expired… a while ago. However, I paid the $120 registration fee at the DMV (which, I think included a late fee) and was to get my smog checked by Jan. I had until Jan 1 to get my smog checked and get my stickers for my plates.
Of course, being the procrastinating idiot that I am, I waited a little too long to get this done. I received one ticket (for $35) for my expired registration while my car was parked in a public lot. So I finally got around to getting my smog checked THIS MORNING. I paid $90 for my smog check & an oil change that was overdue.
Ten minutes later, I was driving on the freeway and I got pulled over.
I showed the cop my smog receipt and the little registration card (that may or may not have been expired… I’m a bit confused about whether it expired on the 1st of the month, or at the end of the month.)
The worst thing was that somehow my insurance card had gone missing. I kept it in my glove compartment, but the robbers threw everything out of my glove compartment when they went through my car last month. I thought I had put everything back, but apparently my insurance information was missing.
So now I have this “notice to appear” paper that says that I have an infraction for an expired registration and it also notes that I did not have insurance on me, though neither the infraction or misnomer boxes are checked for that. I’m not sure what that means.
The cop said that I should get my sticker and then go to any police department with the paper. He didn’t really explain whether I’m going to owe a zillion dollars or if I just need to prove that I’m actually registered to avoid paying.
This really sucks because today I decided I’m going to start being really tight on my budget and living with a minimal amount in my checking account. I figure I’ll spend less if I pretend I have less to spend. Simple psychology ought to do the trick.
Except now I’m worried I’m going to get an overdraft fee because of all of these unexpected expenses. That’ll teach me to stop procrastinating, eh?
I owe quite a bit of money for different things… $200 for health insurance… $150 for my cyst removal bill… $35 for my ticket… and now who knows how much more for this other ticket-type-thing.
Right now I have $600 in my checking account. I’m supposed to get paid Monday for my work… so that would bring me up to $3900. BUT I plan on putting $1000 of that in a special ING savings account for taxes. That leaves me with $2900, and I have to pay rent in a few days. So I’m at $1850. Not so bad, but after I pay all those bills, plus my phone bill, plus the cable/internet bill, plus the gym bill, plus buy a new phone in two days (my old one is lost and I am eligible for the discount on a new phone on Monday)… well, I won’t have much money left for food.
At least this setup will keep me from spending money on clothes I don’t need!
At least that will keep me from
Did I mention that my car got broken into a month or so ago? I thought all that was stolen was $4 in cash and two checks (for $400 and $50). The $400 check was canceled and sent to me again. My aunt refuses to cancel the $50 check (that was a gift) because she thinks I’m stupid for leaving my car door open with the checks in it. Fair enough.
So… apparently I am really stupid because I must have left this Amazon.com Credit Card lying around in my car as well. I kept meaning to throw it out… I signed up for it on a
win wim (I wanted to buy perfume, they had a $30 if you sign up for a card now deal, and I couldn’t resist at the time). But I keep one credit card because I know how I get with bills in general (if I could put all my late fees into one investment account I’d be rich by now.)
Anyway, these crooks stole the card that I hadn’t even activated. I didn’t find out about it until today when I received a bill for the card. $103 of charges. Interestingly, all the charges are at a gas station about 30 minutes north of here. I guess my car thieves travel to my ‘hood to break into cars at night. The fuckers.
The good news is that the customer service people were nice about it and won’t make me pay for the charges, or so they say. I’ll see about that in 14 days when I get the papers I have to sign, and then I’ll find out if I don’t have to pay it.
At least it was my credit card and not my atm card.