Thursday, July 22, 2010

Car repair or purchase - what would you do?

So my Ford is still sitting in my parking lot, and I'm still driving the borrowed Honda. I can't say I've saved much money, since I have paid $130 for a new (used) tire and a replacement brake line. Both situations leading up to these repairs were costly in terms of stress and slight trauma as well. I have a feeling I should bring the Honda back to it's owners' house and say "thanks!"

If I do that I have three choices:
1) Get back on the bus
2) Buy a new(er) car
3) Repair the Ford

The mechanic who installed the Honda's new brake line said more lines are rusty and are going to break, and will need replacing. He's willing to take look at the Ford for free. He thinks $3000 was a high quote for the repair, but admitted that it will still be expensive.

I hope to have the credit card balance down to $7000 and in a couple of months I will transfer it back to the LOC (5.5%), before the interest rate on the card goes back up to it's normal 19%. That leaves me with $3000, just about the cost of the car repair.

Next option is to buy something in the 2004 - 2008 range, and apply for financing. I have excellent credit so this may work in my favour, but if the car is $8000, that and my credit card debt will put me back up to $15 000! I might feel like I'll never get ahead. A newer car may mean less car troubles, but not necessarily.

What do you think I should do? What would you do? Would you repair the Ford or buy something newer?

Re: the bus - Bean starts JK this September and we don't have after-school care so I will have to leave work by 2:30 to pick him up 2 or 3 times a week. Taking the bus means I will have to leave that much earlier. I am on a waiting list for after-care so if we get a spot I can consider the bus.

Seriously, Karissa

Monday, July 19, 2010

La la la laptops*

Because I may be buying another car soon, I put off the new laptop purchase for a while. While Dell has deals for back-to-school and Mac is "giving away" Ipod Touch, it seems like the computer I want is only going up in price while the weeks of summer dwindle away. A month ago it was in stock and $599, now it's back-ordered and $692. Grrr.

So I'm looking at Dells again but the reviews aren't great, and I even contemplated a Macbook because there's one with an 11" screen, and Bean would LOVE an Ipod because his cousin has one.

Any feedback on netbooks or small-screen notebooks (I'd like Duo Core rather than Atom) is much appreciated.

CAR UPDATE: just got off the phone with a mechanic (who fixed a rusty brake line on the Honda I've borrowed, which is a scary story in itself) who said that my Ford may have been misdiagnosed and he might be able to replace the timing belt and get it running again. He's going to research a bit more and get back to me.

Seriously, Karissa

*BTW this is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nothing is Free ...

... but some days things are cheap.

I approached first Canadian Tire, and then the used tire shop with dread, expecting to pay out at least a couple hundred bucks for a front tire, maybe both front tires. The one on the right blew while we were on the highway on Sunday. It was scary for me, but my son slept through it and when he woke up and found out a tow truck was on its way was incredibly excited.

He even asked me to take pictures of the truck, which I did.

The CAA guy installed the spare tire and advised me to go no more than 80 km the rest of the way home. Without any air conditioning the ride seemed to take. Forever.

Canadian Tire was too busy so on a friend's recommendation I went to a used place and was told it was my lucky day (finally!) because they were going to sell me the last tire in stock in the size that I needed. For less than forty bucks.

Happy day!

For several days I have been looking online at 2004 to 2007 hatchbacks. I'm checking out mostly Honda and Toyota. I may take a look at Kia and Hyundai. If I decide to buy a new(er) car I will either have to finance or use my line of credit. I'm not happy about increasing my debt when I've come so far, but I'm also not happy about taking the bus or borrowing (and repairing) a car. Or paying $2000 for something old like my most recent car, and paying another $2000 in repairs over a year and a half, only to have the engine die on me.

Maybe I should just get back on the bus and grow a thicker skin.

Seriously, Karissa