To Garage or Not to Garage

That is the question…

My apartment complex has a few different car housing options.

One is just open parking. Cost: Free. Benefits: Cheap. Cons: Icy windshields. No promise of close parking. My car takes forever to defrost as it is not made for cold weather.

Second is a carport. Cost: $20/month. Benefits: Inexpensive, no snowy windshields. Cons: None available near my apartment. I’d have to walk three buildings down just to get a carport spot – not very convenient at all. This option is out, unfortunately.

The third is a garage. Cost: $60/month. Benefits: No icy windows to scrap or snow to brush off.  Guaranteed parking close to my apartment. Cons: Only one left. $60/month is a lot of money.

I have the option of renting this garage on a month to month basis. So I could rent it *just* for the winter months. But $60/month is a lot to swallow. I’m already paying $789/month for my apartment. Adding another $60 on top of that just scares the crap out of me in terms of my budget. But the good part is that if that extra $60/month is tight the first month I can cancel the second and deal with the snow/ice.

I’m thinking Nov-March I’ll probably want a place to keep my car out of the snow/ice overnight. But 5 months x $60/month is $300 that could definitely be put to some good uses (like debt!)

I can’t seem to figure out what I want to do. I really, really want the garage. But really don’t want to have to pay for it! I did do the previous 3 winters without a garage. I survived. But I also didn’t have set times I *needed* to be at work in those 3 years. Now I have 8am and 9am classes, so I’ll HAVE to be at work by those times. Having the garage would definitely save me time in the morning.

What to do… what to do… better think fast though… as there is only one left!

What do you think I should do?

8 thoughts on “To Garage or Not to Garage

  1. For me, my car is a huge investment, and I would want to take care of that investment. So $60 is a small price to pay to protect it. I guess coming from Hawaii, $789 is “cheap” for rent, so another $60 on top of that is still good.

  2. I’d get the garage … after all, frugality is about eliminating the unnecessary expenses, not abandoning all luxuries forever. Since it’s month to month, you can always cut it if necessary. Also, ask to be put on the waiting list (if such is available) for the covered parking near your place, or make a note to ask about it again at the end of the spring semester. Once something opens up, you can decide whether the garage is worth it or if you should trade down.

    Just from a safety standpoint, I think it is a good idea to always have parking near where you live. It’s not safe (no matter how nice your neighborhood is) to have to hike across your apartment complex at 1am after the third martini; I’d pay for parking near my apartment for that reason alone.

  3. I voted no because I am cruel and heartless. I also voted no because while I was in college, used a contraption like this one — — on my truck in central PA. It wasn’t uncommon to have several inches of snow at a time and a couple of good 18-24″ dumps every winter. It just takes a second when you get home to put this puppy on and then it’s there to protect your windshield. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than $300 — so maybe that’s an option for you!

    1. Hmmmm it takes care of the windshield. But I would still have to scrape the back window and the side windows. But you’re right – it is MUCH cheaper!

  4. I agree with lost goat. Maybe you could do a month to month option to see how it goes and if it really comes in handy? I have absoultely no experience with snow but I imagine I would struggle hardcore.

  5. I think you should get the garage, at least for the winter. If it turns out to be something that was nice but you could live without, then you can cut it from the budget when it gets warm again.

    Also, I emailed you a while back about your relationship blog. I never got a response, but obviously you’ve been really busy! Are you still keeping up with your other blog? If so, I’d love to read it! Email me at when you get a chance. Thanks! 🙂

  6. I would get the garage. I live in a suburb of the KC metro area and Kansas winters are brutal. Things don’t start getting really bad until December but you’ll be glad you had a garage. Also, some cities in the KC metro area have ordinances against leaving your car running unattended. This means that you’d have to be inside your car while it’s warming up in the winter months.

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