The Car Post

Sister’s “Car”

So after spending a lot of day in thought and worry over a vehicle for my sister I have some conclusive thoughts.

The ideas from commentors about getting her a used car were true. Also about teenager responsibility. I also thought that maybe getting her a  scooter would be the way to go. A 2-3 year old scooter is reliable and inexpensive – but would suck to ride around in the winter with.

What I decided to do is to just wait.

There will be a period of about 6 weeks after she gets here before she’ll need a vehicle for school. And I won’t have work after the 17th, so if she needs to commute to a seasonal job or whatnot she can in my car. (It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get a job – everything I’ve applied for I’ve been turned down – I think having the Ph.D. is hurting me in this case.)

During that time I plan on offering her the following:

1. I’ll put in $500-600 on a vehicle for you.

2. I can buy you a clunker car now to drive around in until it breaks; a scooter that will last longer; or you can ride the bus and save up money and use my $500-600 towards your down payment on a “newer” car.

3. We’ll just get the best deal that we can with whatever choice she makes.

For now I think this is the best idea for the two of us.

My Car

The battery light has been going on and off on my car for a week or so. The last time I got my oil changed they told me that my battery was starting to go bad – which shocked me since I had just bought a new battery 1.5 years prior and it should last at least 3-4 years.

When I called the repair shop here they said that it didn’t sound like a battery issue but more like an alternator problem. Sure enough, I took it in and the alternator is bad – but the battery is good. Which makes sense, as the battery is relatively new but the alternator is original (8.5 years old).

Since I’m leaving for Thanksgiving I didn’t have time to get it repaired before I left,  my car will sit at the airport with the bad alternator. I may have to get a jump at the airport parking after the car sits for a week without “charging”, but that isn’t too big of a deal (I hope). I have an appointment the day after I get back to replace the alternator.

The estimate on the alternator is $475 plus I get a 5% discount. I’ll pay for it from my E-fund and pull from my yearly fund to replenish it come January when my car fund gets reset.  I also think that as my car is approaching 9 years old and the last two years I have run out of money in my car maintenance fund,  I should up my contributions to my yearly fund at least another $20 per month ($240/year) – maybe even $30 if I can squeeze that much out of the budget ($360/year). Otherwise – I’ll run out of money for my car in the first month of 2011 – not a great way to start the new year!

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4 Responses to The Car Post

  1. eemusings says:

    You’re not putting the PHD on your seasonal job resume, I hope?

    Sounds like a good way to go. How good is the public transport in your area, particular for the places she’ll be going?

    Ugh, i didn’t realise how expensive alternators were! I’m not sure we’ve ever replaced ine, but we did buy a new battery recently for $99.

    • SS4BC says:

      Yah, I’m the idiot who does that.

      But otherwise I don’t know how to explain the past 10 years of my life…

      Unemployeed? I have no other “job” to write down other than “grad school” “postdoc” and “professor”.

  2. Red says:

    Just to echo a bit of what eemusings said, I hope you’re not putting your PhD on your resume for seasonal jobs. I often hear people who are overqualified for jobs like Target talk about how they were turned down because of their education or job experience. And I’ve always thought, “Why in the world would you put all that education or experience on your job application when you already know a place like Target or McDonald’s is going to automatically disqualify you because of that?” Some people say it’s “lying by omission” to leave it off. I say, if it gets you the job, it’s worth it.

  3. Awww cars are sure darn expensive! Too bad about the jobs, hopefully something comes up. Always nice to have a little extra money.

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