• It’s bleak out there

    Following up from yesterday, since we have a water bill to pay and I have at least two (maybe three) weeks off, in which I’m only working two full days, I thought I’d look around for any odd one off type jobs I could pick up. There’s really nothing on Student Job Search though (I remember back in 2007 when there were all sorts – helping out at expos, data entry, etc…) and theoddjob.co.nz is just full of scam ads.

    So I guess I’ll spend it relaxing, being with BF, cleaning the house etc, shopping multiple times a week on the scooter (no longer have access to car as BF’s brother moved out on his own…the car that I originally bought back in 2007 and then got rid of because the transmission died and couldn’t afford to fix..Yeah, I know…) and car hunting. Hopefully we can find one by the end of the month. Like I said, we can’t expect much for $1-1.5k, but I just really need it to last at least till the end of year when I can (touch wood) work full time and be bringing in more. I don’t want to rush into buying a complete dunger, and having this time off will hopefully help us make the best choice we can.

  • We’re beginning the hunt for a car.

    It’s incredibly, indescribably sucky to be doing this. But I suppose, at the least, it happened just as the car’s warrant/registration/insurance ran out. I guess it was meant to be.

    I have no idea when my mum might be getting a new car – she’s been looking for awhile – so we’re going to go ahead and look around. There’s the car fair, Trademe, Auto Trader, Auto Base, the backpacking board, and lots more places to look. BF’s insurance rolled over on May 31, and he called to see if renewal could be put on hold until we sorted ourselves out. They gave us another month, so if we can organise a car before then, that would be ideal.

    I’m armed with my copy of the Dog and Lemon Guide, and by the looks of it, we should be going for a Corolla or similar, or a 323/626 or maybe a Ford Laser. Our budget is about $1k, so we’re not expecting great things. Just something to last till the end of year or so. Ideally I’d rather have something a bit newer with a few more ks on the clock, but in this price range it’s more likely we’re getting a beater with both higher ks and age to boot.

    BF knows someone selling a VW Golf (no idea as to age or kms, of course, brilliant), but they don’t have a reputation for being reliable at all, and would be hard to get parts for.

    Really wish we knew someone wanting to get rid of their vehicle! All we need is something cheap and reliable (and not a guzzler). Safety is really not much of a factor.

  • Car woes, part one zillion and nine

    Life without a car in Auckland, frankly, sucks.

    Possibly not so much if you live, work and play in town, but otherwise?

    During the week I get by fine like I always have, unless I need to go somewhere out of the ordinary. I bus into town in the morning and I bus back at night.junker_car

    But on the weekends? Things like going grocery shopping, doing laundry, or visiting friends or family is damn near impossible. We’ve been borrowing BF’s brother’s car/scooter, but in an NZ winter, trust me, you want to be covered up outside. Flatmate’s car’s rego and warrant have run out, not to mention the broken taillight and the scraping wheel guard. Not something you wanna drive, or be caught driving (for things like broken lights they slap the fine on YOU, not the registered car owner).

    We live about five minutes walk from the bus stop. The bus will get us to town, or down the road to New Lynn where we can shop at the ridiculously overpriced Foodtown. We can’t bus to Pak n Save, or even Countdown. And let’s not get into what a bitch it is to lug a week’s worth of shopping on the bus and then from the bus stop, across two busy roads and to our house. The same kinda goes for bussing down to the laundromat; it’s not so much carrying the dirty clothes there, but lugging the wet, heavy clothes on the way back. We were set to hit the laundromat last week when we had the car, except it had already closed. So now we have about a month’s worth of laundry needing to be done :(. I did do a bit of handwashing this morning, which is currently on the line (hopefully, given the crazy winds and rain this afternoon) still dripping.

    We so need a car. And definitely before August, when our lease ends and we’ll need transport to look at new places (we plan to move to a totally different suburb) and to move.

    Here’s where we’re at. Dead car. $2000 left to pay it off (probably about what it’s worth now). $1300 to fix, not to mention all the other little things wrong with it. Urgh.

    I would love to get a half decent car for 5-6k (which would involve borrowing, sadly, and isn’t going to happen). So it’s going to have to be a beater in cash (ie, next nothing, which is all we can afford).

    I’m hoping my mum gets a new car really, really soon. She’ll be happy to pawn hers off on me for cheap, and I’ll be happy to take it. BF is all set on having a manual, but you know what they say about beggars and choosing.

  • Car troubles and badly cut pizza

    Just because I use a coupon……doesn’t mean it’s cool to slack off on cutting up my pizza giving me 5 massive slices and 3 minuscule ones!

    I’m sure pizza places have a secret policy for coupon users – be as sloppy as possible, and make their pizzas smaller than they should be.

    Not that I can complain, seeing as I got a free pizza, and pizza is pizza. dafazios_pizza

    What did freak me out a little was when I gave my order over the phone, and my contact number. And somehow the girl on the other end of the phone knew my name! They must keep all customers’ details on file, like, FOREVER, because the last time I phoned to order pizza was probably over a year ago.

    BF isn’t a big pizza fan, so we hardly ever go to Pizza Hut or Dominos. He likes making his own at home.

    So we went to get in the car to pick them up (yes, I’m too cheap to get food delivered. Done it ONCE, was horrified at the surcharge and refused to ever do it again), and didn’t get out of the driveway.

    BLOODY EFFING CARS.

    Either the clutch or transmission is out. And obviously we can’t even take it to a mechanic, even if it was in the budget.

    nz01008_sm

    This comes as we have about four loads of washing to do, no food in the house, and I have several things to do out and about. Not to mention that we put in $45 of gas, which would have lasted 2, maybe 3 weeks.

    Deja vu…..the last 2-3 times our car’s conked out, it’s done so with a lot of gas in it.

    FML.

  • Bad drivers

    This is going to be a long, rambly one.

    Right now I’d be happy to never leave the house again.

    It seems every time we do, we encounter some terrible, terrible drivers on the roads. And bad driving doesn’t just affect the bad driver. It affects EVERYONE else out on the roads.

    I’m sick of people racing through tiny gaps in traffic, changing lanes abruptly without indicating, going 20k for no reason or practically stopping while negotiating corners.

    I’m sick of people who don’t look when they reverse out of carparks, and don’t indicate, and pull random manouevres without checking for cars around them.

    It’s dangerous and it’s scary.

    I’m just tired of being constantly stressed (and this is just me in the front passenger seat, not even driving). Anytime someone nearly swipes us, or we end up braking suddenly, I get super tense for the rest of the ride and I freak out over the smallest things. It’s like every possible hazard magnifies 10x for me, and it’s happening more and more. I think the last time we drove anywhere without some heinous driver pulling at least one dumb stunt along our way was over a week ago. Honestly, it just ruins going anywhere for me.

    I know I’m letting it get to me but I am terrified of being in an accident. BF can’t afford to have any more accidents. In terms of being able to afford the excess, repairs for himself, and not to mention that insurance would probably not renew his policy.

    I do not like his car. I think it was a bad buy, but we’re stuck with it and are waiting to get it paid off.

    He doesn’t like it anymore either, but really that’s partly his fault (the worst damage was from an accident when someone hit him, but the rest did occur when he was at-fault). Now he doesn’t care what happens to it and every so often (like today) gets fed up and says things like, “I don’t care if someone hits me. It’s their fault. They’re not driving properly and if they write me off it’s not my problem.”

    I try time and time again to explain that he DOES NOT have full insurance. Full insurance for a year would cost as much as the car is worth! Full coverage is for pricey, pricey cars, owned by people who can actually afford to drive and look after them. Not for small rustbuckets.

    And inevitably he bitches and moans about why have insurance at all? One of his friends doesn’t. And that friend is an excellent driver who’s never had a crash, owns his car free and clear and has a more reliable car with less ks on the clock. Of course, he should still have insurance. But BF is never driving uninsured again as long as I have anything to do with it. 03-driving-us-course_l2_w728_h340

    Insurance is there to cover his ass if he hits someone so he doesn’t spend the next 50 years paying it off. If someone hits him, then yes they should pay out, but I wouldn’t count on that. Good luck trying ot get money out of their company by yourself. He only has third party and fire, so his insurance isn’t going to fight to recover any money from another company. We don’t pay them for that. We would have to do it ourselves…good luck for that, given how we tried that last time with the woman who hit him! It’s just not going to happen.

    Just drive safely! As frustrating as that is with the shitty drivers on our roads, who are just getting worse and worse, that’s all you can do. It’s boring, and painful, but it’s got to be done. BF has learned his lesson and drives much more carefully, but trying to get him to continue in that vein when nobody else is doing so, is really hard.

    Here’s hoping and praying the car lasts until it’s at least paid for.

    If he ends up going back to study, he won’t have much income for three years. Will the car last that long? How much is it gonna cost in repairs over that time? I don’t even wanna go there…

  • That four wheeled thing…

    that gets you around.

    Is there any bigger money sinker than these damn vehicles?

    I reckon when it comes to cars it’s better to buy a cheapie in cash for a few hundred, then when the inevitable repairs come up you aren’t paying on the car as well as paying for the work.

    I was discussing this with BF –  how much we’ve spent on the car, in terms of work done.
    He said it was not that much and started rattling off various repairs (to be far we have had some wicked lucky deals), but he’d left out the most recent stuff we had done like the new clutch. So we added those up…

    The numbers were getting REALLY high and I really didn’t want to know, so I went off to brush my teeth and left him to it.

    It irks me that he spent 3k on a car and has spent probably not far off that amount again in work. To be fair, the car itself is fine. Most of that is due to his accidents, the repairs and the insurance excesses. Really i can only think of
    one or two major things that needed doing that weren’t caused by one of the crashes.

    It’s nothing like this…

    green-basics-electric-car-zap-alias

    but more like this 😀

    1984-toyota-corolla-levin-gt-apex-ae86

    But it’s a bit of a Rudolph, and I mean, he’s got a red nose.

    Is there anything more hoary looking than a white car with a red bumper?

    ANYWAY.

    It may not be good for your ego to drive a total junker, but it sure will be better for your wallet….

  • Boys and their cars

    Sigh. $180, for a wheel bearing and something else underneath the car needing tightening. BF also informed me that the left hand bearing needed replacing.

    “So why didn’t you get that done?”

    “I said we didn’t have the money,” says he.

    So in a couple of weeks or so we’ll be right back there, handing over another $200 or so to get this bloody car fixed. I don’t even want to IMAGINE how much we’ve spent on it. It is the biggest piece of crap ever. I sincerely hope that next car is a reliable, sensible, economical, boring as fuck car, the best we can afford. The amount poured into this has been ridiculous. Tyres. Clutch. Tons of oil. Other fiddly bits and pieces under the hood. Brakes. Plus repairs from last year’s accident. And it is not just his money, it’s mine. I am involved. The boy-car love affair will just have to wait, unless he wins lotto (which we don’t even play). A car gets you from A to B. Who cares what it looks like? As long as it moves, is safe and warrantable, and doesn’t need money thrown at it every three months.

  • Car woes

    dcd8_12_gxuu

    Sometimes it all seems too overwhelming. Like we’ll never be debt free. Not having an EF in place (well there is, but it’s minuscule and only to be tapped in the most dire circumstances) means everytime the car needs something money must be borrowed.

    It’s kind of stupid how we combine our expenses. Both our individual incomings and outgoings during the year are vastly different but we share one account. I try to keep it as fair as I can, his money going to his expenses and mine to mine. I guess it works, sort of…

    I could pay for all of his car repair debt now (loan excepted), but there’s got to be limits. That’s too large a chunk of my savings. I didn’t want to bail him out this time, but everything needed paying so fast there wasn’t too much choice. So it’s on the Visa sitting pretty.

    Blardy cars.

    I don’t think anyone really gets how hard it can be. If you have nothing to fall back on, have a car (presumably a cheap one) and don’t live at home, you’re almost certain to fall into debt for any myriad of reasons.

    But looking to the future 🙂 Given we’re almost surviving on one income now, there’s no reason we can’t once I graduate. There’d be less debt to service and I’d be making a full time wage. I’m positive we could live off close to one paycheck (wouldn’t be that hard) and sock the rest away into savings. Then we’d be able to travel pretty soon!

    But I don’t like to make plans too far in advance. Unhatched eggs and all that.