Little BIL will soon be taking his restricted licence test.
It’s taking me right back to my early 20s…
You can’t just risk sitting your licence in any old car. I faced a bit of a bind when it came to sit mine. I had to get my licence pretty quickly before university started but didn’t own a car. (So they told me, as journalists often need to head out to chase stories on short notice. In reality, I actually didn’t wind up needing to drive myself places.) At the time I wasn’t really in contact with my parents and our relationship was in a difficult place.
So I borrowed a friend’s car to take the test in, and it was a disaster. The car was an old dunger; I wasn’t used to driving it; it struggled to start on a hill among other things and I think it contributed to my failing the test. (Goodbye, $80 down the drain!)
The second time around I leaned on a different friend who had a much better car, and for that I’m forever grateful, because the drive went smoothly and I passed … just.
And don’t get me started on what happened with our car when T tried to sit his! The douchey inspector actually physically kicked the bumper, insisted the tyres were not inflated enough, and after going down the road to the petrol station to confirm that yes, they WERE in fact inflated correctly, he refused to carry out the driving test because it had taken a couple minutes too long over the grace period you get to remedy any vehicle issues. Even though nothing was ACTUALLY wrong with the car, and it was his mistake in claiming there was. Even though that minute would have been saved in the first place if he, oh, hadn’t taken it upon himself to kick the car as part of his ‘inspection’. Again, $80 down the drain.
It is a privilege to be able to sit your licence in a decent car, and I’ve always thought they should provide vehicles for people to take their tests in who need it.
So I’ve offered up ours to BIL, and I hope he’ll take it up if required.
This week’s links
I’d argue that creativity is pretty underrated in personal finance. This is probably because most people have a healthy fear of personal finance — I know I’m not alone in viewing it as a tightrope act. You go forward, you go backward, but there certainly isn’t room to go side to side. Creativity means a potential for error, and financial error is a terrifying prospect.
But creativity is important because, if done right, it forces you to let go of social norms. So much of how we spend our money is dictated by how the people around us spend money and how we think the people around us spend money. Letting go of the normal gives you more options.
As a very important caveat: thinking creatively about money is a privilege in and of itself. You have to have money to have multiple options in its spending; you have to have time and a roof over your head and internet access to learn about what those options are.