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Selling my car was a good decision

Car Sale

This past weekend BF and I rented a car for the weekend. We spent three lovely days driving around to suburban shopping malls and big box stores stocking up on everything from paper towels to body wash. The entire car rental cost us $200 from Thursday to Sunday and that includes gas. Not a bad way to spend Easter weekend. Our families live far away so holidays are usually just a time to relax for us. Sometimes we travel but it can get very expensive very quickly to travel on holiday weekends. So we usually just stay low key watching Netflix and eating takeout food.

Having a car makes life a little bit easier

Some people may think $200 is a lot to spend in three days, but let me tell you it was worth it. Since selling our car in 2010 we are limited to eating at restaurants within walking distance of our apartment and we are limited to only buying as many groceries as we can carry at one time. This weekend it was nice to pack everything into the trunk of the car and not have to worry about walking 15 minutes with two bags of groceries on our shoulders.

When we rent a car we can also buy items in bulk such as a case of water or a case of beer. We usually buy these items in smaller quantities which can be costly. It was definitely nice to have the car all weekend because it made running errands a lot easier, but it was also nice to give it back yesterday.

Owning a car is not worth the expense

We bought our car in 2007 and we sold it three years later with less than 30,000 kilometers. Since we live downtown in a big city we rarely used our car. Other than the occasional weekend road trip and for groceries on Saturdays our car usually sat in our very expensive underground parking lot.

We used to park on the street for free but after one break-in and one towing incident during snow removal we decided to start paying for underground parking. Just like that we added $130 to our monthly expenses to make sure our car was safe and sound in underground parking.

When we add up the car payment, the price of insurance, underground parking fees and the cost of gas owning a car was just not worth the $800 per month.

Not owning a car is a healthy decision

Not having a car forces us to get outside. Walking everywhere is good for the body and fresh air with sunshine never hurts. I have to tell you that walking 15 blocks in the winter with two bags of groceries is not fun, but in the summertime it lets me work on my tan.

When I had a car I would rarely get outside and enjoy the fresh air. I would take the car absolutely everywhere because I felt like I had to. If I walked somewhere without taking the car I felt like I was paying for nothing so I ended up taking the lazy way out and driving everywhere. That’s a very unhealthy habit.

Photo from Flickr

Is your gym membership worth it?

Jungle Gym

Good morning Loves. I used to be the first to admit that a gym membership was a waste of money. I preferred to find less expensive (dare I even say free) workout routines such as walking outside and working out in my home. I refused to pay $45 a month for a gym membership to workout with hundreds of other sweaty people who have touched the same equipment. But now my mentality has taken a 180 degree turn and I am not pro-gym membership.

Things are going south (yet) but they just aren’t the same

Since I hit 30 years old it’s safe to say my body has changed quite a bit. I was never one of those skinny girls who eats salad and drinks protein shakes all day. I have always had “curves”, which is just a skinny girl’s polite way of saying I’m not skinny. Even though I’ve never been skinny or even thin, I am noticing that my body is just not the same at 33 that it was at 23. Places of my body are touching that shouldn’t be touching and that’s not OK with me.

My new body composition could be due to changes in my lifestyle over the last ten years. At 23 I was broke and couldn’t really afford anything, let alone nice meals. Now that I have a full time job and freelance side hustle I can afford to eat out, which I do a lot because I’m so busy and a really awful cook. I’m sure my income increase over the years and my change in lifestyle habits have played a major role in how my body has evolved.

In my 30s I need a little more motivation to get going and get to the gym. Sure some may say that looking good is motivation enough and boy do I wish that was true. In my 20s I was full of energy and I could function well on five to seven hours of sleep. Now I sleep for a solid 12 hours on the weekends and I like to take a power nap during the week when I get home from work. It’s probably not as dramatic as I’m making it sound but all that to say I need a little help to stay motivated.

Money is motivation to keep going

I decided to join a gym because I need a little extra motivation to start working out on a regular basis. What better motivation is there than money? I now pay $45 per month for my gym membership and I never regret it. I am not a fan of being locked into a contract because committing to anything really freaks me out, but overall my gym experience has been very pleasant.

I make sure I get to the gym at least three times a week because it makes the monthly cost worth it. I would hate myself if I paid $45 per month for a gym membership and never went. So other day I pack my bag and head to the gym after work. I carry my bag to work because if I come home to change my clothes I would never make it back out to the gym. I would rather change into my pyjamas than change into my workout gear. Going to the gym straight from work makes sure I get my money’s worth with my gym membership.

Photo by tahnyakristina

Friday Faves: DIY and romantic gestures

BB April 12 Easter

Good morning Loves.  Happy Easter.

I am off work today and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.  I hope you all have a great long weekend with lots and lots of chocolate.

Enjoy these posts from our personal finance friends.

NZ Muse – Romance is overrated: Why we suck at romantic gestures

Gen Y Finances – How To Write A Resignation Letter

Financially Blonde – Top 10 DIY Movies

Savvy Financial Latina – Keeping Things Simple With Your Finances

Budgets Are Sexy – It’s Yard Sale Season, Bitch!

Clever Dude – What Would You Do: Is the Customer Always Right?

Photo by Margaret Collins

How To Use A Trust Deed in The UK To Eliminate Unsecured Debt

[The following is a guest article by T. Williams]

If you are holding a significant amount of unsecured debt and live in the UK, you may be considering securing a trust deed to help solve your debt issues. Trust deeds are used as a contract between yourself and your creditors for you to pay as much as you can on your debts for a predetermined amount of time, after which the remaining amount of your debt is forgiven. Securing a trust deed may be a good solution for those seeking financial freedom as it may allow you to write off a significant portion of your unsecured debt, giving you a new start financially without bankrupting you.

Qualifying For A Trust Deed

To qualify for a trust deed, you must open your finances to inspection by a qualified Insolvency Practitioner who will examine your options and let you know whether you qualify for this type of debt elimination program. Only an Insolvency Practitioner can legally set up and administer a Trust Deed. Next, the amount that you can afford to repay must be determined. When considering your financial position, the amount that you are paying for your mortgage, car payment, and living expenses are taken into account.

Acting as your Trustee, the Insolvency Practitioner will communicate with your creditors and negotiate with them over the amount that you can afford to pay to discharge your debt at the end of the Trust Deed period. If the majority of your creditors accept the provisions of the Trust Deed, your Trust Deed will become ‘protected’ and your creditors will not be able to take any further debt collection actions against you as long as you make your payments on time and do not default on the agreement. It is important to remember that a trust deed is a legally binding contract that both parties must adhere to fully for a positive resolution to your financial issues.

The Benefits Of A Trust Deed

Securing a trust deed allows you to make payments on your debts without the debts increasing further from interest charges and fees. Instead of making multiple payments to multiple creditors, you will make a single payment to the company and the company will distribute the payments to your creditors. Once all of the payments are made and the time period for repayment expired, the rest of the unpaid debt will be discharged. Trust deeds generally run for a term of 48 months, but could be slightly longer or shorter depending on your personal financial situation.