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

Why I hate #RichKids

BB April 12 Champage

The truth is I don’t.  The reason I bring this up is because I saw the cast of #RichKids on Bethenny last week.  I was a little bit disturbed and a whole lot surprised as to what they had to say.  The six cast members of the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills are a mix between hardworking and completely spoiled.  They are all in their 20s and they were all born into money.  Some cast members now make their own money and some just live off their parents.  Some cast members work full time and some just party full time.  How do you feel about that?

You can be rich, but you don’t have to be spoiled

I have mixed emotions about the things these #RichKids do with their money.  I believe in having chances in life, but I don’t believe in having things handed to you.  I was not born into a rich family so I can’t speak first hand, but I think rich people should just be normal people…with more money.

Just because you are born into money doesn’t mean you can’t still wake up every day and go to work.  You may not need to work for anyone else because you have the money to start your own business.  You can afford to start your own company and do whatever you want to do, but you should still do something.

Lots of people would kill for the chance to wake up every day and do what they love.  Even more people would like to wake up and do what they love for themselves, instead of having to do it for someone else.  Are you one of those people?

#RichKids can good with their money

If parents don’t make their kids work that’s a whole other issue.  I think that people should always have to work for what they have and people should always have the will to be better, to do better.

I had a client whose parents won the lottery two years ago and gave him a lump sum of $3 million.  He continued to go to work as an accountant every day.  He maintained his daily routine and even kept the same girlfriend and same apartment.  His lifestyle improved, but he continued to make his own money.  When I asked him why he kept working he said because once you spend money it’s gone.  He keeps working to maintain a sense of normalness in his otherwise privileged life.

If I was a #RichKid

Why can’t people with money just be normal and nicer clothes with better apartments?  I am not going to lie.  Some days I wish I had money to do whatever I wanted to do.  I wish I had the money to take longer vacations in five star resorts and I wish I had the money to live in a bigger apartment that was paid for in cash.  I am not a big fan of paying rent or making mortgage payments.  I would like to keep all the money I make for myself instead of having to pay bills.  But that is my dream world.

I would definitely still get up and go to work every morning.  I’m not sure what I would do, but I would love to work for myself.  Or at least I think I would.  Being your own boss seems stressful and I’m not sure I would like it, but I would like to try.  That’s what money does.  It gives you freedom to new opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Photo by Jeffrey Kontur

Do you draw the line at going dutch?

New York 1

Good morning Loves. I have a question to ask, would you go out with someone a second time if they didn’t pay for your first date?  My friend Sherri just went out with a guy who not only asked for two checks at dinner but he also made her pay for her own movie ticket.  Sherri said she really liked the man and they had a great time on their date, up until he asked her to pay for her own meal.  When it comes to paying for a date are you old fashioned and want the man to pay or are you new aged and want to go dutch?

Should the man always pay for the first date?

Sherri hasn’t been on a first date in a while.  She didn’t say anything to the man about paying her half of the check because she wasn’t sure if everyone paying for themselves on a date was the new norm.  When it came to the movie she was surprised the man didn’t offer to pay for her ticket.  Actually insulted was the word she used.  So here’s the question, would you be offended if someone didn’t offer to pay for your first date?

I haven’t been on a first date in a long time but I don’t think I would call a man back if he didn’t offer to pay for our first date.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned but if a man asks me out I would assume the night would be his treat.  I might also take it as a sign of my likability if a man didn’t pick up the check on our date. I would think he wasn’t into me because if he did like me he would want to impress me and pay for the meal, right?

Who should pay for the wedding?

When couples get married who should pay for the wedding?  Traditionally the parent’s of the bride pay for the wedding, but maybe both sides of the family should split the bill.  I think that would be fair.  If you are married who paid for your wedding?

If my boyfriend and I were to get married I think our parents (both sides) would offer to cover the costs.  After 15 years of dating our parents would be so happy my boyfriend finally popped the question they would be more than happy to pay for our wedding.

Living happily ever after

When you are married how do you share expenses?  My boyfriend and I live together and we split all living expenses as well as all big purchases right down the middle.  This is probably because our incomes are approximately the same.  If our earnings were drastically different I think we would split our everyday living expenses as a percentage of our income.

If I earned more money than my boyfriend I wouldn’t expect to pay for everything and I wouldn’t expect him to do the same if he earned more money than me.  I am a true believer in people paying their own way.  I think both people in a relationship should contribute equally to a relationship.  But again maybe that’s just me.

Photo by tahnyakristina  

Money lessons from The Real Housewives

I have a personal confession to make.  I have a huge addiction to reality TV.  I love watching Survivor, judge shows and The Real Housewives.  I know a lot of people think the women on The Real Housewives are just gold diggers who marry for money and live off their husband’s money.  For some cast members that’s true.  However some of The Real Housewives actually do work.

Believe it or not there are actually a lot of good money lessons to be learned from The Real Housewives.  You may think I am reading too much into this, but it’s true.  A lot of cast members on the various shows are actually very smart business women.  They have established a brand, endorsed products and watched their income grow over the years.  Of course some of it is from reality TV fame, but it’s not all luck.  Some of The Real Housewives have savvy business smarts.

Let’s take a page from their money book.

Have multiple streams of income.  Phaedra Parks from The Real Housewives of Atlanta is a lawyer turned mortician.  She is the queen of multiple streams of income and she always goes outside of her comfort zone when she is looking to make more money.  Parks also recently launched a workout DVD with her husband.  She knows that putting all your eggs in one basket is not a smart financial move so she spreads her business across many sectors.

Don’t count on other people for your income.  Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York City never relied on a man to support the lifestyle she wanted.  Frankel grew up broke and turned her life around as a celebrity natural food chef.  She turned her passion for healthy living into an empire with her brand Skinnygirl.  Now Frankel has a line of calorie-conscious cocktails, snack bars, shape wear and even a new daytime talk show.  She took her fate into her own hand and made her own money.

Make your hobby your income.  Gretchen Rossi from The Real Housewives of Orange County was your typical gold digger, until her finance left her with nothing.  Rossi is a young, beautiful blonde who was engaged to marry a very wealthy older man.  When he passed away she was left with nothing.  So what did she do?  She turned her love of handbags and makeup into her new business.  Rossi now runs her beauty line Gretchen Christine with her new fiancé.

Grow your brand with your name.  If you are an entrepreneur your name is your brand.  When you have a strong brand you can branch out and grow your business.  People like a name brand they can trust.  In order for people to buy in to what you are selling you have to build a trusted brand.  Kandi Burruss from The Real Housewives of Atlanta took her name and built a brand that includes several endeavors such as music, sex toys and a radio talk show.  The name Kandi is trusted and this opens doors for her to jump on new opportunities, in turn increasing her income.

Photo by boybentley