Friday, May 2, 2014

Decisions to come

My life is about to change big time.

I've been the primary caregiver for DS for 20 years. As he has gotten older, that has not only meant helping with the obvious - bathing, dressing, feeding, turning etc. - but also being the on-call chauffeur for school, work, fun activities.

Now, however, he is in the process of working with two programs that will allow him caregiver services. His plan is to use one of them for overnight, more specialized care, and the other to hire students to shuttle him back and forth to college and other activities.

While all this sounds wonderful in theory, it means that I will potentially be losing my mode of transportation every weekday.

This leaves us to decide what to do about that. I do some freelance work that requires my being able to get around town. And there are the typical household errands that I take care of during the week. I'm actually rather torn about it. I am a homebody and don't go out just to go out. But I do want the option.

For now, we're just going to start putting away what we can in a separate account and see where we are at the end of the summer. We would only need a car that could get me around town, so we'd be looking at a beater car that just runs. We would only buy what we could pay cash for.

Any tips on buying a very low-cost vehicle that won't turn out to be a nightmare?



  1. I am the LAST person to give advice on a car. But if you are looking for a car that you won't need on a daily basis, can you drive your husband to work and pick him up, so you can use his car?

    I would hate for you to get a beater car, and then it nickels and dimes you....especially if you don't need it daily.

    1. That's an option - to drive him on days I have to have transportation. Unfortunately, his commute is almost 45 minutes one way so that's not always feasible. Yes, the nickel and diming is what scares me!

  2. If you can handle it in your budget, how about a cheap rental? My BIL started renting a car when his beater car died recently and it's only costing him about $200 a month.
    I know it's really not a frugal option in the long run, but it might be worth a try in the short term until you find a better option.

    If you only need a car now and again, does your area have a ZipCar type service?

  3. Could you buy a bike instead? How far is it into town?

  4. Some good options here - I guess I need to know how far you would have to drive (for errands) and how often. You don't want to end up with lots of repair bills. A bike works well except for winter of course. Taxi? Do all errands on 1 day and drive hubby. It's something you definitely need to put a lot of thought into.

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  6. Phew - without knowing everything I don't feel I can help you with this question. Though I can ask, do you know of any car-share programs in your city or area that will allow you access to transportation when needed? This may be a cost effective way of handling things. I wanted to commend you on your debt repayment as well. That is GREAT progress!!

  7. I am a fan of buying used cars made by Honda, Toyota or Nissan. All of them are reliable car manufacturers and I have bought at least one from each of them. I would also find a mechanic that you can have a look at it before you buy. Nothing worse than buying a car at a great deal and then having to dump a ton of money into it.