A question of quality

March 7, 2010

My car, sweet Ladybug, christened so by my at-the-time three year old sister (who is now NINE WHAT), is over ten years old now. I bought her already two years and fifty thousand miles used, and she and I have been through quite a bit. She’s now over two hundred 10 miles (she hit 200,000 during Birthdiverrsary http://www.flickr.com/photos/maceelaine/3883353096/), and still chugging along. But there are definite signs of her age: the cup holders (front and back) are mangled and unusable, the center armrest isn’t quite right, and because I live in San Francisco, her back bumper is pock marked. Of course, these are cosmetic things. I also just dumped a bunch of money on a good, thorough tune up, and she needs new belts, which aren’t cheap either. And registration. And insurance. And smog testing.Thank goodness for tax returns, I have to say.

Before throwing down all the cash to get my Ladybug back to her best, I really thought about getting a new(er) car. It’s so tempting – there’s all these new, smaller cars zipping around town. Because I am a complete dork, and again, live in San Francisco, I’m most attracted to things that have good gas mileage and are easy to park. I had a serious flirtation with a one year old Yaris. But when I sat down and thought about it, it made more economic sense to get my current car into better working order. It kind of breaks my heart, but I also know I can’t afford a monthly payment right now.

I’m having similar issues with my current apartment. Sure, everyone loves the House of Puppy Dogs and Rainbows. And there are still things about it I love – the neighborhood, the neighbors, the view, the deck. But the down sides are starting to weigh on me – the darkness, the cold, the damp. There are a lot of things I can identify that would make living here more pleasant (heck, I have a list written somewhere of projects), but these things take money and time. If this isn’t a place I see myself staying in long term, I’m unsure if I should spend the money it’s going to take.

What’s your price point? Is it worth spending money on something that may be short term?


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