Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Decisions, decisions...

Good afternoon, dear reader.

I have a decision to make.  Or rather, the missus and I have a decision to make.  And I (we) have no idea what to do.  Two of our choices will cost a fair bit of money, one will cost us nothing.  You're probably wondering why this is so difficult...choose to NOT spend money.  I wish it were that easy.  Oh, I suppose it could be as simple as that, if I really wanted it to be.  But eventually I will be forced to make the choice.  I just choose to try make it sooner than later.  Read on, and I'll try to explain.

So, it comes down to this.  Eventually, I will need a new (or new to me) vehicle.  Also, I will need to renovate my house so that the carport becomes a living area.  Fine, I don't need to do that, but I want to.  Both projects are going to cost a good chunk of change.  And this is the dilemma.  Which do I do first?  Buy a vehicle and put off the reno's for 5 years?  Do the reno and hope like crazy my van lasts for 5 more years?

Do you see where the problem is, dear reader?  And please, if you're going to be all logical about it, keep it to yourself.  I don't want logic.  I don't want to talked out of making a 'money-spending' decision.  I want someone to tell me what I want to hear.  I want to spend the money (which I don't have, but the bank does (hopefully)).

So, why do I want to do this?  Why do I want to renovate?  Why a new (or new-to-me) vehicle?  Well, the renovation would be good for a few reasons.  It would increase the value of our house, it would increase the total living space, it would provide a room for the organ and maybe a fireplace area, and it would allow me to make the living room a full sized living room.  This is something the missus and I have talked about as our 'really long term plan', but with the arrival of the organ, I think this plan has become our 'not so really long term plan'.  Plus, as the kids get older, they will be having more friends over and it would be nice to have a wee little bit more space.  Make sense, dear reader?

Now how about the vehicle?  Why should I consider this as a priority, or a quasi-priority.  Well, my van is a 2003, but does have relatively low KM's.  In theory I suspect it could go for quite a number of years yet.  The body on it is starting to develop rust...apparently it is a common thing with these vans.  The van seats enough people...we can get 6 kids, the missus and myself in there.  So space is not an issue.  Why then, should I consider a new (or new to me) vehicle first?  Well, first of all, I rely on my vehicle for work.  I have to drive.  So if my vehicle dies, then I have to get a new (or new to me) one immediately.  Right now my van is working great.  Will it last 5 years?  I don't know.  Of course, any vehicle could cause problems, and I recognize that.  That logic will not influence my decision.  Second, I would like to be able to tow a trailer.  Currently, my van can't do that AND take stuff and people with me.  And no, having a second vehicle for this purpose or for commuting to work is not an option.  We are a one driver family.  One driver = one vehicle.  Third...well, I haven't thought of a third reason yet, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere.

Anyways, dear reader, thus is my problem.  To spend or not to spend is not really the question (although I know what the missus thinks).  The question really is what to spend on or vehicle.  I am sure that it will take the missus and I a while to figure out what we're going to do.  As of this very moment, we just don't know.  Hopefully we'll figure it out soon.  In the meantime, I'll try not to spend at all.



  1. By doing the reno first the value of your home will increase by more than the cost of the reno. You have gained equity in the home!! The extra space will give you the room for the kids to have friends over and not be under foot. Huge bonus, your kids are home with good friends and you have a happy family, ya, you will enjoy those kids too!!!!
    Your good old van is not going to loss much value in the next 5 years and if it is low mileage may start to two bit you in a few years but that is not big money
    There is nothing more important than family.

  2. Your vehicle should last quite a while yet, even with some repairs it will never cost as much as what you’ll fork over for a newer one. Money invested in a home will still be there for you when you decide to sell (and hopefully have increased it’s value by a good chunk), so the best ‘bang for your buck’ would be to expand the house.

  3. Always do the cheapest one first. That’s likely to acquire a different vehicle. The trade in value on the current one is higher while it’s running good. Focus on buying something two or more years old, i.e. 2010 or older. Look for the average mileage that vehicle should have… not exceptionally low. You’ll pay to much for it. Secondly, do what you really want and that will provide you with the most satisfaction first. This is about the illogical answer I could come up with, though not necessarily the wrong one.
    Hope this is what you wanted to hear. It’s the least I could do, and never let be said I don’t do the least I can do. Enjoy!

  4. We are in the final stages of a reno that is giving us about 350 sq ft of extra living space, mostly for when the kids have friends over. We also didn’t really want to fork out the pesos quite yet, but… we justified it by installing a wood stove (which was basically free, and we can get all the wood we want for nada) in the room which is heating the main living area of the house, so it is definitely worth it for us!

  5. ’d lean towards spending on the vehicle. The lifespan of the current chariot is unknown. I don’t forsee anything happening to make the expanded living room a necessity. The van on the other hand….. who knows?