Some people love their cars and driving. Not me; I resent having a vehicle and avoid driving if I can. Both are causes of anxiety in my life (although having a Garmin for trips out of town helps). As it is, I've got more than enough anxiety from other sources with which to contend (prolonged unemployment, unappreciative/stingy clients and living near/with disapproving/judgemental interfering parents being some of the major ones).
Having recently (within the last few to several months) cashed in my retirement annuity in order to pay off the loan on my car (thus removing that particular worry from my life) and put some money into (unnecessarily over-diversified) crypto investments, which I now can't draw from due to not meeting the minimum balance requirements (the rest remaining to keep me afloat for a bit), I've come to realise exactly how much I don't like the machine I own. Don't misunderstand me here; air conditioner and power steering are nice to have, but not essential (even in Subsaharan Africa). It will not ever entirely replace my VW Golf (which I should have paid to have fixed instead of selling it for "something better"; just more bad parental "advise" and urging I took and later lived to regret).
My Golf could take a beating and keep going, despite it feeling flimsy when I drove it. Ever since it crumpled a Honda Ballard that smacked into it at speed one day, I referred to it as "Bruiser". What I have now might as well have "hurt me plenty" painted on it; it just seems to beg for damage from every fence post, hedge, pole, pothole and retaining wall in the places I visit. (It even takes damage when parked; just a couple of days ago, someone whacked into it in the parking lot of the local coffee house and free Wi-Fi hotspot while I was catching my breath after a run. I'm still waiting for their security guy to come back to me with details of the vehicle from the camera footage.)
I can't afford to have fixed every bump, crack, crease, dent, ding, scrape and scratch in/on the damn thing's chassis. On top of that, the tires need replacing yet again and my license expired at the beginning of the month. (I've at least got that annual mind-bender sorted out.) To add insult to injury, the price of petrol went up at the beginning of the month, there's insurance on the vehicle as well (which, while reasonable, I can't afford and which will surely go up if I put in a claim).
The long and the short of it is that my car is not an asset, but a liability. Despite being urged not to sell it (not that I'd get much for it in its current state) or cancel the insurance on it, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to justify the monthly expenses associated with keeping it (particularly since almost all of the places I go can be reached by foot or bicycle to and from them, even if it takes me a couple of hours; it's not like I've got urgent/time-sensitive business to which I must attend).
"I live in a mansard house, with all the modern inconveniences." — Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain
This brings me to my second issue: I really, really and truly hate to beg for money/financial aid (and I'm not keen on asking for help either). I find doing so totally repugnant and demeaning (although I've done things far below any dignity I apparently once had, such as eat out of bins perfectly good food that other people have thrown away, because waste not and want not). However, doing so is one of the few ways I've survived (and proven to be one of the more effective ways to bring in dough, sadly, despite my attempts at harnessing so-called alternate revenue streams that turned out to not even be drips). Considering I earn just enough to keep me afloat on little over a dollar a day, actually working for money (particularly in a job that gives me honest pay for honest work) isn't enough by itself. Yet again, I'm figuratively going around with cap and begging bowl in hand, singing "I need a dollar; a dollar is what I need" while my head burns in the hot desert sun.
Post thumbnail photo by Javon Swaby from/on Pexels