What is wrong with my car

Something is wrong with my car. Notes about what is wrong.

An extra $200 per month

No, this is not a commercial. Having just blown several thousand dollars on a new car I need to either (a) live more frugally or (b) make more money. These 2, however, are not mutually exclusive.

Since the new car is a hybrid I automatically will be saving a lot of gas money. Let’s break this one down first:

320 miles/week, $4/gallon (let's hope)

New car: 320mi/40MPG = 8 gal/wk * $4/gal * 4wks = $128/mo
Old car: 320mi/18MPG = 18 gal/wk *$4/gal * 4wks = $288/mo
$160/mo saved via gas

Having a second on my insurance costs me an $450/yr. So, I need to come up with ~$40/month to cover the added insurance cost. Leaving me with $120/mo saved in gas after insurance

My goal is to have an $200/month in my bank account, so I need to get an extra $90/month from either frugality or earning power.

I waste a lot of money in discretionary spending: weekends at the bar, dinners, lunch, video games, etc. The largest non-essential spending I do would probably be eating out for lunch at work every day. I’ve been tracking my lunch expenditures near-obsessively almost every day at work since September 2007 (8 months?). These figures are Weekday LUNCH only. I throw away a lot of money at the bars too.

September $164
October $104
November $102
December $72
January $138
February $113
March $98
April $104 (month-to-date)
8-month expense = $895!

Rice rationing in Daly City?

Last week I went to Costco to buy a bag of rice for my friend. To my confusion, there was not a single bag of rice where once there usually are 20 bags each of 4 or 5 different varieties and sizes. I noticed a couple Chinese standing near the missing rice area talking and they asked a couple Costco employees the whereabouts of the rice.

Not paying much attention to what was going on I did the rest of my shopping. A few minutes later some Costco employees came out with pallets of rice and out of nowhere half the people in Costco were swarming over him trying to take the rice off the cart before he put up the price and the 2 bag limit. “Hold on people, don’t touch anything until I set this on the floor!” he yelled. Near pandemonium ensued as people grabbed up two 50-pound bags each. It was like a scene from a movie where aid workers show up with food and all the people swarm in a mad dash to get food just to survive another day.

Since I don’t frequently buy rice, I thought maybe it was on special. But $16 for a 50 pound bag didn’t seem like a fantastic deal to me. What I didn’t know at the time is that there is a worldwide rice shortage going on. This morning my coworker sent me a link to this NY Sun article: Food rationing confronts breadbasket of the world. Stores are limiting rice along the West and East coast and countries like India and Vietname are halting exports of their rice.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know that I personally am low on rice and I should have bought the extra 50-pound bag. It looks like I’ll be eating a different kind of carb for a while until the rice shortage works itself out.

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