Sorry for the delay between my posts, but I’ve been caught up in March Madness. If you are sports fan, you should be too. That is a whole other topic I guess.
So I thought I would look at things a bit differently here today. These things I’m going to be reviewing mostly, if not all, revolve around the dreaded second vehicle purchase previously discussed. How am I going to look differently at things? I’m going to try to put a price, or value might be a better term, on intangible benefits to having a second vehicle.
Lets start with a very brief review. If my family purchases a second vehicle, I figure the cost will be about $400 a month for a car payment, gas and insurance. Great, we have a cost $400 per month.
What about the benefits? I’ll start with the easy one, I get a 5% reduction in my existing car and home insurance if I tack on another car, so this will yield me about $7 a month. Off to a great start.
There will be gas savings on the existing car, as currently, my wife will drive me into work if she has an appointment she must go to, no small feat considering this adds an extra 40km per round trip, lets call this $6 in gas because we like to keep things simple here at The Fake Cheap. This happens maybe twice a month, so we will call it $12. Up to $19 in cold hard savings.
Now we get to the trickier benefits. Convenience. Is it more convenient to have two cars compared to one? Most families with two licensed drivers would answer yes, and so will I. What is that convenience worth? That is the question. I have to say that having 1 car hasn’t greatly limited us in what we want to do on our evenings and weekends, but there certainly have been times were we had conflicting schedules and one person had to skip their event, or be greatly inconvenienced with an early/late pick up or drop off or both. I would say maybe this has impacted us maybe twice a month (less so since the little one) but I’m sure life will be more “normal” at some point in the future, so twice a month is fair. So would would I pay to have this convenience where I can go and do whatever I want without having a designated pick up or drop off time for my wife and her activity or vice versa? $5? Yes I would pay that? $10? Maybe sometimes, other times no way. Lets settle near the middle at $7 per conflict, so twice a month, this would be a $14 benefit. Now up to $33 dollars.
One great thing about my wife staying home on mat leave is that I get to have flex hours at my very generous place of employment. Not only does this let me pick my hours, but I can also work an extra 1/2 hour most days to get a whole extra day off per month. I really enjoy these bonus days, and I hardly notice the extra 1/2 hour. In fact, I find my self more productive, because Im at work 1/2 earlier each day, so less interruptions. I would actually loose the ability to work my flex hours when my wife goes back to work, since I am her ride, and flex hours aren’t an option at her workplace. So what are my flex hours worth to me? $50? I think I would pay $50, but I would definitely pay $40, so we will use $40. Up to $73.
In another work related note, I would also loose the ability to work overtime, which I take advantage of whenever it is offered. If I’m at work doing overtime, I cant pick up my wife and child that day. I could technically drive in, then drive back to do overtime, but that really limits the time I would have to put in since my overtime must be done before 7:30pm. So it would be “worth it” but probably not something I would want to do. So what is my benefit for working overtime? That is kind of easy to calculate, my overtime averages about $200 a month. However, overtime is not always offered at my work, so lets call it $100, or about half the time. Up to $173
Finally, and this might be the hardest thing to price out, is that my wife would get to spend extra time each day with our son with the addition of a second vehicle. With one car, I need to get my son to daycare, my wife to work, and me to work on time each morning, and then do the pick up round in the afternoon. We have estimated that we would need to be out of the house at 7:00 each day to make this happen. On the way back, it would be about 5:00-5:15 by the time we got home all together. If my wife has a car and she takes the little one to day care, she can drop him off at 7:45 and pick him up shortly after 4:30. She gains 45 mins in the morning and about 30 mins after work. While the morning time certainly wont be play time, it would greatly help cut down on the morning rush, and the 30 extra mins after each day is nice. So what is this worth? For the morning portion, would I pay $5 each work day to not have to rush everyone around? You know, I think I would, because I really hate rushing for everything. What about the 30 mins after work? Note that I likely wont get much out of this since I still arrive home later. So from my wife’s perspective, what would she pay for this extra time with her son each day? $5? For a joke. $10? Yes, for sure. More? Yes more, but let’s stick with the $10 figure for now. The average month has about 20 work days? So we have $5 for the morning and $10 for the evening, so we get $15×20 = $300.
Grand total $473.
It appears that the benefits of a second vehicle outweigh the cost, and by a fair margin. Does this make it an automatic green light? No. Will it happen? Stay tuned over the next few months for the results.