Weekend Update

Books: Re-reading an old James Herriot novel, All Creatures Great and Small. It’s probably been 18 years that I’ve read it. Just going back to some master story tellers. (Also, if you can’t tell, I’ve been obsessed with all things Brit lately.)

Car insurance: Been shopping around, as I am looking for a new insurance company for the start of July, when I move back to Ontario. I was paying far too much for Meloche Monnex, although I didn’t have much of a choice, since they were one of the few companies that would take me as a client (i.e. living in Quebec with Ontario plates). After talking to five companies, I believe my best bet is OTIP. It does pay to call around though; I got a $25 Amazon gift card from OTIP just for speaking with an agent and CAA also gave me $25 for chatting with them!

Roboadvisors:
 Finally transferred about $22,000 of RSPs out of Tangerine Investment Funds and over to another roboadvisor. There’s a nice spread of iShares and Vanguard ETFs. Will need to sit down and look through my asset allocation when I’ve got more time in the summer. Got a $50 bonus when I started the account since mentioning the referral from Jessica Moorhouse.

School Boards: All registered with my new school board, and getting calls for substitution on my cellphone (it took me a week to figure out how to turn it off until September). However, I am disappointed I did not get an interview with Ottawa-Carleton (OCDSB). Out of four other friends, only one person I knew got an interview for the OT list. I suppose I just try again next year … should I apply for Thames Valley? Will work on an application later this week.

Media: Podcasting as usual and enjoying BBC’s The Documentary. Also learned about Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) on the SickBoy podcast*. Taking a pause after finishing seasons 6 of Call the Midwives and switching over to AMC’s Humans. AHHHH!!! Great show to watch after HBO’s WestworldWatch the trailer:


*This is a Canadian podcast and it is tastefully done, not what you’d expect when the three hosts are three white dudes. What’s even cooler is that one of the hosts is my gym buddy’s brother-in-law!

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Big News!

I bought my first car on Thursday!

I’d been looking for the past 2 weeks for a used Toyota RAV4, but ended up buying the first Honda CRV I tried out. Previously, I was looking at older cars, from around 2006. As I considered the unusual driving conditions*, I went with J.’s suggestion to get a newer car for better reliability and safety.

On Thursday morning, we visited a local Honda dealership, and my mom helped me negotiate a 2009 CRV from $17,999 down to $16,500**. This is definitely much more than my original budget of $12,000, thinking I was going to get a beater. At the advice of the Honda sales rep, I am putting down $5000 – withdrawing from my TFSAs – and finance the rest at 4.99%. As it’s an open loan, I could put payments on the principal at any time (without penalty). The additional bonus of financing is that it will help boost my credit rating**** in the long run.

Rather than my mom’s current insurance company, today I purchased car insurance from TD Meloche Monnex as a University of Toronto alumni. I was hoping my rate would be much lower, but in the end, including all the bells and whistles and accident forgiveness, I went with a monthly premium of $198.75/month. The costs add up so quickly! And as I will be given a furnished home with a bed, I decided to transfer the $1200 from my mattress savings account and use it towards my car funds instead***.

That’s it for now. My mom is going to pay for my snow tires and my grandmother will help me grab a first-aid kit, a snowbrush and some utility mats. Pick-up is on Monday! It’s exciting to finally have my own car!

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*It’s approximately 1250 km from Toronto to Waskaganish. There is no cellphone service on the last 400 km of the James Bay Highway. If I’m stuck, I sit there until someone passes me by, or I can walk to an emergency phone, which are spaced approximately 70 km apart from each other. Snowdrifts get quite high and I might pass one vehicle every hour. 

**Kelly Blue Book was quoting the same price.

***I will eventually purchase my own mattress, but at this time, it’s not a financial priority.

****When I checked through TransUnion, back in April, my credit rating was still sitting at 723.