November 29, 2018

I made my last car payment this month. It’s hard to believe I’ve been making that $320 payment every month for 5 years. Hell, I can’t believe how much has changed in 5 years. But I won’t go there!

I also got the private mortgage insurance removed from my house. I bought a short sale a couple years ago with very little money down. You need to have 20% down to not have private mortgage insurance, or 80% loan-to-value (LTV). So I had the bank do a broker’s price opinion. That came back $120,000 over what I owe, which is like 63% LTV. So we’re good. My payment went down by $100/mo. Thinking back to a few years ago living in Michigan, this would never have been possible. I bought at just about the highest point out here, but got lucky with a short sale fixer-upper near the MAX blue line.

I’ve also been taking the train to work. My yearly transit pass is paid for by my employer. I parked the car in the garage and haven’t moved it for over a month. I figure I’m saving about $100/mo on gas and I have no interest in going back to car commuting anytime soon. My stress level alone has dropped tremendously not having to fight traffic. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute ride. It was sort of stupid I held onto driving for so long - blame it on my Motor City area roots.

Since I don’t have my car at work, I’m not eating out for lunch as much because anywhere I eat I need to walk to. I’m bringing leftovers most days now. I’d say, sadly, I used to eat out 3-4 times per week. Now I do about once. I figure I’m saving at least $80/mo.

However, I did join a gym and I’ve been going every day on my lunch hour. That’s $25. I have time to do this since I bring my own lunch most days.

So…I think I’m saving about $575 per month.

If I removed collision insurance from my car and just got comprehensive, I’d probably be saving about $600/mo (that’s $7200/year).

I mean, that’s like getting a 15% raise. Isn’t that crazy? I swear, car ownership and insurance are the biggest scams.

I feel like a lot of people’s issues with money could be resolved by moving closer to a bus stop.