As followers of Your Money or Your Life, Chris and I have always done a good job of evaluating the cost of our paid employment. We factor in clothes, fuel, travel time and snacks and eating out.
Since I’ve been working as a contract bookeeper, I’ve also been keeping my eye on these expenses, especially as I have several clients in Kamloops, which is a 180 km round trip. With the latest spike at the pump, my round trip now costs $20.59. And, I spend two hours of my day on travel. Clothes haven’t been a huge cost; both companies are fairly casual. I’ve spent about $130 in the last 6 weeks on some classier-than-farm clothes (i.e. clean jeans and tops/sweaters that actually belong to this milleniums fashion trends). I’ve purchased about half of these clothes from thrift stores and the other half from the sale racks of major department stores.
All my trips to Kamloops have doubled up as errand runs; supplies, groceries and parts. There have been a few days where I’ve had to dash in, only spent 4 hours working and dash back. But these have been rare.
The first week I bought a few lunches, but as I’ve settled in I’ve found time to pack a lunch. And since stopping coffee cold turkey, even the urge to buy a coffee is gone.
The fuel bothers me; the cost and the amount I’m using. While we pursue the WVO option I’ve been thinking a lot about Chris’ motorcycle (I sold mine to my brother Tom, in my 20’s and haven’t ever replaced it). Tonight I went to our storage shed and checked it out. It hasn’t been licenced since 1998 when we moved back to B.C. and Chris rode it periodically the first summer we were here.
There’s no faring. We thought there was. I suppose an hour’s drive won’t be too bad, as long as it doesn’t rain hard (in which case I’d probably take the car anyway as I’ve never enjoyed rain riding). The back tire looks great, but the front tire looks worn. I found the keys in our dresser, but don’t know where the registration is. I have a few places to look.
If we pursue this option a few other things have to happen. I have to reduce what I carry. Right now I have a briefcase in which I have a container with my “portable” office. I also use my laptop at one on my client’s offices and I like to carry my Quickbooks reference manual as this is the newest accounting program for me (I can operate Simply Accounting with my eyes closed!) I’ve also been introduced to CUC Accounting at yet another client’s, but have no manual. Anything I take with me has to be either stuffed into the tank bag or on the back seat
I have a few hesitations with the motorcycle. The first is the craziness of the traffic on Hwy 5 between Darfield and Kamloops. Between the May long weekend and Labour Day, insanity seems to rule on the roads. I’m not as agressive on a motorcycle as I was when I was 17 so that’s probably a good thing! Arriving at work with vibrated bones is also a concern…the car is simply more comfortable than a Yamaha 650.
I’d have built in airconditioning…that’s a bonus. Insuring the motorcycle would be far less than putting the truck on the road and I’d be able to leave Chris and the kids with the car in case they needed to get out of Dodge.
Lots to think about.