Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Goodbye, Prius!

It's been a good run! As you may have remembered, my 2006 Prius recently crossed the 1/3rd millionth kilometre. I decided that I will let another lucky guy enjoy its great fuel economy and awesome reliability.  The real reason for selling it was that I felt the car was about to require some major repair. For example, the engine has been burning oil and the ride has become very harsh. If anything broke, I wasn't going to sink anymore money into it. If it were to break down, it'd probably go directly to the junkyard, and I'd get maybe $500 if not less for it. So, I thought I'd try my luck selling it and see if I can get a decent sum for it, especially since it has a newish (2.5 year) hybrid battery.

So, last month, I finally cleaned the car after something like 5 years!  See the pics below. I thought I did a fairly decent job! Finally, after some hours of negotiation with a potential buyer, I was able to strike a deal for $1900. Initially, I was hoping for $2000,but after the deal was done, I reflected on it and realized that I got a pretty darn good deal.... $1900 for a 12-year old car with 345K km on it!

I know there are some who are still skeptical about the economics of hybrids, nevermind EVs. So, here, I will compare the total cost of ownership between my 2006 Prius and a hypothetical 2006 Matrix, bought in 2010 and sold in 2018.

The calculations as as below and are fairly straightforward.  Let me explain a few things.

  1. When I bought the car back in 2010, Ontario had a PST rebate for hybrid cars and at that time, when you bought a used car through a private sale, you only had to pay the PST, and not the GST.  With my purchase, I got the 8% PST back in the form of a rebate.
  2. Maintenance, repair, and parts costs racked up to $9780, with almost half of it being a rebuild of the hybrid battery at $1130 and then a replacement of the battery at $3400.  In hindsight, I should have just replaced the battery the first time it failed...could have saved $1130.
  3. I assumed the maintenance and repair costs of the Matrix to be the same as my Prius minus the hybrid battery repairs.
  4. As you can see, gas savings for my kind of driving came in at around $7900 over the 8 years I had the car.  This is no small feat!  I saved the environment 15130 kg of carbon dioxide in the process.  Fuel savings, $7900...clear conscience, priceless! :)

In the end, the total savings weren't astronomical.  I saved around $2323.  If I had not had the battery rebuilt, the savings would have been $3453.  That would have been a 7% savings in the total cost of ownership.  Not great, but still better than $0 savings!  And again, helping the environment is a definite benefit, that has not been factored into this purely monetary analysis.

I'm sure if the comparison was done against a Yaris, the Prius would probably have been more expensive to own/operate, but that would not be an apples-to-oranges comparison.

TCO Comparison
Compare Total Cost of Ownership Between Prius and Matrix
Distance driven (km)253000
Years owned8
Average gas price per L$1.20
2006 Prius2006 Matrix
Purchase Price$14,650.00$12,000.00
Taxes (PST)0$960.00
Insurance cost per year12001200
Fuel economy (L/100 km)5.58.1
Selling Price$1,900$1,250
Total Maintenance/Repair/Parts$9,780.00$5,250.00
Car Cost$12,750.00$11,710.00
Insurance Cost$9,600.00$9,600.00
Gas Cost$16,698.00$24,591.60
Maintenance/Repair/Parts Cost$9,780.00$5,250.00
Total Cost of Ownership$48,828.00$51,151.60

Goodbye, Prius...Welcome CT!

You might be wondering what I'm driving she is!  2012 Lexus CT200h.  It's pretty much a Prius with a Lexus flavour.  Bought it for $11700 +'s definitely not a new car with 145K km on it, but it's in decent condition.  After owning it for a few weeks, it's really growing on me.  The interior is 5 times better than the Prius, and it's just a cooler car.  Only down side is it's a smaller car, but since it's my commuter, I'm usually not subjecting anyone to the smaller interior.  It's still a very comfortable car, just not as roomy and practical as the Prius.

The previous owner was a it still has some smoke smell.  Airing it under the sun for a few hours has definitely helped, but the smell still lingers.  Any suggestions?

We made it!  1/3 million kilometers!  This is my beloved 2006 Toyota Prius.  I bought it in 2010 when it was 4 years old with 90,000 km on it.  Since then, I've put more than 240,0000 km on it.  Many people wonder if it costs more to maintain a hybrid, and the simple answer is yes.  However, let me get into the details.

In the almost 8 years that I've had the car, there were a total of 4 repairs that I had to make.  First, the front wheel bearings had to be replaced at 163,000 km.  Then, the hybrid battery started failing at 232,0000 km, and I opted to have it rebuilt for $1000.  This was a mistake, because after a bit more than a year, it started failing again.  This time, I decided to have it replaced for $3000.  Around the same time, the front bearings went again.  So, in total, I spent around $5200 + tax in repairs.  Then, there were other regular maintenance stuff like brakes, 12V battery, etc.  So, the real difference between a non-hybrid car and my Prius would be the battery repairs of $4000.  If I had been smarter about replacing the battery, my hybrid repairs would have costed only $3000 (the battery is still going strong now).

That's the cost side.  Now, to the savings.  I had a Matrix before I bought the Prius.  So, if I had kept that car, let's see what the savings would be like.  On the Matrix, I believe I averaged about 8.5 L/100 km.  On the Prius, I averaged about 5.2 L/100 km.  So, after 240,000 km, assuming the average gas price is $1.20/L, I've saved a total of $9504.  This is compared to ~$4520 in hybrid related repairs.  The net is $4984 savings, plus whatever environmental benefits by burning 7920 L less gasoline or producing roughly 42000 lbs less CO2!  I'd say that's pretty good!

However, the cost of a hybrid is more than a similar non-hybrid car.  Luckily, I bought the car used and it cost me < $15000 (no tax paid due to a government rebate at the time).  I believe a Matrix of the same age would have cost around $12500 but I would have had to pay taxes on it, which would bring it to within $1000 of the cost of the Prius.  So, in the end, I've come out on top both financially and ethically!  I think this was a pretty good decision.

So, the natural next step for me would be to go full electric.  As some of you know, I have a reservation for a Tesla Model 3.  Tesla recently updated the delivery timeline and they are now forecasting mid-2018 for delivery.  It's been just some idea for the past 1.5 years but now it's becoming very real.  It's a bit surreal, in fact.  It will be the first new car that I will have bought (because I hate the depreciation of cars in their first 3 years).  However, the $14000 Ontario rebate is pretty darn good to pass up.  The fact that it happens to be quicker than a Ferrari Testarossa in 0-60 mph time is also pretty awesome!  Lastly, as well, I just want to fall asleep at the wheel! ;)

I'm a frugal guy.  Kijiji and eBay are my best friends when it come to spending money.  So, when I say I see a good cell phone plan, it's a good cell phone plan!  Let me give you some background.  Since around 2012, I've been with, first, Mobilicity, and then Wind Mobile.  I really couldn't justify spending $60+/month on a cell phone plan x 2.  With both of these carriers, you essentially have unlimited calling and data, but with 2 big caveats: poor signal quality and coverage.

I've lived with them because there really was no alternative when it comes to the Big 3 (Rogers, Bell, and Telus, and their subsidiaries like Fido, Koodo, etc.).  Let me cover the 2 caveats.  First, signal quality was extremely poor with Mobilicity, and pretty poor with Wind.  You will have dropped calls and slow/no data connection fairly frequently.  Outdoors, you'll probably be ok, but once you go into a building, you've got a 50/50 chance of getting little to no signal at all.  Second, coverage sucked big time!  Once you're out of (sub)urban areas, you'll go into roaming.  Side note: Wind has a fairly good local roaming plan and a great US roaming (no sarcasm there).  For the US roaming add-on, you pay $15/month and you'll get 1 GB data and essentially unlimited text/calling.  I digress.  Anyway, if you travel outside of urban areas a lot, Mobilicity and Wind are likely not for you.

Then, one day, I found Public Mobile (PM).  PM is a not a household name by any means, but they provide a pretty competitive service.  They were bought by Telus in 2013 and eventually began operating on the Telus network.  So, the 2 caveats of Mobilicity and Wind are non-issues.  Signal quality and coverage are both up to par with Bell and Rogers.  What's great is their prices.  Currently, I have one of my lines on its 90-day pre-paid plans.  I get unlimited province wide calling/global text, voicemail, and 6GB data to use in this 90-day period (2 GB/month) for $38 a month ($40 - $2 discount for signing up for auto-credit card payment).  They are able to keep their costs low because they don't have a real call centre.  Support is provided by fellow users and a few moderators on their forums.  So, if you participate in the forums and are helpful, you can get up to $6 off per month.  So, the plan is really going to cost me about $35/month.

It's a pretty good plan, but I've been used to using way more than 2 GB/month.  So, I've put off putting myself on the plan, until one day, they started a promotion of doubling the data at no extra cost.  So, I can get essentially 4 GB data/month at $35/month, on the Telus network with no contract (well...90-day contract)!  I don't think that can be beat.  The only minor caveat is if you're out of province, you need to buy a fairly reasonably priced add-on for data and minutes.  I don't travel a lot and when I do, I'm traveling for work, so I would use my work not a big impact for me.

This promo ends November 20th.  If you don't believe me, at least believe Red Flag Deals.  The thread there has more than 450 likes.  See the details there.

One more thing, if you're signing up and would like to thank me for this information, use me as a referral so I get $1/month discount...muahahahaha!  Ask me for my number (it's not my cell #).
The Best Friend of a Parent with Toddlers!

For those of who had toddlers, you likely know what the above contraption is.  If you are not a parent, then you can move on and skip this post (unless you really like learn about pee and poop).

What's That Smell?
As I walked into my bathroom this afternoon, I caught a whiff of very concentrated pee.  What the?!?  I swear I was aiming this morning!  Not to my surprise, I found 2 used diapers in our waste basket.  (How many times do I have to tell Renee to put used diapers in the Diaper Genie?!  Apparently, not enough...but this post isn't about her, it's about money.  And I guess I can thank her for attempting to save me money by using the waste basket instead of the precious plastic in the Diaper Genie refill, at the expense of making our bathroom smell like a McDonald's bathroom.  I digress.).

So, after transferring those 2 diapers into the Diaper Genie, I realized that we were on our last refill at the moment and I was thinking of picking some up soon.  Checking the Walmart website, I found that a pack of 3 refills was $22.93 + tax.  We use maybe one a month.  So, that translates to $103.64/year.  Then, I wondered why I hadn't already tried finding a cheaper solution.  We're on our 4th kid, but it's never too late!  So, I googled and within minutes, I was on my way to saving about $100/year, thanks to this website.

Essentially, you can replace the refill with and elastic band and some off-the-shelf recycling bags that can be bought for $5.  A box of 40 bags would last you for the most part of the year.  Without further ado, check out the video below.  Now, if you're thinking of how to thank me, I'd like to point you to my previous post, where you can get a tax receipt and a chance to see me shave my legs/head!  Wow, sounds like an awesome deal!

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