The Job, and the Wheels

Okay, so the low down on the job.

I start October 1st. It is in the library here at the University. The official title is Junior Web Applications Developer.

The sticky.. or is that stinky… point is that the wage is a full $19,000 less a year than what I was making when I left my last job.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. It will be good for me to make some friends, know some people, get a social group and working on campus has got to be a step in the right direction for that. It is work I can do and am interested in – I like working with databases and websites and working with library tools.

On the other hand, take that wage and subtract the cost of having to buy a car, or just the gas to get to work, and I was probably bringing in more with unemployment.

But it’s full time, permanent. It is at the university and I’ve heard it is really hard to get in there. The salary is reviewed annually. It starts with 3 weeks of holiday a year – but you have to take one of those over Christmas when the University is closed.

So I’m going shopping this week – clothes, car, lunch box. I agonized for days over what vehicle to buy. I don’t stress out about much (well snakes, spiders, and stairs) but buying a car has taken up 90% of my brain waves since I had that job interview.

We test drove a few vehicles yesterday. We were looking at that used Saturn wagon, and we looked at a brand new shiny Team Canada edition Equinox. We did the figures at the Chev dealer for both of those. The interest rates on used cars is brutal. And every used vehicle I’ve had has required $1200 in repairs every 6 months. The dealers are trying to get rid of their 2007’s. They are even giving 0% financing. We left Chev with some numbers. We could really only afford a lease on an Equinox – the payments to own were steep. We then went to the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealership. My eye has always been caught by the Dodge Caliber. When I took a look at one in the Walmart parking lot the other day I figured it was just way way too small for us. We aren’t a petite couple. The dealer urged us to get in one and wow – there was as much room in the driving area as the Equinox. We test drove it, and took out a Jeep Compass too. I hated the Compass. Even though it was the same platform as the Caliber it had the most horrible head rest that was banging into my head on every bump.

We went into that dealership too and worked up a bunch of numbers for leasing and financing between the 07 and the 08. The longer we sat there, the more he kept taking off the 2007’s sticker price. I think that is what we are going to do – finance a Dodge Caliber. There is one on the lot that suits me fine – has all the options I would dream of. I don’t want to brag too much about it’s coolness until it is mine, but hopefully I can post a photo of me in it tomorrow!

The Caliber is the price of a used SUV. It doesn’t have the luxurious back seat that the Equinox has (it has a ton of knee room for adult passengers) but what do we want this vehicle for – it’s for me to go back and forth to work, and for our trips together when we don’t need the gas guzzling Ford. We need something that is good on gas, and doesn’t require a ton of repairs, and hopefully that is what we found. I’ve read online reviews and message boards about the Caliber all weekend and I’m still convinced it is the best choice for us.

Check back tomorrow and see how it went!

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

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