My first week back at work was a little rough. I was exhausted at the end of each night and went to bed at pretty much the same time as Elliott did. After that first week things started to get a little easier and we began to find a routine. Supper wasn’t as much of a problem as I thought it was going to be, but we have been eating takeout a lot more than before.

Elliott didn’t have any problems adjusting to the Day Home. I think he enjoys going. There are always kids there to play with since the owner has a son of her own, just a little bit older than mine. But he did catch a cold after his first day there. And then he gave his cold to me and his dad.

So on my second or third week back at work I had a cough and hot/cold flashes (which was probably actually a fever). I was coughing so much that my back and sides were sore and it made it hard to sleep. After about two weeks of that I finally started to feel better on a Saturday. I started cleaning and disinfecting the house and was feeling happy that I was getting better.

Then the next day on Sunday I woke up feeling like death. This is T.M.I. but, I had diarrhea and was throwing up. I threw up at 5:30 am which of course is when Elliott decided to wake up. I started making breakfast for us around 7 am and could barely stand without feeling like I was going to be sick. I had to throw up again in the sink.

I spent most of the day sitting in my chair with my eyes closed because I was exhausted. Thankfully Elliott was happy to entertain himself for most of the day. When he went down for his nap, so did I. When we woke up from our nap around 11 am, I got sick again.

Thankfully my boyfriend was able to come home at 2 pm instead of 6:30 pm. As soon as he was home I went to bed and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night, getting up once to throw up for a fourth time. This was so unusual for me because I never throw up.

My coughing and my sore body made it pretty hard to sleep so I tossed and turned most of the night. I spent much of Monday sleeping as well. Tuesday morning I felt so terrible that I decided to go to the doctor to see if he could help me. My sides and back were in so much pain that I was hoping he could recommend something to help.

The doctor told me there were two viruses going around and it sounded like I had caught one after the other. He said there wasn’t really anything he could do for the cough but did give me a prescription for cough medicine to help me sleep (which didn’t help at all). He also said I had a low fever, which my home thermometer didn’t pick up. He told me I should be taking Advil or Tylenol so I went out and bought both, as well as cough drops, honey tea, and anything else I thought might help.

I started taking Advil and was surprised that it actually helped calm my cough. I lived off Advil for the next two or more weeks. At night I was up blowing my nose every few hours and I couldn’t lay on my back without having a coughing fit. This was the worst cold I remember ever having, and in hindsight wonder if it could have been the Coronavirus which was just starting to enter Canada (I don’t think it was).

My family and I were finally better around the first week of March and I was happy to get back to working without feeling terrible and actually getting some stuff done.

At this point, Coronavirus had started taking it’s hold on the world. At the store we started slowing down and we were unsure about what was going to happen next. We were waiting to see if we were going to close to the public. But then we got some bad news from head office (more on that in the coming months).

As things progressed, the store was slowly closed to the public and sales were dying. They decided to temporarily layoff everyone in my store except for the manager. I’ve now been home for a week taking care of my son while we wait to see when things settle down.

I bought my first car in 2015. That will make it 3 years old this May. I wanted to see how much owning a car has cost me over the last few years. I have broken down the cost into their categories so I can really see where my money is going.

We do have to keep in mind that my maintenance costs over the last three years have been lower than they will be from here on out because I had a $500 gift card as a bonus when purchasing the car. I have just used up the card so year four maintenance will cost more.

The first year was the most expensive mainly because of the initial cost of the vehicle. I put a down payment of $10,000 on the car (about half of the total cost) to help reduce my monthly payments and interest. Any money I had left over at the end of each month after paying all my bills, I put towards the car loan to help pay it off as quickly as possible. My goal was to have it paid off in one year from purchase but it actually took me about a year and a half.

The first year also had some extra costs such as buying winter tires on rims. I also bought a blanket to keep in the trunk to keep the fabric clean and for emergencies where you need some extra warmth, as well as a snow brush (labeled as accessories).

Below are the totals for my first year of car ownership (all prices in CAD):

Car Payments: $19,504
Registration: $183
Insurance: $1,402
Gasoline: $347
Car Wash: $9
Rock Chip Repair: $63
Winter Tires: $1,088
Accessories: $35
Maintenance: $50 (having tires changed)

Grand Total for Year One: $22,681

In year two I was able to finish paying off my loan which was really exciting. I did have an unexpected cost due to having my license plate stolen which cost money to replace.

Below are the totals for year two:

Car Payments: $4,100
Registration: $169
Insurance: $1,349
Gasoline: $461
Car Wash: $26
Rock Chip Repair: $42

Grand Total for Year Two: $6,146

In year three things have gone pretty smooth. I had an unexpected cost when I scratched my car which they wanted to charge me $3700 to fix. Instead I bought some paint from a store for $20 and fixed it myself (minus the dents which are not a concern to me). Year three isn’t technically over until the end of May, but unless I have an unexpected cost, it shouldn’t change between now and then.

Year three totals are:

Registration: $84
Insurance: $1,142
Gasoline: $415
Car Wash: $25
Maintenance: $359

Grand Total for Year Three: $2026

Some things of note are, I don’t drive to many places. I usually only drive to and from work so most of the time I only have to get gas a couple times a month. I do spend a little bit more in the summer because I will sometimes take my car when we go on camping trips.

I also don’t wash my car often. I usually try and wait until I take it in for a tire change/maintenance because they will normally wash my car for free. I will only wash it two or so extra times per year (so four times a year in total). If I’m lucky the rain will wash it for me.

I also looked up how much a monthly bus pass would cost me as a comparison. For a year on the bus, it would cost me $1164. While it would cost about $1000 less to take the bus compared to owning a car (now that it’s all paid off), the amount of time I save makes a big difference. It takes me about 20-30 minutes each way if I drive to work, or about three and a half hours per week. Taking the bus is over an hour in each direction, so about twelve and a half hours per week. That is a nine hour difference!

I think owning a car makes more sense at this point. Before buying a car, my workplace was closer. If they hadn’t moved my store location, buying a car wouldn’t have made sense. I used to walk to work each way in the same amount of time it takes me to drive to work now. But driving is a skill I wanted to have and having my store move gave me the incentive I needed to make the purchase. So far I’m happy with the decision.