Thursday, August 7, 2008

Justifying: The Convenience Factor

One other self-justification we’re running through our heads is a matter of convenience cost. I eluded to it a few posts back regarding the new vehicle debate, but let me more precisely give you an idea of what’s running through our collective head:

So we assume that it’ll cost us an extra $300 (high range) per month to have the newer vehicle. What’s that worth to us? Well there’s much convenience of having the Tacoma over the 4Runner. For one – as I mentioned before – since the doggy area is separate from the people area, it’s easy to clean. How much easier? Well vacuuming small hairs out of the fabric is a test of willpower. I sometimes lose. So the question I ask my self is, how much would I be willing to pay someone to take care of that for me? Because w/ the Tacoma, it’d be a monthly hose-off at best. How much is that worth to me by itself?

Another thing is very similar but more centered around the time savings. Currently with the 4Runner, when we take the dogs out, first we have to get everything ready to go. This includes doggy toys, and also cleanup materials for when we’re getting prepped to return home. Because since the cabin is all-in-one, we have to make sure they’re dry (mostly) and clean before they get in. Because 4 dogs shaking – hell, even one dog shaking – is hell on the interior, what with moisture seepage, smell, etc. With the Tacoma however, we could simply leave that stuff at home, and not worry about cleaning them up until we get home, which would be faster and easier.

Because getting 4 dogs to stand around while you towel one of them off? Takes time. I’d say that this simple act requires an additional 20-30 minutes that gets tacked on to the total time for each event, including the time to locate & load all the stuff before we go anywhere. If we had the Tacoma, it would whittle that down to about 5-10 minutes – because the towels would all be at home to stay, and I could actually hose the sand or whatever off the dogs and give them a quick dry-off at home with no fuss. Hell, I could just get home and lock their asses outside if I so chose.

And I think: How much is that worth? How much would I be willing to pay someone to save me that 15-25 minutes each outing? Seriously, too. Because with the amount of outings, that time adds up. Consider that in a typical week, we’ll be out and about at least 3-4 times. That’s an hour a week at the low end, right there. TWO hours at the high end. That’s two movies a month or more. That’s the wiggle room I don’t have sometimes to make it feasible to go before I gotta get ready for work. That’s a hell of a lot less stuff to take with us when we do go out somewhere (four towels takes up a lot of room that could have gone to store things like… well, other things). Would we pay someone $300 a month for that privilege? Would we pay someone $300 a month right now to clean up the 4Runner after every excursion to mimic the easy-breezy cleanup of the Tacoma? To worry about finding & loading the towels? To knit us more time to do whatever else we want?

It’s a tough call: part of me wants to say “hell yeah!” when I’m thinking of the time savings each trip, and the possibility of being able to go out more often. Part of me says “$300 is not worth two extra movie viewings a week, dude.” (I say ‘dude’ to myself sometimes when I’m feeling lonely)

What do you think? Keep in mind, we won’t be struggling to make the payments either way; but it would still be an extra $300 a month for a couple of years. What’s your thought process?

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