DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a New Yorker who has been taking the train for my entire life. Day after day, I have dealt with delays and crowded trains. Enough is enough! I feel like I deserve some peace of mind, so I have decided that it is time for me to get a car. The problem is that I don’t have any money.
I’ve been trying to save up the money for a car, but it’s hard. I’m lacking motivation. I need help trying to pull though and save up for a car. Do you have tips for reaching my goal? -- Tired of the Subway, Queens, New York
DEAR TIRED OF THE SUBWAY: As a longtime New York City resident, I understand your frustration with the subway system; however, I will point out to you that it is the most efficient and affordable way to get around the city. Because I drive, I can tell you that if you intend to drive during the workday, you will essentially be trading crowds underground with crowds aboveground.
You may want to try using Zipcar for a while to see how well you like driving in the city. That’s an affordable way to figure out how dedicated you are to owning a car in the city.
In terms of saving for a car, commit to putting aside 10 percent of your income before you touch a dollar. If you do that, you will raise the money in no time. Just keep checking in with yourself to determine if buying a car is the best use of that money.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)