Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Seeing Old Friend Brings On Wake-Up Call

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently moved to New York City, and I have a car. I like being able to drive whenever I want to get out of the city or go to another borough, but I get way too many parking tickets. Either I forget to move my car for alternate-side-of-the-street parking, or I inadvertently park in the wrong space. It is so confusing.

I’m thinking of selling my car. My friends are up in arms about this. They love that I have a car and can drive to places that we otherwise might not visit. They aren’t willing to help move my car or pay for tickets -- not that I would feel comfortable even asking them -- but they are pressuring me to keep my car. They have offered to chip in to pay for a garage, but that’s expensive, too. What should I do? -- Car in the City

DEAR CAR IN THE CITY: Evaluate your budget so that you are clear about what you can afford. Search for affordable garages. If you look in remote neighborhoods, the price for a parking lot goes down. Or you can recommit to paying closer attention to street parking so that you stop getting tickets.

In terms of your friends helping to foot a parking lot bill, you can consider that. But make sure that you understand their expectations. Will they expect to have access to your car at their leisure? Will they want to drive it? Outline what the parameters and boundaries are. You can try this shared payment for parking for a few months. Evaluate it carefully to see if it works for all. If nothing works, you can give up your car and choose to rent when you need wheels.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)