Today I bought a bicycle. It's a CCM Nitro XT aka the cheapest bike Canadian Tire had. But actually, it wasn't. I went online to find the cheapest bike I could find, and was satisfied with a $99.99 from Canadian Tire.
As I'm figuring out about the bike, the website tells me that they have them at the (new) Athabasca one. I take the trek down there and they don't have any on the racks.
So I look around and find the back storage area, which curiously enough, wasn't blocked off in anyway from the public.
Using my iPhone, I determine the bikes product number to try to find it on the shelves, unassembled myself.
Eventually of course I just gave up, and asked customer service to help me. They get the bike and spend 45 minutes putting it together, only to find out it has a kink in the wiring for the gears.
So the manager tells me he'll give me any bike at its sale price. So I pick the next least expensive bike at $129.99 that I had already tried a little and he gives it to me for $99. Sweet.
ANYWAY, the point of me buying a bike is three-fold. First fold: I won't have to spend money on gas. Last month I spent $80 on gas (about $60 is still in my tank) and that to me is just too much. So my plan is to keep my car parked near my work, move it every few days and then just bike back and forth, which leads to the second fold.
Second fold: Health. I live up a big ass hill from my work. There's decent benefits to that. One is that commuting to work takes nothing but rolling down it. It may actually take less time to just roll down the hill and taking all the bikable shortcuts then just driving.
Anyway, it seems counterintuitive to try to save money by buying something, but the benefits are obvious. I essentially only drive to work so i'll save the gas that way, and by parking by my work if I do need it when it's important I just run out of my office. Further, if I'm at home and need it, I just roll down the hill, quick and easy.
Anyway, other than that, I'm moving in my girlfriend, therefore paying less rent and not having to pay for utilities, so I'm saving $600 a paycheque. That's a full 60 per cent!
At this rate I'll have the goal of $10,000 in the bank for the trip. As well, I've established a side goal of having $2000 in an emergency fund/when I get back fund, and now I'm just right on the way.