Dad had his annual stress test Monday morning, which just involves him running on a treadmill for a while, connected to a device that measures the strain on his heart. He does this once a year since he had the heart bypass. He's passed all the previous ones with flying colours, and I assume he did the same here.
Since they had to come to Brisbane anyway, they decided to make a couple of other appointments while they are at it. Mum had an optometrist appointment while Dad was getting his stress test, and then yesterday afternoon and this morning Mum had appointments in Toowoomba for them to do some circulation tests so they can see how well she is recovering from her illness. They should be back in St George by now.
Saturday they went up to Maroochydore for the night, and checked on the status on their retirement home. The theoretical hand over date is December 12th. However, the house hasn't even been started yet.
They say it takes 4 months for them from start to finish, which means that the house could be finished in time for Christmas. But the guy they were talking to said that they are currently about three months behind schedule, which means March next year at the earliest.
Dad seems to think it's going to be about 12 months until their house is ready, which means August next year.
This means that I will have at least one more Christmas in St George.
St George isn't too bad a place. It's a small country town, and suffers from small country town syndrome, but it's the six hour (or more) drive out and back that I hate. I do not want to drive out there in Jeff again.
Jeff, for those who don't know, is my car. A 1997 Hyundai Excel Sprint, three door model. The problem is that he is simply too small for me. I believe that Jeff is a large part of the reason behind my back problems. I do not want to do the drive out there and back again in him. I am usually in agony from the drive for a while afterward.
This means that I have to get a new car before Christmas. Bugger! I am not getting a car loan until I am completely debt free, I remember getting in over my head in debt before and I am not doing it again.
So, as a result I am going to be exceptionally broke between now and who knows when. All the spare money I was going to have is now going onto debt elimination and then towards the new car. I did a quick budget and I think I can do it, but it's going to be tight.
Even with getting all this sorted, I may end up having to drive out in Jeff anyway. I will probably end up getting the car through the place Mum and Dad got theres, which is in St George. This is for two reasons.
Firstly, I'll be able to get a much better deal through them than I would here in Brisbane. Small country town syndrome can be a good thing. According to people who have done similar, I can expect anywhere up to $1500 off the standard city price because the people who I'd be buying it through are friends of the family.
Secondly, if I do buy the car after Mum recommends me, Mum gets $150 back, which they need at the moment.
This would mean that I would be driving out there in Jeff, but driving back in the new car.
My probable new car is a Toyota Rav 4. Big enough to fit me without have to slouch and put pressure on my back, but still small enough not to be a complete waste of money.
I'll probably go for a manual this time. Mum seemed to think it was worth getting the automatic, but I'm not sure.
Oh well, looks like a frugal time for me.