My Car – A Love Story
December 13, 2009 19 Comments
My car recently passed 100,000 miles. Currently it is sitting at 100,225. Exciting, huh?
I get my oil changed every 5,000 miles. Why? Because that is what the owners manual recommends. So I go every 5,000. I don’t see any point in going every 3,000 if it isn’t recommended for my car.
It had been 5,000 miles and I needed to go – so I went. I also had noticed that my brakes had been squeaking the past few weeks, so I asked them to check that too.
As you can imagine, my brakes needed to be replaced, they actually are 95% worn – so they DEFINITELY need to be replaced. So that will cost me around $226 dollars – I have a $25 off coupon – so now I’m down to $201.
They also found that my thermostat is leaking. The mechanic said that this is a common problem with my type of car, and sure enough an internet search revealed that it is VERY common for my car. However, from the reviews I’ve read it tends to happen between 50-75,000 miles – so I considered myself very lucky that I got so far without having to replace my thermostat casing.
So I’m coughing up the $270(ish) to pay for this as well.
All told I’ll need a little less than $500 for everything.
And thus the question is posed: How to pay for it?!
I include $180 in my yearly fund for car repairs. However, I currently only have available to me $40 in my yearly savings because I paid for my ACS registration last month and Christmas this month with it. The working premise of my yearly savings is that I won’t have to pay for more than two “events” that I’m saving for in a given month. Oh well, no budget is perfect.
Here is the tentative plan:
Step 1: Put it on my Firestone card – I get a 5% discount for putting the balance on the Firestone card (don’t worry, there are more steps!)
Step 2: Pay off Firestone card with $40 from Yearly Fund and the remainder from my Emergency Fund before any interest collects on it – I’m talking about putting the money on the card the same day I get the total, so don’t fret – no more debt here!
Step 3: Replenish emergency fund with the remaining $140 I’ve budgeted for car expenses on January 1st
Step 4: Replenish rest of emergency fund with extra money I will get from substitute teaching this month – I picked up 4 hours last week and I have another 4 hours scheduled for this coming week. That will give me a total of $200 extra outside of my budgeted money. I’ll get this money in my December 31st paycheck from the community college.
Step 5: This is where I’m unclear as to what to do. All of the above measure will pay for $380 out of my $500 bill. So I have two options:
- Lower my debt repayment in Janaury by $120 to immediately replenish my E-fund to $1,200
- Keep my E-fund contribution at “normal” levels knowing that in will only take 2-3 months to get back up to $1,200 (I was planning on lowering my E-fund contributions in 2010 to help pay off my debt quicker)
So which option would you recommend? (I know what I’m leaning towards, but I’d love to see if the “general” personal finance community agrees with my hunch…)
P.S. – I’ve changed my blog format, so if you read this through an RSS I’d love for you to pop on over to the site and give me your comments, critiques and suggestions about the ‘new do’ !