Five Reasons a Car Maintenance Line Should be a Part of Your Budget

1 Feb

car maintenanceOver the next few posts, I plan on discussing important parts of a budget that I’ve neglected in the past. I believe that a detailed budget improves my chances of winning with money.

Today’s post covers a line that may seem insignificant or unnecessary, but I’ve realized over the last few weeks that I need a more detailed car maintenance line. I’ve budgeted for oil changes and chalked that up as the car maintenance line. It’s not enough, though! So here are your reasons why you should have a detailed car maintenance line in your budget.

1. Oil changes
I’ve actually done a decent job of saving for this and using this line in my budget. Buying a different car is never fun, unless the car you’re currently driving is a beater and you’re stepping it up. I want to take great care of my engine so it lasts a long time. So, I try to get oil changes within the 4,000 mile mark.
2. Tires
I’m about to purchase some new tires for my car. It’s needed and I know it! Instead of saving $30 a month for two years, I’m having to use my income tax. I want to buy tires with a good tread life, and I need to estimate how much new tires will cost me based on how much I drive. I currently drive around 25,000 miles a year. I plan on moving soon, and I will drive considerably less than that. I still need to estimate how long my tires will last, and save that much each month to go toward my tires. That way I don’t have to wait on an extra check or a refund to come in to purchase them.
3. Brakes
This is a weakness of mine. I don’t really know how long brakes should last. But they should be replaced. I would find a mechanic you trust and ask them how often the brakes should be changed, as it will be different with each car.
4. Other maintenance
There are other areas in your car that require maintenance. Filters need to be changed, tune ups will be needed every 100,000 miles or so, batteries might need to be replaced, and so on and so forth. The best way to handle a proper car maintenance budget line is to plan for these. If they never happen, then count yourself lucky. Because…
5. Something will happen
A transmission will go out. A motor might blow. An axle could bust. A radiator could crack. There are a myriad of ways that a vehicle could fail. The best way to fight the “something will” is to plan for it. You don’t have to have a separate line for the what if. It’s my belief that by planning for each of these, the what if will be taken care of by the budget line.

Now, if you’re already debt free and have an emergency fund, your maintenance line might not need to be as detailed. I’m not sure because I’m not there yet. If any of you debt free folks have advice, please share in the comments section below. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, I would plan for the worst with your car. The way I see it, if I plan for the worst, and it doesn’t happen, I can apply that amount to my next car!

Ladies, one other note, I would recommend understanding your car and the expenses behind it. It will only help manage our money better and to become informed consumers!

car maintenance 2

How do you plan for unknown expenses with your car?

Some people may look at this sort of planning as an emergency fund before the emergency fund. My previous FAP did, and I understand that stance. I’m not saying to set aside an additional emergency fund for your vehicle. I just think that if you save money for your car and one of the above referenced is needed, then it won’t blindside you. If your spouse or FAP suggests otherwise, please listen to their advice. I’m learning about this as I go!

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Five Reasons a Car Maintenance Line Should be a Part of Your Budget”

  1. Laura February 4, 2014 at 09:51 #

    We use our local Firestone for oil, rotate, balance, align (lifetime), and tires. Six months to pay off w/no interest….it helps. Plus, w/my low-profile tires (HATE THEM!) when I hit potholes, I go out of alignment and go in often for them to fix me up. They are always accomodating and fast.

  2. johnromanelli February 11, 2014 at 16:58 #

    hi there
    good post my comment on that is yes your emergency fund of 3-6 months of wage.
    should be held for that other than that i would put under budget for a new car expense if the funds allow at the time. towards a new vehicle you can save while nothings breaking down on you. keep up the good work good story

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Four Reasons Why a HABA Line Should be a Part of a Budget | I Make My Bed - February 13, 2014

    […] Here is the second part of the series about important lines on a budget. If you would like to see the first segment of the series, you can see it here. […]

Share your thoughts here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Debt Breakup

One girl's journey to financial freedom and debt free travel

eatingdisorderfreedom

My journey from eating dissorder hell to freedom

preneedfuneralplan

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Brené Brown

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

One Egg Short of a Dozen

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

Mikki's Blog – Living in the Grace and Love of God

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

my blessed life

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

Havah Mommy

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

A Walk through a Change in my Finances

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: