August 23, 2016
Don’t Break The Bank: How To Cut Vehicle Costs
When you look at your monthly budget, where is all your money going? For many households, the family car is a financial black hole – but in many areas of the country, a personal vehicle is also a necessity. In order to stay within a monthly budget, then, car owners need to find a way to reduce financial outlay while still properly caring for your car
By learning basic maintenance and understanding what impacts your car’s longevity, you’ll quickly discover where you were overspending on car care in the past. Now sure where to start? Here are 3 of the simplest places to cut vehicle costs without compromising care.
Maintenance 101: The Oil Change
When you go to an auto repair shop to get your car’s oil changed, you’re paying for materials and labor, just as you would in a restaurant or department store, but the difference is that most of us can’t make a terrine or sew our own clothes. What you can do, though, is learn to change your own oil.
Oil changes typically don’t cost much; you can likely find a shop that will do it for under $30, but when you change your oil yourself, you can cut that cost in half, since you’ll just need to buy more oil. And once you learn how to change your oil, you’ll quickly find that there are other small maintenance activities that you can take on independently.
Plan Your Routes
Cars bring so much convenience to our lives, but often we take advantage of that convenience to our detriment by running errands erratically. Rather than going out and making several stops, many people run out and do an errand, backtrack or go home, and then go out again. This is a waste of fuel and with gas costs today, you’ll feel the impact of this on your wallet.
Rather than going out several times to run errands, keep trips to a minimum and avoid backtracking on your route. This will help you spend less on gas and use your time more wisely, a successful strategy all around.
Spot The Big Problems
While you should learn to perform certain types of maintenance on your own, other issues are too big for you to address independently. Tire alignment issues, for example, should always be fixed by an experienced mechanic. Your job is just to spot the problem when your tires aren’t lines up correctly.
Poor tire alignment is a big issue for your budget because it results in uneven tire wear, meaning you’ll need to replace your tires sooner than if they were lined up properly. Misalignment can also cause your car to drift and make it less fuel efficient. The sooner you address this problem, then, the more you’ll save.
Owning a car is a boon to most families, making it easier to get to work, to shuttle the kids around, or go grocery shopping, but convenience comes with a cost. Protect your wallet by minimizing the expenses associated with your car – aren’t there other things you’d rather be spending that money on?