Honestly, if you’ve been driving for any amount of time, then you shouldn’t be surprised by any kinds of costs. Your car loan payments, insurance, and gas are all easy to predict and budget for, unless something bad pops up. However, there are still some costs that catch a lot of drivers off guard. Here, we’re going to look at how to make sure you’re always in control of the budget, no matter what may come your way.
If you’re moving to a new location or you’re going to start working in a new location such as a city, then you should be prepared for the extra expenses that are going to get added, not just the fuel. This means accounting for any tolls, as well as parking fees. Depending on where you live or work, you could be paying hundreds every month. Budgeting them is one thing, but look at parking apps that can help you find the cheapest spots around you, too. Sometimes it might mean walking a little from your parking spot, but we could all use the exercise, right?
How can you fit repairs into a budget when you have no idea when your next malfunction, breakdown, or even accident will happen to you? How you figure out how much you should save is up to you. Some people look at reliability indexes for their cars and figure out how much they can expect to pay for common repairs, while others look at overall repair expenses over the past year. Put together the most routine services you need each year, from the oil change service to the routine brake pad replacement and start building a car repair and service budget. It will help you avoid debt to have a cash fund you can dip into rather than having to use credit.
YOUR NEXT CAR
Yes, even if you’re paying off a car, you should prepare for buying your next auto, too. As with any major assets, if you have more saved up for the purchase as a deposit, you’re going to be much better deals on any loans you take out. However, saving isn’t the only way to prepare. Checking your credit report and doing what you can to improve your credit rating will all help when it’s time for a new auto.
You might say “I’ll just drive responsibly” but the fact is that most of us are going to get ticketed at some point, whether it’s due to the occasional lapse of judgement or an unfair cop on your tail. Being a more responsible drive can help, but there are also services to help you get your tickets dismissed if there’s any reason to have it thrown out.
A savvy driver will do what they can to identify any and call costs that might be coming for them and their car, no matter how unexpected they might seem at first glance. We’re all likely to deal with each and every one of the costs above, so there’s no sense in not being prepared for them.
Photo Credit: Copyright 2020 Angel Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog