Cars are a total money pit. That’s right- I said it. However, these money pits can be an essential part of life and a worthwhile investment. Take care of your investment and your budget by creating a car maintenance fund. This helps prevent debt in the event of car maintenance.
Build a Car Maintenance Fund to Pay for Car Repairs
Like any investment, cars require time and energy. And money! Whether the car needs routine maintenance or something more serious, car owners regularly need to dish out money. For example, every few months cars need oil changes, tire rotations, new wiper blades, windshield wiper fluid and cleanings. Additionally, there are registration fees, inspections, new brakes, snow tires, etc.
Again, building up a car maintenance fund is the perfect way to ensure your car won’t collapse all your finances with consumer debt. In due time, this fund will be there to soak up all the costs of your vehicle. Our debt counselors recommend these savings tips to help you build up your fund.
Savings Tips for a Car Maintenance Fund
Your car maintenance fund should be a part of your monthly household budget. Every month, without fail, money needs to be earmarked for this cause. You could even create a separate savings account just for these costs. That way you will see how much you have. You won’t need the same amount of money each month, but do not stop saving.
When something expected or unexpected happens, your budget won’t be ruined! No need for bankruptcy and credit card debt. After a few months of savings, you can have a nice buffer. However, this fund shouldn’t be used to save for a new vehicle. Create a separate account for that activity so everything is clear.
Newer vehicles need less maintenance. Therefore, you can save less each month. But your car payment might be higher. Conversely, an older vehicle has cheaper or no payments but requires a larger monthly savings allotment.
How much should you save each month? Consider saving $50 a month for a newer car, or $100 a month for an older car. For a more accurate number, add up all your car costs from the previous year. Divide this number by 12 months to get your dollar amount.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.