Children may be expensive, but so are cars

(This is far nicer than our real car)

In my experience, there is no bigger budget buster than the car.

Our little Mazda Familia, bought  for under $2000, is nearly as old as me. It’s 20 years old, and although mechanically, seems to be going okay *touch wood*, physically it’s starting to show its age.

There’s the dampness problem – apparently the passenger door has a little leak. The driver’s window is stubborn. Both doors sometimes stick. The boot no longer holds itself up.  And recently, it has, on occasion, been reluctant to start up.

But it’s paid for. That alone is pretty awesome.

So although we have a reeeeeeally big expense coming up, I’m okay with that. There’s something wrong with one of the wheels, which is also causing it to chew gas like you wouldn’t believe. So although this isn’t essential RIGHT THIS SECOND, it’s certainly going to be cheaper to act sooner rather than later.

Our options: Replace the two front wheels, or all four. Obviously, it’d be preferable to do all of them so we don’t end up with a crazy Frankenstein vehicle. We may be able to get all four for under $100 on TradeMe; the big cost is replacing the actual tyres, sadly. The tyres on this thing are some really wacky type which are hard to find, and not all that cheap. We have never bought brand new tyres, EVER, but even secondhand ones are going to set us back a few hundy.

When I set up our budget, I decided on an arbitrary amount of around $500 a year on maintenance and repairs (not including the close to $280 in registration – that’s extra). I had no idea what was realistic, and it looks like this is going to blow that number right out of the water. Grrr.

How much do you spend on car expenses?


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11 thoughts on “Children may be expensive, but so are cars

  • Reply Scribbles July 25, 2010 at 19:24

    Possibly not too helpful but have you guys looked at getting them done at Drury Tires? I’m betting that’s a bit of a hike for you but I’m yet to find somewhere as cheap as them and it’s only 30 mins non-peak from the CBD. I once drove on a space-saver from Parnell to get it sorted 😀

  • Reply eemusings July 25, 2010 at 19:52

    Haha – well BF may end up working out at the airport, so if he does I’ll get him to check out the Drury place. Thanks!

  • Reply Sense July 25, 2010 at 20:09

    sometimes they reimburse you for the still-good working tires on the car, since you have to replace at least 2 at a time. if your existing tires are that rare maybe they will command top dollar.

  • Reply Maggie July 25, 2010 at 23:55

    I’ve only recently started to pay the expenses with my own money and so don’t actually know, but can definitely agree that it is not cheap owning a car >_<

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 26, 2010 at 01:45

    My car is only a couple of years old so I haven’t had a ton of expenses yet. I put away $150 a month to go towards insurance (I insure for 6 months at a time) and expenses. Luckily last year my dad bought me my winter tires as my Christmas present! That saved me from a HUGE extra expense!!

  • Reply Stephany July 26, 2010 at 04:43

    Car problems is something my mom & I don’t have any money set aside for so it worries me constantly. I want to have an emergency fund set aside for car problems because if you’re out of a car, you’re out of a lot!

  • Reply Stephanie July 26, 2010 at 10:34

    Car expenses usually involve car loan payment (yeah, oops, I’m a bad pf-er), gas, insurance, and the “every six months” check in/maintenance at the dealership. I think I’m most against those visits to the dealership, because it seems like a bit of a scam. If for some reason I decide to sell my car, it needs to have history of being checked at those checkins. So I feel bad if I just do the bare minimums at other places (or by myself), plus I know that preventative maintenance is important.

  • Reply Slamdunk July 26, 2010 at 16:12

    The amount to set aside per month for vehicle repair is really a difficult call–one problem and your numbers are shot.

    We have had newer vehicles for the past 5 years and have had no (knock on wood) major unexpected car repair costs. We did have a Volvo that seemed to eat through tires–which we needed good ones driving in the winters up here.

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