On Wednesday night, our family hit a milestone. My car, a 2000 Nissan Maxima, eclipsed the 200,000 mile mark!
A Paradigm Shift in Materialism
I’ve been looking forward to my car’s mileage anniversary for months now. Obviously I’m pretty pumped about this, but many of you are probably thinking, “Why are you driving an old piece of junk?”
Well, since our family’s epiphany about the way we handle money, we’ve changed our attitudes about stuff. We’ve tried to live within our means and eliminate the vicious cycle of consumer debt. Instead of a brand new car with astronomical payments, I value no car payment, affordable car insurance and extra money each month to pay off student loans. Each ding, dent, and extra mile on my Maxima is another badge of honor! I don’t want to keep up with the Joneses, just for the sake of keeping up with them. Besides, it’s still running in great condition, and has had no major issues since I replaced the clutch about 150,000 miles ago (it’s a 5-speed manual transmission).
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday…
I don’t know when my Nissan will give up the ghost, but I have a feeling the actual car will fall apart before the engine ever will. I’m not sure when we will get a new(er) car, or at what point we cross that threshold, but for now, I’ll enjoy cruising in my ride, knowing I got more miles out of it than I ever thought I would.
What About Your Ride?
Tell me about your car — how many miles are on it? Are you in the 100k or 200k club? When is the right time to get a newer one? Do you “drive it ’till it dies”??
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Our family goes through tires like nobody’s business. On my wife’s car, it seems like we’re always having trouble with the alignment. My car has high-performance tires (which can’t be replaced with normal tires) that do not qualify for warranty, and have to be replaced about every 20,000 miles!
Is It An Emergency?
By definition, emergencies are unforeseeable or unplanned event that comes up.
Maybe the first time I replaced some tires, it was an emergency. But now that I’m aware of my “high-performance” tires, it no longer is an emergency when it comes time to prematurely replacing them. I would encourage you to add a “car maintenance” fund to your budget. If you have a positive balance at the end of the month, set it aside and add it to the next month’s “car maintenance” allotment. Allow it to build so when something DOES happen to your car (and it will), you’ll have a bit of cash set aside to help cover the costs.
In our budget, we’ve added an additional $50/month or so to our car maintenance line just because I know we’ll have to replace some tires each year. It comes in handy to have an extra couple hundred dollars sitting around when you’re treading on thin ice.. or tires, as it may be.
Where To Buy Tires
We like to buy our tires at Discount Tire, also called America’s Tire in some parts of the country. They are really close to home, have many locations in our area, and most importantly, they’ve got cheap prices! Other people have loved using Wal-Mart or Costco to get their tires replaced. If you’re an online shopper, you can even try Tires-Easy.com, which appears to have pretty decent prices, and can deliver either to your residence or directly to your local tire shop where they can install them for you.
Do you have a budget line for car maintenance? Where do you shop for tires?
photo by david.nikonvscanon