This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Transportation tends to be a category that most consumers spend a large portion of their budget. According to the Pew Research Center, 88% of Americans own a car as of 2015. Car repairs are an inevitable part of owning a car. Be sure that you are budgeting for car repairs!
Do you plan accordingly for the maintenance on your vehicle?
9 out of 10 peopled I spoke with admitted to only budgeting for their car payment alone. When I asked about an oil change, which is a necessary maintenance for gas engines, it was considered a low enough cost that no planning was necessary. You need to be budgeting for car repairs.
The worst feeling is when your car breaks down and you have no money saved to pay for it. This puts you in a situation where you need to borrow the money in order to pay for the repair. This borrowing could be from a credit card, friend, or family member. In order to avoid going into debt for a car repair, I recommend the following:
Save $10/mo X Age of car
For example, if you have a 5 year old car, you should be saving $50 a month towards maintenance on top of your car payment i you have one.
Let’s say your car payment is $230/mo and you have a 2014 Toyota Corolla. Your total monthly vehicle budget, excluding fuel, should be $280.
According to the FHWA, Americans drive on average ~13,500 miles per year. If your vehicle follows this average, we can safely assume your Corolla would have about 70,000 miles and is probably due for a new set of tires.
A new set of tiers will cost you about ~$500 which should be covered by your $600 saved in the 5th year of this vehicle.
Age of your car, multiplied by 10 equals average monthly dollar amount to save for car repairs.
I hope that this quick tip will help you avoid debt when it comes to car repairs. Be sure to check out our Resources page to learn some of the tools that we use for saving and budgeting!