I Saw It On A Cofee Mug

6 10 2010

Dale BertramI noticed a coffee mug one day because it said this… “Budgets Are For Wimps!”  At the time it made me chuckle a bit and wonder about the person sipping coffee from the mug.  Later it made me think…a lot of people live like budgets aren’t important…even in this economy.  The flip side to that are the strained looks on consumers’ faces when their car breaks down and they get sweaty palms waiting for the estimate because they know they probably won’t have the money to get it fixed and they are hoping their credit cards aren’t too maxed out.  Trust me…I’m not here to lecture anyone.  I just want to point out some things that might keep someone reading this from ever having to go through the “sweaty palm moment” due to their car.

On average, if you have a new car expect to pay $200 to $350 each year on preventive maintenance until your vehicle is three years of age. After that, a good rule of thumb is to plan to pay $600 to $1200 annually and this includes tires.  Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep your car from having to undergo repair.  As it ages, certain parts will need to be replaced, of course. 

The average U.S.A. household, for example, spent $5,477 on gasoline and other automotive expenses in 2009.  Arizona came in number two with $7,091 spent.  We apparently spend $2 out of every $3 on maintenance due to hot weather which is hard on batteries and tires and heavier use of air conditioning and problems with overheating. Bundle Data says that is about 14.5% of our daily spending, not including mortgage or rent.  That is more than we spend on groceries, utilities, travel, entertainment, clothes and shoes and hobbies, combined! 

That old saying, prevention is the best medicine and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure have stood the test of time for a reason.  They are true!  Take a moment, if you will, and figure out the annual cost of vehicle ownership.  You might be surprised at how it adds up! 

  • Annual vehicle payment              [           ]
  • Annual finance charge on loan     [           ] 
  • Annual gasoline costs                  [           ]
  • Annual car insurance                   [           ]
  • Annual maintenance/repair          [           ]
  • Annual license fee and other fees  [           ]
  • Total                                          [           ] Annually
  • Total Divided by 12                    [           ] Monthly

This is how much it costs you to drive each year/month.  Are budgets truly for wimps?  That is an individual or household decision.  I just think knowing the facts also helps prevent the “sweaty palms” sensation because you have been informed. 


  • Keeping current with oil and filter changes prevents the need for a new engine.
  • Keeping current with tire rotations and alignments prevents buying new tires less often.
  • Keeping current with brake fluid and/or brake pads prevents replacing brakes as often.
  • Replacing filters and fluids keeps your vehicle going longer for less.
  • Reduce your expenses going forward.

I think this gives you the idea.  Wimp or not, keep your vehicle healthy and it will be good to you and your bank account! 

Happy Motoring,




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