Saving Grace: How Can Families Financially Plan for Required Auto Repairs?

Saturday, June 24, 2017, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Auto repairs often happen unexpectedly, and dealing with them could leave you in a dire situation if you do not have the cash on hand to pay for them.

Instead of taking out a payday loan or going into debt in order to fix your car, you can plan ahead using these four tips.

Saving Grace

  1. Start a Car Repairs Fund

    If you do not currently have a car payment, consider setting up a savings account and paying into it on a monthly basis as if you did have a car payment.

    You can dedicate the use of this fund to necessary auto repairs. If you do not use all of the money in the fund by the time you need to purchase a new-to-you vehicle, you can use it as a down payment.

    In general, you should set aside about five to ten percent of the vehicle’s original price into a repairs fund each year.

    Keep in mind that older vehicles may need more repairs, and those repairs may be increasingly expensive.

  2. Find an Affordable Mechanic for Auto Body Repair

    Auto body repair is necessary and sometimes costly. Try to find an affordable mechanic for auto body repair before you need to have the work done.

    By having the contact information of a trustworthy mechanic on hand, you will be prepared in the event that you have an emergency repair need.

    While the prices of materials might not be negotiable, the labor fees might be flexible.

    You might also consider an auto body shop in Provo, or other areas close to your location.

    Some shops may even use aftermarket parts for repairs. This could help to lower the cost of your repair.

    Be sure to get recommendations from friends, family or coworkers. The cheapest auto body repair shop is not necessarily the best choice.

  3. Use a Windfall or Cut Expenses to Fund an Emergency Account

    If you have a windfall, such as an unexpected bonus at work or a small inheritance, consider funding an emergency account for car repairs.

    In the meantime, see if it is possible to cut expenses in order to plan for required auto fixes.

    For example, call your phone and internet provider and ask for a loyal customer discount.

    Try to reduce electricity consumption by shutting off lights or raising the thermostat in the summer.

    Even if you can shave your bills by $25 per month, you will have $300 in your repair fund by the end of the year.

  4. Host a Garage Sale to Raise Money

    Many families have some extra things in their homes that they no longer use or need.

    Consider hosting an annual garage sale in order to fund your auto repair account. Price things to sell, but leave some room for haggling.

    If you do not have a lot of items to sell, see if some friends or family members could contribute their unwanted items to your sale.

    Host your garage sale on a day when other homes in the area are also having garage sales.

    Advertise your sale on a free site and include descriptions and photos. Use clearly written signs with the date and time of your sale and post them on street corners to direct people to your location.

    Consider selling cold bottles of water, cups of lemonade or cookies to supplement the used items that you have to get rid of.

Fixing cars is expensive, but you can prepare for required repairs before you need them. Each of these tips gives you a way to save for repairs for your car. Having the cash in hand to pay for the repairs will help you to save even more money in the long run, as there will not be a need to borrow money.

Author BIO

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter and Facebook.

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