For a lot of us, cars are imperative to the functioning of our own daily lives, and whenever they breakdown, our normal routines can be completely derailed. The stress of repairing your car only can make it worse. Here's how to get ready for unexpected car trouble so you can more easily rebound when life throws a wrench.P
This post originally appeared on ReadyForZero.P
A couple weeks ago, my parents' car wouldn't start-during an ice storm. They got it towed and my dad took a few days off from work to deal with mechanics, insurance companies, and car dealerships. Cut to three weeks later and they have their car back but they're out a few hundred dollars plus some weeks in their lives.P
Hearing my parents talk about this issue for weeks from my home in sunny (well, foggy) California, I could possibly relate neither to the ice storms nor the car issues. Ever since I moved to The Big Apple and then San Francisco, I shed the worries of car ownership. I'd forgotten how stressful it could be. But it only took a few calls with my parents for your memories to come crashing returning to me.P
Now that things are all back to normal for my parents, it got me thinking about what I would do after this situation if I were still a car owner. Here are a few tips that I would've given my past self-and which helped my parents tremendously.
Mechanics are like doctors: we tend not to take into account them until we really need one, at which point we're already desperate. This is certainly no approach to take about handling an emergency. Within the situation with my parents, they were lucky that they already had a mechanic they trusted. He surely could quickly identify the issue, understand their warranty, and send them specifically to a dealership that he knew had dealt with this particular issue before.P
This saved my parents hours of searching for help and potentially thousands of dollars. Require a lesson through the page in their book: Prior to need one, find a mechanic you trust now. It's more than definitely worth the energy and time you'll save in the future. Remember, all cars experience an issue at some point.
Organize Your Paperwork and Know the Terms
One more thing that helped my parents was keeping their insurance and warranty paperwork handy. This saved countless would-be telephone calls with the insurance company. Plus, since my parents brought their paperwork on the mechanic, he knew without delay what the problem was (a recall on his or her car) and where they can go to be covered.P
Being able to grab all the paperwork you need in an emergency will work wonders for your stress level and bank account. So even though it might feel unnecessary right now, try to find your insurance and warranty paperwork in addition to anything else connected with your car and place it inside an easily accessible folder. That way you can reach it in a moment's notice.P
While you're at it, fully familiarize yourself with your eligibility for monetary relief in case of car troubles. Do you have a warranty? Learn how much or exactly what it covers and once it expires. What about your car or truck insurance terms? What's your deductible? Is towing included? Have you enrolled for AAA? Finally, be on the lookout for recalls on your car - that way you can spot a problem before you're stuck in an ice storm. Go to Recalls.gov to check on for recalls every couple of months.
Build an automobile Emergency Fund
We talk a lot about emergency funds, but have you considered opening one specifically for your vehicle? You'll have something to turn to besides a charge card for unexpected car expenses if you can save a few hundred dollars or higher. You could also take advantage of this emergency fund to give a cushion therefore you never skip those regular tune-ups and oil changes - things that will keep your car running smoother, longer.P
If you have a long commute, live in a rural area, or are now living in a city that doesn't have reliable public transit, then you probably have to own an auto. It's an integral to your livelihood but also a drain on your bank account (Could there be anything about cars that isn't expensive? ). Preparation will help reduce the stress you'd feel when emergency situations arise, however. And in those moments, the quicker you can get back to normal, the better.""
Getting into the mindset of doing it is the real trick, even though @@@@@""In relation to saving in the future, we all know we ought to. Finance blog Early Retirement Extreme supplies a mental test for all spending decisions: will this press the accelerator towards your financial goals? Alternatively, the brakes? P
It's one thing for all of us to view our financial decisions as a worthwhile indulgence. It's another to imagine that, because we've socked $20 away this month, that all of our other purchases are valid because, Well, I saved! To obtain a perspective on what's really getting in the right path, Early Retirement Extreme offers a simple analogy: P
A simple way to take into account personal finance, and this is really all you need to learn, is to think about yourself as driving a car towards a destination. Let's assume the car is an automatic. Then it will have an accelerator plus a brake. For each and every action, you take, you have to stop and consider this: If I take part in this activity am I pressing the accelerator or the brake, generally if i do this;?
...To obtain ahead, you have to either press the accelerator harder or ease in the brake. Apparently lots of people are certainly not fully aware about just how hard they're flooring the brake. Therefore do this exercise. Every time you touch something, ask yourself whether this item has accelerated your income or whether it has decreased your savings.
Of course, we all have to hit the brakes sometimes. However, whenever you can count $1,000 worth of braking decisions every month versus $100 worth of acceleration, it may be a chance to re-evaluate your priorities.