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  • Writer's picturePeggy Romero

Costs of a Car

Let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: car costs. Buckle up because I've got some practical tips to help you save those hard-earned dollars. Ready? Let's hit the road!

Photo of a car

Where you fill up matters. I know that there are different apps that you can use on your phone. But I am a big fan of Costco gas. Especially if you drive a lot the membership price alone is worth paying because of the savings you will get. I've always been a person who drives a lot of miles, so I know it has saved me a lot of money.

Challenge yourself to get better gas mileage. Picture this: Every time you hit the brakes, you're basically wasting the gas you just burned to reach your current speed. Crazy, right? So, here's the deal—try to embrace a smoother driving style. Accelerate gently and avoid the constant stop-and-go of congested traffic. Not only will this boost your gas mileage, but it'll also make you a safer driver.

Insurance is a major component of car costs. As a former Allstate insurance agent, I can tell you, safe drivers pay much less for their insurance premiums. You will also avoid out of pocket collision repair costs. Ideally if it's not your fault you have zero out of pocket expense. I encourage you to understand your insurance policy. Most insurance agents are happy to do an annual policy review with you. If they are not willing to help you understand what you are paying for and why then my advice would be to find a new agent. Having the right insurance is very important to your financial future. You don't ever want to find out that you don't have the right insurance when you need it. When I was an agent I took this very seriously. You don't want the cheapest policy. You want the correct coverage for the best price. So when shopping for insurance make sure that you are not reducing your coverage just to save money. You don't want $100,000 accident, only to find out you've only got $25,000 in coverage.

Choose the right tires. Now, I know what you're thinking—new tires can be a pain in the wallet. But here's a little secret: some tires are specifically designed to improve fuel economy. They're called low rolling resistance tires, and they're like the superheroes of the tire world. Just make sure to check their safety ratings for different weather conditions. Safety first, my friends!

Sell your car yourself If you're thinking of parting ways with your trusty ride, consider selling it privately. Why, you ask? Well, the demand for used cars is sky-high these days, especially for older vehicles with higher mileage. And guess what? Private sales usually fetch more cash than what a dealer would offer you in a trade-in deal. So, before you make a move on that shiny new car, negotiate its price separately from the trade-in. This way, you'll know the true value of your old wheels before letting the dealer make an offer. I call my bank and check with Kelly Blue book, so I know the true value.

Consider a hybrid. Hold onto your seats because this one might surprise you. Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more affordable as traditional gas prices keep climbing. Yep, you heard me right! Investing in an electric car could actually make financial sense. I read that if you drive around 12,000 miles a year, you can expect to break even within a couple of years compared to a similar gas-powered model. Plus, charging at home is cheaper than using public charging stations. But hey, if you're on the road a lot, fear not—there are handy apps that'll guide you to free charging stations.

Not ready to go all electric? Me either! I have a Kia Nero. It still gets 50 miles a gallon because it uses the battery much of the time. Best of all I don't use a charging station. The batteries recharge themselves, so I don't ever have to plug it in. I love it.

Knowing when to change your oil is your responsibility. The recommended oil change intervals mentioned on the sticker are general guidelines, and it's always important to refer to the owner's manual for specific instructions regarding oil change frequency. Many newer cars indeed use synthetic oil, which typically lasts longer than conventional oil and can often go up to 5,000 miles or more between changes. However, it's important to note that this can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as your driving conditions.

As for aftermarket oil additives, it's generally unnecessary to use them if your car's engine is running smoothly and you're using the recommended oil for your vehicle. Modern engine oils already contain a balanced blend of additives that are designed to provide optimal lubrication and protection for the engine components. Using additional aftermarket additives may not provide any significant benefits and could potentially disrupt the carefully formulated balance of the oil.

It's always best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations outlined in the owner's manual for oil change intervals and to use the recommended oil type to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your vehicle's engine. Taking good care of your car is the best advice I could ever give anyone.

In conclusion, I believe that these tips will inspire you to approach your financial goals with greater creativity. It's important to remember that you can't achieve everything all at once. However, by taking baby steps and remaining committed, you will steadily progress towards your objectives.

I’m sure you're eager to embark on your financial journey and may need assistance, I would be delighted to offer my support. Visit my FREE "Pennies with Purpose" budget building tool for a simple budget worksheet that will aid you in getting started.

Remember, every small step counts towards building a secure and prosperous financial future.

Live every day on purpose,

Peggy Romero


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