new tires financial ramifications

October 10th, 2007

New Tires: Financial Ramifications

So now that I’ve reviewed the good and the bad of the process we used to purchase new tires for my car, now comes the less fun part – the rippling effect on our current and future financial state. As I said, I basically stuck my head in the sand about having to buy new tires for my car soon, even though I knew it was coming. Kind of like how my spouse was about his job right before he was laid off due to business failure back in 2002… but I digress. I had been saving $50/month since July for car maintenance, and after spending some of it on unexpectedly fixing my ignition, had a little over $100 saved at this point. The tires and alignment were $363, plus $18 for the oil change. It leaves about $270 I need to cover from other sources, and this was not a good month for that to happen since my contracting income will be pretty low at about $250 total (we have $400/month in contracting income in our budget).

So, here is the plan. I’ve rearranged the bills I am paying out of my spouse’s first paycheck, and moving the credit card payment to the second paycheck instead of the first. The credit card is at 0% interest, and is now due at the end of each month instead of the middle, so it won’t have any effect on due dates or interest making this change this month. I am paying $282.80 to the credit card when I pay it ($200 is my set minimum and $82.80 is surplus from last month), so this change covers the amount I need to make up from our budget for that short term.

Then, when we get my spouse’s second paycheck and have returned from our vacation, I’ll have a better idea of what else needs to happen to cover the amount. The vacation should cost less than $50 that is not reimbursable by my spouse’s employer, but it will require about $200 outlay in gas and some meals that will be reimbursed after the fact. Once I calculate how much money is needed to cover our bills for the rest of the month, I’ll have to transfer that out of our emergency fund. Once I get the reimbursement from my spouse’s employer, I can replace part of the emergency fund with that.

And the difference? Well, I outlined earlier my extra paycheck strategy for November, the month my spouse gets three paychecks instead of two. I’ll have to slightly adjust that. The $500 that was reserved to cover our expenses for two weeks and any gaps in the Christmas budget will have to also cover gaps in the emergency fund. Hopefully, that will be enough.

My goal is to minimize the effect of this on our emergency fund and maximize any other options. That is why I am delaying the credit card payment instead of just taking money out of the emergency fund immediately. I know some of the emergency fund will have to be used, but I am delaying the when and how much as much as possible. And hopefully, by delaying it to later in the month, replacing it almost immediately.

That crazy extra paycheck always ends up being used for something other than savings and debt repayment. Every time. I am beginning to think it carries some sort of luck curse.

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4 Responses to “New Tires: Financial Ramifications”

  1. Bad timing on the tires, but then most car expenses (aside from fuel) tend to be a surprise and can bust the budget. I had been putting off replacing mine, but I was lucky. I copped some coupons from a Goodyear associate (thanks to my aunt!) for $20 on each tire, then I put it on a card with a 0% interest for 90 days promotion. That will enable me to spread out the pain a bit, and credit the discount when the rebate check arrives.

    I used to fritter away my two “extra” paychecks each year. I didn’t do that this year, because I planned ahead how I would spend them. I already have automatic payments and transfers set up for the day after my “extra” paycheck in November is direct deposited to my account. I kept my usual two-week “allowance” for gas, groceries, and miscellaneous expenses, plus one riding lesson for me and my horse, and the rest will go to debt repayment and various savings goals.

    I think that deciding ahead of time what you will do with the “extra” check makes all the difference. You may not be able to save as much this time because of the car expenses, but I think you are on the right track! So don’t feel that because you didn’t save all you wanted this time, it isn’t a good idea. It is a great idea!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! Having a plan is key. I’m glad you scored a discount on those tires!!


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