By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!
Until recently I have always approached my finances with a, ‘just wing it’ attitude. Not the best way, I know! I do like the idea of being organised in that area of my life, but it seems I never quite catch up enough to get ahead. My most recent financial disaster, however, has taught me a valuable lesson. You need an emergency car repair fund!
A “surprise” car fault is never fun!
Approximately 6 months ago I noticed a pretty grim smell of “exhausty” type fumes wafting through the air vents into my car while I driving. Now I knew it was an expensive smell, a funky car smell is never going to be cheap!
So, I put it off and put it off until eventually after several weeks of driving around with the windows open (so I didn’t die) I decided it was high time I fixed the problem!
Sheer panic of “I’m not financially equipped for this” set in. Therefore, I agreed for a friend to take it to a neighbour who said he could fix the problem. Poor decision! I paid for the new parts and cheap labour, hoping that would be the end of it.
Roughly two weeks my car came back to me “fixed”. This time with a different smell and the engine light was still furiously blinking. I took my car back and following several games of guess the fault, many months and lots of money wasted later, the problem was in fact, worse. My car wasn’t drivable at all!
You get what you pay for!
In the end, I was forced to take my car to a reputable garage and pay for professional repair work. £621.70 later and I have a car again! I had to borrow the £621 to pay the garage, so I am now in debt and £500 previously spend down the drain. Thus my emergency car repair fund was created!
The take away here –> Go to a garage first!
How much will you need for your emergency car repair fund?
It really depends on the age of your car and the cost of replacement parts. However, by today’s standards, I wouldn’t think to have an emergency car repair fund of at least £500 is too extreme.
Keep in mind, the fund should not cover general maintenance and this should be worked into your regular budget.
I think it is reasonable to say that owning a car comes with a certain amount of responsibility. The responsibility to maintain the car and the financial commitment of insurance and fuel. For me, in the past, just paying for insurance and fuel has been about as good as it gets.
This recent episode of poor decision making and the expense of professional repair has taught me a valuable lesson, to always be prepared!
Where does the money come from?
For the average human being, finding a spare £500 at the drop of a hat is a challenge. However, over a period of 12 months, this equates to just over £9.50 a week.
If you are still wondering where the extra £9.50 a week is going to come from then think of me! I had to borrow, and will have to pay back, £621 all at once, yikes! I have a few suggestions that will help you get your emergency car repair fund together, so don’t dismay.
Setting up your emergency car repair fund.
There are several ways you can save for your emergency car repair fund, it really is a matter of personal preference. However, I recommend keeping the money completely separate from your regular bank or savings account. A simple envelope of cash or designated free basic savings account will suffice.
Where to start
To save £500 within 12 months, you will need to put away around £9.50 a week. Though if you are on a tight budget putting away even £9.50 can feel like £100 a week.
Think of the ways you can come up with the extra cash per week. Could you miss a trip to the coffee shop? Cut back on snack foods at the shop? Pack yourself a lunch instead of buying something?
See saving for your fund as a great opportunity to have a good de-clutter! Take a box, and a look around your home, you might find selling unwanted items can give a head start to your fund.
Offer services to friends, family and neighbours such as mowing the grass, car washing or some simple beauty treatments to raise extra cash.
Take photos and sell them online or if you are the crafty type make some handmade gifts.
Keep track of your saving by writing down every time you add to the fund, but remember NEVER take away. The sooner you hit your £500 goal, the better.
By performing these small actions, you can get your emergency car repair fund together in no time. Within 12 months (or possibly sooner)! You’ll have £500 put away, and you won’t have to worry as much the next time your car starts to chug!