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You Are Wasting Money and You Don't Even Know It: Cars

Wasting money is easy to do, but sometimes we waste money and we don’t even know that we do it.  I am going to do a series of these topics, but today I wanted to start with how we waste money on our cars without realizing it. 

  1. Under-inflated tires: Did you know that not keeping your tires inflated to the proper PSI can really cost you a lot of money in lost MPG?  According to Promechanics.com, a 1 PSI drop in your tires can affect your MPG by as much as 0.4%.  That means that a 5 PSI drop in tire pressure will lead to a 2% drop in MPG.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up over time, expecially with gas prices back on the rise.
  2. Having the dealer do small repairs: The average hourly rate for an auto mechanic can run between $70 and $100 per hour.  Many car repairs are simple swap in, swap out part replacements. Not to mention the mark-up that a dealer will put on the parts you can buy online for much cheaper than they will sell them to you. If you are at all mechanically inclined, find out how to do basic repairs and maintenance to your car. Youtube has videos to show you how to do most things these days, including most major care repairs. Your wallet will thank you if you feel comfortable working on your car. 
  3. Car insurance: Have you ever noticed that car insurance seems to be really cheap when it is quoted to you, but then seems to increase in price every year even if you have a clean driving record? You should shop your insurance once annually, just to make sure you aren’t paying too much. It takes 15 minutes and could save you hundreds of dollars per year. 
  4. Trading in your car too often: Sometimes I think that people don’t realize how expensive it is to buy a car. There are dealer fees, sales tax, miscellaneous fees, and not to mention the dreaded depreciation as soon as you drive the car off the lot.  Most cars these days are meant to be driven over 100,000 miles. And you may love cars, but at the end of the day, is a 2017 going to get you there any differently than a 2013?  It won’t, it will just cost you a lot more to do it. Keeping your car longer and not having a car payment is one of the best ways to save money that so many people don’t take advantage of.