May Madness *UPDATE*

22 05 2008

Photo courtesy of Canobie Fan

Last Friday I posted about all of the various expenses that seem to all converge on our finances in the lovely month of May! Here’s a quick excerpt if you missed it — and if you did miss it just scroll down the page and get to reading yo! lol

“…So that’s been the month to this point, but even more daunting is the rest of the month to come! My cousin is graduating from medical school on the 19th in Richmond (again gas is the issue), My mother has a birthday on the 23rd, I’m in a wedding in New Jersey on the 25th for the same cousin, and on the 29th my niece is graduating from high school in South Carolina… our mode of transportation will be by car… gas is approaching $4.00/gallon… not to mention that before we can even GET on the road we need to replace the 2 front tires and get an alignment and oil change as well (We’re looking at maybe *$250 for those to be done)!! This is why I love and hate May at the same time!!
*Though it says $250, it actually should have said $350. Big… big… difference ha ha.

So I just want to give a quick update… God has really been in the midst of this process. It seems that at every turn I see costs coming in below what we had estimated! This is great because it gives us more resources to throw away at the gas pump while we’re on this trip.

I had estimated it to cost about $200 for the front tires to be replaced. But check this out, we ended up getting 20% off because we experienced some customer service issues where we got the work done. (A very long story, but as you can see it worked in our favor.) So we ended up paying $166 after taxes were included!

“But wait… there’s more!”

So next comes the Oil change, tire rotation, and alignment.. I was expecting these to come to about $150 total: $40 for oil, rotation included, and $110 for the alignment.

Well I forgot that my car requires synthetic oil which adds $25 to the cost out the gate, but as a buffer they had a special going where it basically took $35 off the cost of the oil change! Truth be told the special on the billboard outside said “Oil change and rotation — $19.99” but of course the synthetic oil removed that as an option. Sigh… So anyway it came up to $45 for the oil change and rotation (which worked out well since the tires were replaced the day before!)

The only thing left to do was the alignment. Man, again I’ll be honest here… after I drove around with the new tires I REALLY had 2nd thoughts about having the alignment done at all. I wrestled with it for a while cause y’know this is $110 we’re talking about! And to make it worse the more I drove, the more I realized that at least in MY opinion this thing was driving straight as an arrow! At one point I centered it in my lane, took my hands off the wheel, and just let it steer itself. I kidd you not, I went for a mile straight like this and the wheel stayed right where I had aimed it.

I finally decided to still have it done, with a lil prodding from my wife. Yes we could pocket the $110 and put it towards something else… but we just got brand new tires, so if we didn’t get the work done now, WHEN would we ever get it done? Fact is there was no more advantageous time to do it than now. And besides we’re not just doing it for the sake of this trip, we NEED our car in tip-top shape cause right now it’s the only one we’ve got. Shoot, if you could’ve seen how it steered before we replaced the tires, you would NOT have ever wanted to drive in the lane next to us on the road. No lie, the alignment was so bad that if you took your hand off the wheel, it would INSTANTLY veer 45 degrees to the right! lol wow, the things that the Lord keeps us safe through! Final cost came to about $140 because we had a $15 coupon that we used towards the work.

So all in all, we came up to about $305 for maintenance on the car when we expected to pay $350… and guess where that surplus $45 is going? Yup right towards gas expenses. Sigh…

See ya when we get back,

@W

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