Recently, a rock smashed my car windshield while I was driving on the freeway. The bad news is I had to buy a new windshield; the good news is I could afford the repair because I had planned accordingly. This article will discuss three strategies that enabled me to pay for a new windshield without the financial stress that often accompanies car repairs. By reading this article, you will be better equipped to deal with similar situations without draining your wallet.
Budget for Car Repairs
Rocks fly into windshields. Cars break down. Inconvenient car emergencies are a part of life. Although the particular emergency may surprise you, you should anticipate that an emergency will occur. Prior to the rock v. windshield incident described above, I had budgeted a small amount of money into an account I labeled "Car Repairs." By the time the rock made its abrupt acquaintance with my car, I had already sufficient funds in the account to replace a couple of windshields. Instead of putting it on a credit card, I used the funds from my Car Repair account. Setting aside just $35 a month can go a long way. Car issues are stressful enough, without having to worry about how you are going to pay for it. Plan ahead and lessen the headache.
Although this concept may seem obvious, it is surprising how few people actually use this approach. I didn't budget for car repairs until I started listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio. Now I budget for all kind of anticipated expenses, including car repairs and wedding gifts. For more common-sense money advice, check out his book The Total Money Makeover.
After you deal with the initial emotions of surprise and frustration, take a deep breath and figure out how best to deal with the unfortunate situation. Every town has more than one mechanic or auto-glass place. Call at least three to see who can give you the best quote. By doing this, I was able to save about $20. Yelp.com can be a good resource for this, along with yellowpages.com.
Pay With Cash
Businesses that take credit cards usually have to pay a percentage of the transaction price to the credit card company. Also, people just like cash. Think about it. Which is more visually appealing, a stack of twenties or a boring plastic square? Use this to your advantage. Ask for a discount if you pay with cash. I was able to get a small amount knocked off the bill because I paid with cash. Give it a try. The worse that can happen is they say no.
Credit: Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Windshields break. Everyone hates it when that happens. By using the techniques described above, you can better deal with broken windshields or other car repairs while softening their financial hit.