By: Revanche

I don’t even want to think about my car

January 11, 2010

Daily Exercise Update: I spent 20+ minutes at the park playing with a friend’s 15-month-old daughter. Aka, chasing tiny little gigglefest around sand and dirt.  I feel creaky.

Please check out this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance at Darwin’s Finance!

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I’m due for a good overhaul.

Not only have I done nothing about the previous list of repairs, I’ve gone and racked up another couple To Dos: the heater’s gone out since we last discussed the ole horseless carriage, and it’s time for another oil change.  Already. 

This is the flip side of loving an old car.  And I doubt I’ve got time to rack up enough Driver’s Edge purchase point credits to apply towards the repair costs because I derailed that plan with the credit card promotions I wanted to fulfill.  Ooops. That was my fault, I just didn’t think about the poor timing and make a better final decision.

Keeping the two plans separated should not have been too difficult.  Typically I’d accomplish one goal, earning points on the Driver’s Edge card first with only normal spending, and then move on to the next set of credit cards.  But while we’re second guessing decisions here, let’s calculate the cost-benefit of splitting up my spending across the three cards for promos. I’ve got a nice spreadsheet for tracking the promotions:

Chase Sapphire:  $100 cash ($6 spent)American Express: $150 in GCs ($1100 spent)
Citi Forward: $100-110 in GCs ($250 spent)  

Had I collected that spending ($1356) on the Driver’s Edge card, I would have earned 1356 points, which translates into $13.56 in Driver’s Edge dollars.  That frees up the same amount of Drive mile dollars ($13.56).

On second thought, the net gain is higher this way because even doubled (by adding the existing Drive miles points in dollar value), I’d still have less than $50 to spend on repairs.  The Chase promotion, paid in cash, more than covers that amount.  

I made the right decision there, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve still got to get the car to the shop.  We’re only a few thousand miles away from a 100,000 mile check, too, so I should gird myself for spending a fair chunk of the car maintenance fund on this set of repairs.   Wish me luck!

2 Responses to “I don’t even want to think about my car”

  1. Sense says:

    I took my last car into the shop for the grand 90K mi mark, and they ended up only doing the oil change and replacing a spark plug or belt or two. they said that nothing else was necessary; it ended up being like $60 instead of the hundreds that I expected. Crazy!

  2. Revanche says:

    @Sense: I hope that my experience is similar to yours, then! I think my timing belt has to be replaced, though.

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