Those are your choices.
No this isn’t some gimmick, and no I don’t have a secret link to a treasure trove of free tires.
What I do have is some overlooked yet solid advice about how to decrease your tire and overall car maintenance costs.
I hate buying new tires. I hate the smell of them, I hate looking into the mechanics eyes knowing that he knows that I know nothing about my car. And I definitely hate paying for two or four times at a time.
But what can you do, right? Everyone’s tires wear down. And as far as I know, no one has invented the Everlasting Gobstopper of tires.
Well, that’s precisely why I decided to include this article in the Frugal Friday Tips.
Free Tires Are Advertised Every Week
That’s right, a quick browse of the newspaper or a quick internet search will produce a plethera of new tire sales.
Most of the time tires are discounted when you by two or four at a time. I’ve never needed just one tire unless I get a flat, so the math works out fine (and Discount Tire will fix flats for free, I love those guys).
The trick to finding free tires is to shop around. Don’t let your entrance to a tire shop (or heaven forbid, the dealership) be the first time that you’ve priced new tires.
Instead of showing up uneducated, hit the newsprint or the virtual pavement and sniff out the deals. Really, it’s like hunting for Easter eggs when you’re a toddler and your parents just lay them out there.
And not only do manufacturers have a multitude of ads giving away a free tire with the purchase of one or three additional tires, but discount shops and websites have deals with the same manufacturers that heavily discount their products.
I know, I know, you hate buying new tires and it’s just too hard to get motivated to shop around for something that evokes so much anger. But the more you look, the more money you will keep in your bank account.
Prepare, Plan, and Act
The best way to avoid a major hit to your wallet is to budget for things that you know you will eventually have to spend money on.
Tires and car maintenance is one of those areas that get’s overlooked. After all, saving for tires doesn’t sound as important as saving for college, saving for retirement, or paying down your debt.
But if you don’t have the cash for minor car maintenance and new tires, then it all goes on the credit card. And all of that debt snowball work you’ve been doing takes a major hit when you have to slide that little piece of plastic.
Sure, some of you might be thinking emergency fund right about now. But I don’t consider new tires to be an emergency. If you know that a certain cost is coming, then by definition it can’t be an emergency.
So what to do? Create a budget and save for tires each month. Simple.
Even as little as $25 a month will add up pretty quick. And when you use your tire budget to pay for tires, you won’t take a hit to your normal monthly budget (which sort of feels like getting tires too)
Sure, if you wear out one set of tires in a year, you might need to save more. But the point is slowly save up what you expect to pay for.
Whatever your driving habits, saving for minor car maintenance is a great way to avoid a major credit card purchase. And that’s got to feel good!
Photo By mikecogh