New 2012 Chevy TraverseA vehicle is perhaps your second largest investment that you are ever going to make in your life after your house. Since it is a huge decision, a lot many factors have to be considered and these elements mainly rotate around the expenditure that will be incurred upon you; and not just the preliminary cost of the car, but all the regular and expected costs that are going to come with it.

Of course if this is your first car then it is very likely that you think your expenditures end with that hefty lump sum payment. Sorry, to have to be the one to burst your bubble, but this is only the first of the car related expenses to expect; there is a long line of expenses that follow soon afterwards.

Registration, Tax and Insurance Costs

It is quite often that prospective buyers overlook the insurance costs even though purchasing an insurance is compulsory (at least third party insurance) in every single state. You cannot drive a car on the road and you cannot have it registered, even if you have a license, without having insurance. The registration, tax deduction and insurance will mostly depend upon the type of the car and your credit etc.
If you add extra coverage to the basic insurance policy to protect yourself and your car, then you can add those extra costs too. However, at an average you can expect it to be well above $1500 annually. But the insurance costs can vary depending upon a variety of things; for example a few of the important ones include the type of cover, the age of the driver, the age of the car, driving record, condition of the car, cost of the car and of course the safety features that have been added to it.

Costs of Fuel and Loan Repayments

You can’t run your car without fuel and with the fluctuating prices of fuel, you will have to budget your weekly or monthly fuel expenditure by keeping a little above the average expected.
What you should also include in your monthly budgeting are the loan repayments if you have purchased the car with 0% annual percentage rate (APR) which is sadly becoming the order of the day. So if the other additional costs weren’t enough for you, add loan repayments as well to add-on costs of your first car.

Maintenance and Repair

A car is a mechanical object, with top of the line technology infused into it to make your driving experience all the more enjoyable and convenient. Most of the cars that have been built in the last 5 years are loaded with safety features that literally tell you what you need to know about your car and when you need to know it and extras like auto window tinting can really assist in cooling. Tinting a car’s windows typically costs $100-$150, but you can find specific details and learn more about the process at Window Tinting Prices Data. But every installed item has its own lifetime and your car manual will tell you when to expect a replacement of some of these items.

Vehicle MaintenanceIt is estimated that an average American family with an average income spends around $800 to $1000 annually on car repairs and general maintenance if they keep two cars. This is an average that you can expect (or half of it, if you are the owner of a single car). Anything beyond that if you don’t face a terrible accident and if you regularly maintain the car as per manufacturer’s recommendations is over and above and can be avoided if you are smart enough to outsmart the mechanic before he does the same to you.
With regular maintenance check-ups of your car, you can avoid being buried into the large pits of expenditures that could have been avoided by small periodic expenses. For example, getting a transmission rebuild, repair or replacement when needed or going for a regular wheel alignment as well as a rotors, calipers and brake pads check-up will not cost you as much as what you will be required to pay if you damage the brakes or axles or if you have to get the transmission box repaired or replaced.

The windshield of the front and rear are large items and can get damaged or scratched by sand and other abrasive materials that are in the atmosphere or that come in contact due to strong winds and storms. The front windshield in fact is the third most important safety feature on a car. The repair and/or replacement of such an item can cost from $100-$350, therefore if you want to avoid these costs, it is wise to take preventive measures like buying a windshield or car cover or parking the car in the garage.

Oil ChangeChange of car oil and coolants are something that are dependent upon mileage milestones and it is better to use oil change coupons.

Besides these monthly or annual extra expenditures related to your car, you still need to save some amount on the side for the unexpected emergencies. For example if your car meets an accident and it requires a paint job or a repair. CPJC is a helpful website if you’re looking to estimate the cost of a paint job for your vehicle or need advice on finding the best auto body shop in your area.


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Eye ExamIn life, you come first: simple as that. And while some might consider this selfish, it’s hard to argue that it’s true, when you get down to it. After all, even if your life goals all boil down to helping others, you’ve got to be able to help them; if you want to make someone happy, you’ve got to be happy; and if you want to help someone be successful, you have to be, in some way that inspires them, successful – and for any of this to be the case, ever, you’ve got to come first. And because you come first, personal investment is the first place your money should go (well, excepting bills . . . Number one needs a place to live, after all), but you’ll need to make sure you take a close look at where the money’s going when it does eventually go. Here, we’ll help you take a look at the personal investments that are likely to matter most, give you an idea as to how much they’ll run you, and through all that, hopefully give you a better idea as to how to go about budgeting for the costs of personal investment.

Health Investments

Again – you come first. So take a look in the mirror: That’s the first place your money should go. And coincidentally, one of the first things you see in the mirror is probably the first place you should start spending. Your eyes are, if not windows to the soul, are windows to the world. Without vision you obviously can’t get much done, so it pays to shell out some cash for eye appointments every once in awhile, preferably every six months or so. This shouldn’t cost you too much, around $60 a pop, but eyeglasses can run you up to $300 if you’re buying shades, and standard frames and lenses won’t cost much less. More details on the cost of eye exams and the factors that affect it can be found at EyeExamCostGuide.com.

The next things on your list are the pearly whites. While we tend to overlook them, the teeth are, obviously, among the most important things we use every day: No teeth, no food. No food, no life. And that would be bad. So head over to the dentist and discuss the state of your teeth; ask about dental implants, cavities, gum disease, and the like, and get to fixing whatever comes up. This appointment runs about as much as the eye appointments on average, $100 – $150, but overall runs you much less because you won’t have to buy glasses or anything of that nature.

The final thing that should be universally considered is mole removal. While moles are rarely a problem, they can sometimes be malignant, and if it so happens that any of yours have been acting funny, it’s a good idea to run to the dermatologist and discuss getting it removed. Including initial visits and surgery,the average cost of facial mole removal is around $200.

Home Improvements

Once you’ve taken care of you, take care of where you stay. This is where the actual fun is: No one doesn’t enjoy remodeling and upgrading their home. The most important upgrade you can make – the one that’ll net you the most equity for your buck and be the most enjoyable for you immediately – is kitchen remodeling. Now, this isn’t at all cheap – doing it right can set you back between $10,000 and $25,000 by most estimates, assuming you upgrade your appliances, install granite or soapstone countertops, and get your gas lines reevaluated – but it can add up to $100,000 to your home’s equity, and up to $125,000 if you market it alongside a vinyl siding upgrade to your exterior. Here is the link to the vinyl siding prices guide we found.

Although tens of thousands of dollars of kitchen remodeling is definitely a lot of money, budgeting this and going through with it is one of the best ways to ensure the value of your home will not only rise, but stay high for years to come. Another such investment is green electricity, and, in particular, solar panels and solar grids. Without touching on the details, the grids convert the solar energy stored by the panels to usable electricity, and help reduce your electrical bills dramatically.

Array of Solar Panels

Depending on the size of your home, outfitting with solar technology can run you up to $5,000, which isn’t so bad considering the electrical savings you’ll harness (think of what you’d save if you powered your HVAC with just your solar) and how much you can get in the future. PopSci has suggested a basic outfit like this can lead to home equity gains that approach $15,000 in the near future as solar becomes more popular, so definitely consider this one.

In the end, your life necessarily revolves around you, because you can’t orbit anyone else unless your own priorities are straight. So go ahead: invest in yourself.


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