Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Awful Month of April or Why You Need a Proper Car Budget

April arrives every year. And every year it appears to catch me by surprise ... with car bills.

On the 1st April every year, car tax is due, along with car insurance, breakdown cover, MOT and the car service. I use an ING Direct account to pay money in every month to save up for 'The Awful Month of April' but when it arrives there never seems to be enough to cover it all.

So I've had a quick tot up and here's what I reckon the car should cost per year:

Car Insurance: £365
Car Service: £300
Maintenance: £200
Road Tax: £90
MOT: £50
Breakdown cover: £100
Fuel: £750
Total: £1,855

Holy cow! That's heaps. Over the course of a year I should be putting £154 / month aside to keep the car operating. A far cry from the £85 a month I was putting in. This April has caught me unaware and I'm going to be short and hence half of it is going on the credit card.

Good example though of how you need to budget for everything in your life, not just the groceries, utility bills, and pocket money for the kids. Even the car needs its own spreadsheet. Good thing it gets 55mpg.