On Friday, I decided to venture out and go buy some new tires. I had the recommendation of a chain that people were happy with, and there was a store not far from my apartment, so it seemed like a foolproof plan. They sold the tires I wanted and I knew what they cost. Easy peasy.
Then I drove past this alleged store. First off, the tire shop didn’t seem to advertise that they were part of this chain at all, and it looked beyond sketchy. I was not comfortable taking my car there. Or sitting there and waiting.
So I came home and went on Yelp to look for reviews of local tire places. I simply entered “tires” and “my town” and one store came up with a number of excellent reviews. It seemed like a much better option. So I got back in the car and headed out. I heard the place was busy on weekends, but I hoped that since it was Friday, it wouldn’t be bad. I got there at 8:55 (they opened at 9) and there was a line of about eight cars already! To me, that was a very good sign. Plus, among the cars in the line were some very nice cars that were obviously well taken care of. Another good sign.
I waited almost 45 minutes to get to talk to someone, but I had a book, so that wasn’t a big deal. I told the guy I wanted all new tires, and he told me that I had another 6 months on my back tires and that I could just replace the front ones. He was trying to talk me out of buying tires! Yet another good sign! But I decided to buy all four new tires. This way, they’re all the same age and I don’t have to worry about going back in 6 months. Plus I’m ready for the winter. Which seems a silly thing to say in July.
I waited to see what tires he recommended, and he suggested the tires that I wanted. And the best part? They were $30 less (each) than the chain store. Awesome. I didn’t get out of there until around 11:15, so it wasn’t a short trip, but I’m definitely happy.
I should have just checked out Yelp in the first place, since I wasn’t going to go to the exact branch of the chain that my co-workers had used. I would have been much better off, but it all worked out in the end. And I have shiny new tires.
Next up? Oil change.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.