Anyone use Separate "Car Repairs" & "Car Maintenance" Categories?
For the first 1 1/2 years we just used "Car" category and thought it worked fine. A few weeks ago, I read someone's comment that they have a few categories for car including "Car repairs" and "Car Maintenance ." I know this is getting a bit more detailed than just "Car" but am curious if anyone does this or similar. Also, what items do you include in each or do you assign a dollar amount for the two categories?
I'm just playing around with this idea since I read it (don't even remember which video comment it was!!) and would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.
Yep. And separate categories for insurance, next car, and gas.
I'm still working on the idea that tires should be separated. We are not in agreement yet.
However, they are not all in the same master category. Gas and tolls is in the monthly group, insurance is in the long-term group, repairs and maintenance are in the contingency group, and the next car is in the future savings group.
I don't currently have the income to fund a zillion categories the way I'd like to, so for now, I have:
Car repairs & maintenance (tires go here too)
License, registration, inspection, etc.
Parking/public transit (tolls go here too)
Part of my combined categories is also that I have no clue how much I spend on car stuff in general. Once I get a handle on that, I can get more granular. But I found I was WAMing from the more granular categories, because I don't know how much I'll need and can just move money between the transportation categories, and I'm not doing that from the larger combined categories.
I am curious how people distinguish between repairs and maintenance. E.g., the last time I went in for maintenance, my brakes needed replacing. Are the brakes still part of maintenance, or do they fall under repairs?
Another who has a single category covering repairs and maintenance. I don't feel like we would gain anything at this point by separating out standard services or tyres from less regular repairs.
We have our budget arranged functionally so have a car master category with the following categories:
- Tolls/parking (this is uncommon but generally funded out of the £ in fuel but we want to separately monitor it at the moment so it has a separate category for reporting purposes)
- Car insurance
- Breakdown cover
- Car tax
- Car maintenance
- Car replacement
We have set a cap on the car maintenance category of £2k and once this is reached will put the regular monthly amount into the car replacement category. If any repairs were more than £2k we would seriously consider replacing rather than repairing, or even doing without a car altogether.
We could combine the insurance/breakdown/tax categories but I prefer to have individual categories for each subscription/annual payment.
On a more general level, I always think about whether a separate category aids in either budgeting or reporting. And it's very personal and has changed over time. As I said, I like each subscription to have its own category. For me it helps with planning and keeps me more accountable when I can see the full list in front of me rather than bunching them together. Others feel very differently.
However, I have a single groceries category which covers food, basic household items and pretty much anything that is bought at a supermarket. Occasionally I'll separate something out because our bigger supermarkets sell pretty much everything but I'm a little loose around the edges of the definition and it often depends on which category has the funds. Others would be horrified at this but we just didn't find the extra information worth the extra work once our budget was stabilised. The split didn't affect spending decisions at the time and we didn't value the distinction in reporting either. I do split out our veg delivery because I don't want to think this £ is available to spend in the supermarket.
I'm also a big fan of temporary categories if I have something coming up that means the whole of that category available amount is not really available. I don't want to have to do any mental gymnastics at the point of purchase. I could, for example, set up a temporary category for tyres to keep the money ringfenced but then record the payment in car maintenance. I've never used this tactic in any of the car categories though as, for safety reasons, if the car needs a service or repair and the funds aren't there the only options are to pull the funds from a different category or to not use the car at all until we can afford it.
(Sorry this turned into something of an essay.)
We have one category for Maintenance and Repairs. I'm actually curious how people would separate the 2. For me, the only repairs that are not part of maintenance are if we have an accident. And in this case, the repair is capped as our excess on our insurance as we use comprehensive insurance.
If something needs to be changed during a maintenance then it's part of the maintenance. If something breaks outside a maintenance but not in an accident, well it's usually because it had reach its end of life and needed changing. For me, it's still part of the maintenance of the car. A bit like changing a light bulb when it burns out. That's house maintenance, not a repair.
We have categories for Maintenance (covers annual service and whatever is involved in that), tyres, battery, and Warrant of Fitness (WOF). The WOF is an annual inspection required by the government to ensure vehicles have a minimum level of serviceability.
Tyres and battery were separated after last year when they all came up at the same time and the combined maintenance category couldn't cover it all. Now I know that in a couple of years, that money will be sitting there waiting to be used.
Edit: We also have other car related categories such as insurance, automated car wash, fuel etc, but they would never have been in a maintenance category anyway.