Car Repair and Cashback Cards – Big Spender Edition

September 7, 2008

“Hey man, just put it on your credit card…”  That’s the best answer the Honda service manager could give me as I attempted to negotiate with him to cover the repair costs for the air conditioner compressor failure on our Honda CRV.

Honda had offered to cover the costs of the parts but wouldn’t budge on helping with the repairs.  The service manager couldn’t understand why I wasn’t ecstatic that Honda was covering the cost of the parts. He just kept saying

“All you have to pay is the repairs, that’s a great deal!”

Sure, I was glad they were paying for the replacement parts but I told him that the $600 repair was still a lot of money.  That’s when he told me to just put it on my credit card. 

“Don’t you have a cash back card? Just charge it on there.”

I was pretty steamed; I wasn’t looking for advice on how to pay for the repairs, I wanted Honda to cover the costs.  I had talked at length with both Honda America and the dealer but neither one would do more than pay for the replacement parts. 

Paying for Car Repairs

Unfortunately, I was between a rock and a hard place.  We needed the car to get to work and didn’t have any more time to mess around with getting it repaired so I agreed to pay for the work. Of course, I did end up paying for the car repairs with my American Express Blue Cash and earned a little cash back on the purchase but that didn’t make the expensive bill easy to pay.

To top it off, our Accord has about 125K miles on it and I had the car to take it in for some maintenance.  After paying for the air conditioner repairs on the CRV and some work on the Accord it was certainly a big spender weekend.   The good news is we have money in our car fund to cover the costs. I paid for the repairs up front on the credit card and I’ll transfer over some money when the bills due.  The bad news is that our car fund is smaller than it used to be : (

Money Articles

Speaking of car repair, Get Rich Slowly has a write-up on quick and easy car maintenance.  I don’t think maintenance would have helped with our defective part but it can certainly help prevent other expensive car problems.  Here are some of the other posts I enjoyed this week:

– Brip Blap suggests that if you hate every job you have, the problem might be you, not the job.

– Lazy Man and Money has a guest post on Easy and Cheap Home Remodels.

– My Dollar Plan take a look at tracking your Roth IRA Contributions

– Sun’s Financial Diary talks about investing in commodities, here’s some more info about investing in commodity ETF’s.

– Frugal Dad has a guest post on 10 free dates your wife will love. I object to “go house shopping”, that could turn out to be a VERY expensive date in the long run.

– Million Dollar Journey gives us a look into a millionaire’s investment accounts.

– Generation X Finance has tips on how you can raise the value of your home with a little lawn care.

– The Digerati Life warns about the risks of buying penny stocks.

Money Blog Network

I can’t believe how small the cereal boxes are getting at the store these days, yet they cost the same. All Financial Matters lets us know portion shifting is now happening with beer as well.

– Five Cent Nickel reminds us of the continued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fallout from the credit crunch.

– No Credit Needed has an inspirational post, You. Can.  One of the reasons I think people end up failing is because they make too many excuses.  That’s why I started the no more excuses topic.

– Mighty Bargain Hunter offers up a few deals like a 50% coupon on for Grandparents Day!

– Free Money Finance suggests that Social Security isn’t the issue and recommends we save a ton of money for health care in retirement.

– Consumerism Commentary tells us how we can earn cashback at Costco, here’s some additional information on saving money on gas at Costco with the American Express True Earnings card.

Saving Money on Gas

– Blueprint for Financial Prosperity looks at some gadgets you can use to monitor your car’s fuel efficiency.

– Wesabe announces a new service named Fuelly that lets you track gas usage.

– For more on gas savings, check out the gas credit card survey, read how your boss can save you money on gas, follow these easy gas saving tips, and read the review of the best gas credit cards.

Money in Marriage

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been running a series of posts on money and marriage and recently wrote about joint checking accounts in marriage so I took note when I read Trent of the Simple Dollar decided to merge bank accounts with his wife. Trent has a good piece of advice to share on the topic:

Communicate with your partner about money from the beginning, and don’t leave anything hidden when you talk about it.

Personal Finance Highlights

Thanks to the following sites for hosting the carnival of personal finance and including our articles for the last several weeks:

Hope you all had a nice weekend!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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