A benefit of being semi-employed is that you learn a thing or two about thriftiness (says the guy who bought a bunch of Adam Dunn cards at the baseball card show a couple weeks ago). My car, a 1998 Olds Cutlass, is falling apart. On Saturday, while taking Doodle to choir practice, there was this big bang from the front of my car. The car started pulling to the left, smell of burning rubber. Good times. I knew the ball bearings were bad in both front tires and I figured that was the problem.
Dropped my car off at the mechanics this morning. My car has almost 125,000 miles on it. Come home, get a call asking me to come down (it's walking distance (benefit of small-town living)). The bang I heard was the spring from the suspension breaking. Having new ones put in requires having both front wheels done which is costly in parts and labor. BUT, if I can find a used spring and strut it can be done much more cheaply.
Head home and start calling auto salvage places. Find a guy who will sell me the whole mechanism for $45. Only problem is he is about 40 minutes away. Call my friend Dave who picks me up and takes me there. On the way Dave's car tops the 103,000 mile mark. Bring the part to the mechanic, find that the tire is messed up and I need a new tire. Back to the phones.
No one has those tires (apparently they are pretty hard to find). Find a place that can give me a new one for $58. I go to my neighbor to she if she can drive me over. She gives me her keys and lets me borrow her car. It has 154,000 miles on it. Get over there and the guy has found a nice used tire and sells it to me for fifteen bucks.
My car should be as good as used come tomorrow. But it's not too often that you get to ride in a trio of cars with that much mileage on them, especially in a single day. And not too often you save as much money as I did on car repairs. Of course, I bought seventeen hobby boxes of 2008 Upper Deck X on the way home (no I didn't, I bought a KitKat bar) so it sort of balanced out.