Prime members free 2-day shipping on millions of products on their store, but what happens if your package is delivered late? Sometimes it happens, and it can cause an inconvenience if an item doesn’t arrive when you were expecting it.
After we had a package miss it’s promised delivery this past week I learned that Amazon may actually compensate you if an item doesn’t make it’s guaranteed delivery date.
Here’s how Amazon describes the guarantee, and it’s caveats, on their FAQ page:
If we provide a guaranteed delivery date on the checkout page, your shipping fees may be refunded if we miss our promised delivery date. The following requirements must be met to qualify for a delivery guarantee refund:
- Shipping method selected is shipping option advertised on a product detail page.
- Order is shipping to eligible address.
- Order is placed before “order within” countdown listed on the checkout page. The “order within” countdown timer provides the window of time in which you must place your order to receive your delivery by the date shown. That delivery date may become unavailable within that window of time due to changes in inventory or delivery capacity before you place your order. Your confirmed delivery date is included in your order confirmation E-mail. Contact us with any concerns.
- If you order contains items that aren’t eligible for guaranteed delivery, shipping preference “Ship my items as they become available” is selected.
- Your credit or debit card must be successfully charged before the deadline displayed on the checkout page.
- The guarantee does not apply if we miss our promised delivery date because of an unforeseen circumstance outside of our control, such as a strike, natural disaster, or severe winter storm. Also, delivery scans might be inaccurate.
- An attempted delivery on or before the guaranteed delivery date meets our delivery guarantee.
- An offer by the carrier of a delivery appointment on or before the guaranteed delivery date meets our delivery guarantee
So if you find that your order meets all of the requirements above, you may be eligible to receive compensation in some form.
What Compensation Can You Expect For A Late Amazon Delivery?
So what compensation can someone expect to receive from Amazon for a delivery that has missed it’s guaranteed delivery date?
The answer seems to be that it depends.
In checking with others who have successfully asked for compensation, it can range anywhere from receiving a credit on their account, to a free month of Amazon Prime, to a full refund on the item and and shipping cost. So it can vary widely.
Here are a few examples of what other customers received when I did a search online:
- Full refund of item and shipping cost.
- $40 Amazon credit after repeated late deliveries.
- $10 Amazon credit.
- $5 Amazon credit.
- Free month of Amazon Prime + 30% refund of the order.
- 4 late deliveries lead to free month of Amazon Prime, $30 credit, one $15 item for free.
- Free month of Amazon Prime.
The most common compensation that I’ve seen is a free month of Amazon Prime, but it does appear pretty common for people to receive Amazon credit as well. I think the amount received tends to vary depending on the cost of the product, the number of late deliveries, and possibly other factors.
How To Get Compensation For Your Late Amazon Delivery
Once you’ve determined that you’re probably eligible to receive compensation for your late Amazon delivery, how do you go about receiving that compensation?
You need to contact Amazon. To contact Amazon it’s best to go through their “Contact Us” page.
When you get to the contact page you’ll see a list of items currently being shipped to your delivery address, and you can see tracking details, order numbers and expected arrival time and more of those items.
To request compensation, at the top of the screen just choose that you need help with “An order I placed“.
After choosing which order you’re inquiring about, under #2 just select “Where’s my stuff?” from the first drop down box. Next, choose “Shipment is late” on the second drop down.
Finally, under #3 you can contact Amazon either by live chat or by phone. Personally I prefer to do things on the chat because I don’t want to be sitting on a phone call listening to hold music. The chat is usually pretty quick and you can leave the window open while they investigate your issue.
Once your chat agent arrives, it’s just a matter of inquiring about your late package delivery, and asking politely for some sort of compensation.
Here’s the full transcript of my chat with the Amazon agent:
So essentially I was polite, inquired about receiving compensation, and then gave them the order number of the order in question so that they could look it up and see if I was eligible for a credit.
In this case they were happy to give me a $15 Amazon credit on my account, which comes out to about 40% of the order total. Not too bad for 5 minutes of work.
Here’s the text in case you care to edit it for your own use:
I am inquiring about a late package delivery. I read that Amazon may compensate customers in cases where packages don’t arrive by the guaranteed delivery date, and it causes an inconvenience. Is there anything you can do since the package was supposed to arrive on X day, and it still hasn’t arrived X days later?
Remember to be polite and engaging when you contact them, you’ll likely have more luck with the agent if you’re nice. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, as the old saying goes.
Use Paribus To Track Your Late Deliveries And Request Credit Automatically
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the guaranteed delivery promise, but you don’t really want to track your deliveries and whether they’re on time, there is another option.
A while back I wrote about a service called Paribus that would track your online purchases from Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart and other stores, and if the price went down it would request an automatic price match refund either from your credit card price match policy, or the service itself. I used the Paribus service and received several decent sized refunds from my credit card provider.
Paribus (which is owned by Capital One) also recently added a new service called “Delivery Monitoring” where they “automatically identify and track the shipment of purchases made at select online retailers, including Amazon and Walmart. If an online order is delivered to you later than the retailer promised, Paribus will contact the merchant to request compensation“.
So just sign up for Paribus, turn on “Delivery Monitoring” feature in your settings, and then any purchases you make in your linked Amazon or Wal-Mart accounts will be tracked for on time delivery, and compensation requested automatically when they’re late.
Take Advantage Of All The Perks You’re Paying For With Amazon Prime
For me the process of requesting compensation for a late delivery with Amazon was easy and was completed within 5 minutes. For my time I got a $15 credit, almost 40% of the cost of the items I had purchased. That’s not too shabby!
Since you can track your shipments and request credit automatically for free via Paribus, there’s no excuse not to get compensated when your package arrives late.
Also, if you shop at Amazon regularly, don’t forget to take advantage of offers to win or earn free Amazon gift cards!
Have you received a credit or free month of Prime after your package was delivered late? Tell us your experience in the comments!
Have you heard of Swagbucks?
Many people have, but don’t know exactly what it is or how it works.
Now that Swagbucks just celebrated their tenth birthday, more and more people are learning about this reputable company (which has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau) that helps you earn free gift cards, cash and prizes.
Chances are, when you learn more about this company, you’ll become a Swagbucks enthusiast like me!
Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!
Use our link to get a $5 signup bonus, and use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 points called SB
If you do nothing more than search the Internet a few times a day (and don’t we all do that?), you could easily earn 7 to 10 points called SB a day.
Earn 300 SB (which is possible in 3 to 5 weeks with minimal effort), and you could redeem your points for a $3 Amazon gift card.
In general, every 100 SB earns you a $1 toward an Amazon gift card. 300 SB for $3 Amazon gift card, or 500 SB for a $5 Amazon gift card. However, you can earn a $25 Amazon gift card for just 2,200 SB points!
How To Sign Up For Swagbucks
Signing up for Swagbucks is simple.
Simply go to the Swagbuck’s page and either sign in with Facebook, or fill out a simple form with your e-mail address and a password that you choose for your Swagbucks account.
Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!
Registration is free, and right now you’ll eligible to get a $5 bonus for signing up!
Once you are signed up, make sure you stay signed in so you can use Swagbucks to search the Internet and earn points.
How To Earn SB
There are many ways to earn SB. If you use it to search the Internet, you will randomly earn points. I have earned anywhere from 7 to 79 points at one time. Those points continue to accrue until you redeem them for your rewards.
In addition to searching the Internet, there are many other ways to earn points:
- Watch television programming. Like to find new recipes? Watch the Food Network videos. Or watch videos streamed right from Hulu as well as clips on news (regular and celebrity), tech, etc. on Swagbucks and earn SB points. (They have many quick two to three minute shows that you can watch to earn points.)
- Encourage your friends to join. If your friends sign up for Swagbucks with your referral link, you will get 10% of their Swagbucks earning for life! This can be a great way to watch your balance grow with minimal effort on your part, especially if you have several friends join.
- Use coupons. If you routinely print coupons off the Internet, print them from Swagbucks. For every coupon you redeem at the grocery store, you earn 10 SB
- Take a poll. There are usually short, one question polls that you can answer. This takes less than 10 seconds, and you can earn a SB point.
- Meet your daily Swagbucks goal. Every day, Swagbucks sets an earning goal for you. For instance, they may set a goal of earning 30 SB. If you’re able to do that, say for 7 days in a row, you’ll earn an additional 25 SB.
- Play games. You can play a variety of games in the games section to earn SB.
- Use the special offers section. This section isn’t something I’d use just to get SB (though some people do), but it can be a great way to earn SB points on something you were already going to do. For instance, if you were going to sign up for a Target Red Debit or Credit Card anyway, why not do it through Swagbucks and earn 215 SB points?
This section is Swagbucks highest earning vertical. There are plenty of special offers to choose from.
These are just a few ways to earn rewards; there are many more, some more labor intensive than others.
I usually just have time for the polls and searching the Internet, and I still earned enough in a year to redeem for Amazon gift cards and get a few presents for my kids at Christmas.
Swagbucks Browser Extension
Swagbucks has a browser extension that you can install in your browser as well.
In my Chrome browser I have it installed and it will notify you when there is cash back available for a store you’re shopping at. Just click on the button that pops up to activate the cash back, and a short while after you complete your purchase the SB will be added to your account.
It also will tell you when there are coupon codes available at a certain store and apply them for you, saving you additional money!
What it comes down to is adding the extension will likely save you quite a bit of money! It takes the work out of remembering to go to a cash back site – it does it for you automatically.
Swagbucks Hack To Triple Your Savings
Her’s a hack that I have started using in order to triple my savings when shopping online. I use Swagbucks in conjunction with two other providers, Honey and Gift Card Granny.
Here’s how it works.
- Activate Swagbucks cash back: First, go to the shopping site where you want to save money. Activate your Swabgucks cash back via your browser extension. It should pop up automatically if you have it installed and ask you to “activate cash back”.
- Use Honey to get a coupon code: After you find the item you wanted to buy, add it to your cart and begin the checkout process. On the checkout page where they have a space for coupon codes, use the Honey browser extension to search for available coupon codes, to save you more money!
- Buy a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny: Figure out your order’s total, and then buy a gift card at Gift Card Granny to cover the cost. You can often find gift cards for popular retailers at a big discount. For example, a $100 gift card for $85. Purchase the gift card and use it when checking out.
When you do these three things, you’ll save using Swagbucks cash back, by using a Honey coupon code, and by getting a discount on a gift card to pay for your order. Triple the savings!
How Much Can You Earn With Swagbucks?
Once you’ve earned enough points you can redeem your SB for an Amazon gift card, but there are hundreds of other ways to also redeem your points. Choose from a wide range of retailers—Amazon, Target, Lands End, Chili’s, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walmart, Sears, and many more.
There are hundreds of prizes to choose from, and if you want to make your SB points stretch further, look for the sale category where they temporarily discount how many SB certain items can be redeemed for.
They say that nothing in life is free, but if you search the Internet using Swagbucks, utilize the cash back tools and engage on their site you will earn enough SB points to redeem for some nice free gifts.
Have you used Swagbucks? If so, what have you earned?
If you use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 SB.
Get Your Free 70 SB When You Open Swagbucks Account Now!
- Lots of reward options including PayPal
- Great cash back options
- Browser extension works great
- In store cash back
- Lots of ways to earn points
- Some offers require a lot to get SB
For many of us Christmas is one of happiest times of year.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and the wonder of His birth.
It’s a magical time of year for the kids, but for adults, it can become one of the most expensive.
According to the American Research Group, Inc, families planned to spend an average of $983 for gifts in the 2017 holiday season. That’s almost $1000!
Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $983 for gifts this 2017 holiday season, up from $929 last year according to the 33rd annual survey on holiday spending from the American Research Group, Inc. Planned gift spending for 2017 is $54 above spending in 2016.
Instead of being part of that trend, this year it might be a good idea to plan ahead, save for the gifts you are going to buy.
Get creative about the gifts, decorations and activities you engage in – in order to make your Christmas a bit more frugal and meaningful. It’s time for a frugal DIY Christmas!
Join me and Tom Drake of the Maple Money Podcast as we talk about having a frugal Christmas!
a Christmas budget!
So how much should you spend on Christmas gifts?
One rule of thumb that I’ve read says that you should never spend more than 1 week’s salary for your Christmas gifts.
So if you’re making $50,000, for example, divide that by 52 and you shouldn’t be spending more than $950 on Christmas gifts.
Honestly, unless you have an extremely large family that you have to buy gifts for, I think even that is probably too much. I’d probably cut that number in half, making it about $500 for the average family. Think about $100 per person. If times are tough in a given year, cut it back to $50-60 or less if need be.
Whatever number you decide on, add a line item to your family’s budget, and start saving for that expense.
At our house we use You Need A Budget and Tiller Money to keep track of our finances, and we have added a line item in our budget for “gifts”.
Setting Up Automated Transfers
Once you’ve got a budget set, and a line item added to your software, how should you save?
You can either just setup some automated transfers to your savings account that happen throughout the year, or if you want to try something a little more fun you can use an automated savings app to regularly make small incremental transfers into a savings account, so that by the end of the year you have enough saved to pay for Christmas.
Banks and apps that can automate saving for a goal:
We use or have used a combination of the following banks over the years to automate our savings.
- Chime Bank: This bank account will allow you to setup automated transfers, and roundup your purchases to put in savings. Get this free account and then use the roundups for your Christmas gifts!
- Qapital: This account will allow you to save based on just about any trigger you want, from rounding up spending, scheduled transfers, to saving every time your favorite team wins a football game.
- Dobot: A free account that will allow you to save to a goal based savings account. Either let the app choose how much to save, or set a scheduled amount to save. Add to your savings regularly and at the end of the year you’ll have enough for gifts!
- Capital One 360: We have several accounts with Capital One 360 where we setup goal based accounts. One account for taxes, one account for Christmas gifts, and one for the new patio we’re planning on building.
So get a savings account that allows you to automate saving money, create a savings goal, and setup your accounts to save automatically.
Then at the end of the year you’ll be ready to buy your gifts, with cash in hand!
Ways To Save On Christmas Gifts
There are things you can do to cut back on how much you spend on gifts. Be more frugal with your Christmas gifts!
- Shop at a bricks and mortar store: The American Research Group, Inc, found that people who shop online for Christmas gifts end up spending on average 9% more than those who shop at brick and mortar stores. So do your shopping at the stores, and be willing to shop around for the best price!
- Shop earlier in the year: They also found that people who start their shopping earlier in the year, even as late as November, tend to spend quite a bit less than those who shop in December. Do one better, wait until after Christmas this year, and buy a bunch of gifts when they’re on clearance. Then save them and gift them the following year!
- Stack your discounts: Don’t forget to save money when shopping by using cash back sites (Rakuten, Swagbucks), coupons and coupon codes (Honey Extension), and shopping when things are on sale or at the best price. Stack the discounts you get through all those things to save the most!
Don’t think the spirit of Christmas is about “stuff.” You can have a giving spirit without having a negative checking account. Don’t forget the reason for the season. – Dave Ramsey
With all that said, there are a lot of frugal gifts that you can put together that will be a big hit. You don’t have to spend a ton to give a great gift!
Frugal DIY Christmas Gifts
At our house, we like to give gifts that help to create a shared experience, that help to strengthen a relationship, or that acknowledges a person’s personal tastes. I’ll list a few of the types of gifts we like to give, that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Christmas Gift Packs & Themed Baskets
We love to give this type of gift because you don’t have to necessarily buy a big ticket item, but you can bundle several smaller ticket items into a nice package that someone will still really enjoy.
- Put together themed gift baskets with inexpensive items: One year I gave a movie night gift basket with a recent movie, some movie candy, popcorn and a popcorn bucket. Relatively inexpensive and fun!
- Book and movie packs: Buy someone a movie, and the book the movie is based on!
- Home baked goods: Homemade bread, pastries, cookies and more are almost always appreciated.
- Outdoorsman gift pack: Put together a gift pack with a Leatherman Micra, a pair of choppers, and an aluminum water bottle (or your choice of other outdoor gear)
- Craft Kit: Put together a crafting kit with things like markers, glitter, scissors, clay, crayons, glue, paper, etc.
Personalized Christmas Gifts
Personalized gifts are great because they are personal, they show that you’ve been thinking of that person individually. They can be personalized either with the person’s name or initials, personalized by giving a nod to something that person likes, or by giving a nod to memories that are shared with that person.
- A memory jar: One year someone in the family asked everyone to write their favorite memory with a person, and then put them all on slips of paper in a jar. When the person wanted to they could pull out the jar and read a treasured memory.
- Hand make something: One year my wife made blankets for people, choosing the fabric based on a favored sports team or interest. Relatively inexpensive, but people loved them!
- Decorated handprint plate: one year my son and I made a decorated handprint plate for my wife. She loved it, and it provided a memory she cherishes.
- Personalized calendar with you and the gift recipient: Take a bunch of photos of you and the gift recipient together, and create a personal calendar.
- A memory photo book: Pull together photos of the gift recipient over the years on big trips, family gatherings, and more – and then print a photo book from Shutterfly or another service.
- All of my favorite things gift: Buy a person’s favorite things and package them together. Favorite candy, favorite food, favorite artist’s CD, etc.
Christmas Gifts To Create Community
We love to give gifts that will help to create a sense of community in the family, or that will give us things to do together.
- Board games: buy a board game, a gift that gets the family together and keeps on giving all year long! Even better, if you can find some board games at garage sales or on ebay, create a themed game night gift basket (see above)!
- Tickets to an event for you both: Buy tickets to a play or other local event. My grandfather used to take the grandchildren to see the Nutcracker Suite every year!
- Books to read at bedtime: Give a set of books to read at bedtime – creating time to spend with your child.
- An annual “letter to you” book: My wife and her godmother do this every year where one of them originally gave a gift of a leatherbound journal, and they then take turns writing a letter to the other person talking about what’s going on in their lives. They’ve been doing it for years.
DIY Christmas Gifts
When it comes to gifts that you make yourself, finding ideas is as simple as heading on over to Pinterest. Pinterest has a myriad of different things that you can make that people would love to get, just do a search for “DIY Christmas gift” or something similar.
Here are some Christmas gifts you can make yourself that anyone would love to get.
- Write a monthly letter to a friend: In this day and age of instant communication, take the time to write a friend a monthly letter – giving them the first one at Christmas. Be as creative as you want – but make it fun for the giftee!
- Make some baked goods: Are you known for your amazing chocolate chip cookies? Bake some and give them as gifts at Christmas!
- Create a DIY cookbook of family recipes: If your family is known for cooking, put together a nice family recipe book. There are a bunch of sites that can create a nice spiral bound cookbook for low cost.
- DIY weekly family menu board: Make a family menu board a frame with a glass front, patterned scrapbook paper, dry erase markers and a sharpie.
- Bath bombs: Make bath bombs, like these DIY peppermint bath bombs made using baking soda, citric acid, essential oil, carrier oil, and a silicone mold.
- Make a custom DIY key hook: Make a customized key hook to hang by the door.
- Make ceramic photo coasters: These ceramic photo coasters can be made relatively inexpensively using 4×4 white tiles from lowe’s, some 3.5×5 photos and some clear acrylic spray.
- Glowing photo luminaries: Get a glass jar, vase or other glass container from the dollar store. Print some of your favorite photos on velum, and make a photo luminary. Very cool.
- Custom gold design coffee mug: Buy a cheap plain white ceramic coffee mug at the dollar store, spray a design or letters in gold paint and clear sealer for ceramic, and you’ve got a cool custom gold coffee mug!
- Reindeer beer: Get a 6 pack of your family member’s favorite beer or soft drink, and then add a red nose, googly eyes and antlers made from brown pipe cleaners. I’d love this in a Guinness reindeer please!
- DIY coffee mug holder: With a few wood scraps and a few brass hooks you can create a cool coffee mug tree.
- Framed picture – with family or the giftee: Buy a nice looking frame at a thrift store, and have a photo printed to insert into it.
Frugal DIY Christmas Decorations
If you’re like the Griswolds in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation you could find yourself spending hundreds on Christmas lights and other decorations. You don’t have to spend that much, however, to have a festive holiday. Forgo the expensive store bought decorations, and have some fun making your own with stuff you have around the house!
Here are links to a few DIY Christmas decorations that you can make yourself to save a little bit of money on decorating!
- Hand and footprint reindeer Christmas craft: This cute reindeer wall hanger made by the kids will be sure to bring up fond memories for years to come.
- Dollar store Christmas trees: Make cute Christmas tree decorations for under $5 using things you can find at the dollar store. Examples include spoon Christmas trees, ornament trees, garland trees and peppermint candy trees!
- DIY letter wreaths: Use fresh rosemary, wire hangers, pliers, wire cutters and floral wire to create cool looking Christmas letters to hang on your wall. Create whatever word you want!
- Iced branches: Create whimsical iced branches using tree branches, tacky glue, colorfill diamond vase filler. They look very cool!
- Tin can snowman: Use 3 empty tin cans (of varying sizes), some paint, buttons, a hot glue gun and twigs to create these cute snowman decorations.
- Glass jar centerpiece: Take a large glass bowl or jar and add some pine cones, holiday themed ornaments, leaves and berries, ribbons and other embellishments. The result is a beautiful Holiday themed centerpiece!
Have your own ideas for frugal DIY Christmas decorations? Tell us about it in the comments!
Frugal Christmas Activities
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about the gifts or decorations. Really the most important thing at Christmas is to be spending time with our loved ones, enjoying each other’s company and building new memories.
Here are a few frugal Christmas activities your family can do together this holiday season, beyond smiling, to have a little cheap family fun!
- Going sledding: We used to go sledding at a big park near our house. One particularly steep hill was called “Suicide Hill” because it was so dangerous. We had a lot of fun!
- Christmas light viewing: Just about every year my family maps out a route, piles into the car and then drives around our area to see large Christmas light displays. One display near our house is sponsored and has a tent up where families can get free hot chocolate and make a Christmas craft! Use Christmas Light Finder to map your route!
- Building gingerbread houses: At our house we’ve always made the gingerbread houses using graham crackers. It’s a ton of fun! Just try not to eat too much of the frosting and candy decorations!
- Caroling: My family sings and plays instruments, so some years we would walk around a local nursing home to sing for the residents. They really appreciated it, and it was fun!
- Read Christmas stories and drink hot cocoa by the fire: Snuggle up by the fire, grab a Christmas cookie and some cocoa, and lay back for a fun winter tale!
- Make Christmas cookies: We all have fond memories of sneaking off to steal one of Grandma’s Christmas cookies that were cooling on the stove. Make some new memories making cookies with your family.
- Have a Christmas movie watching party: Watch old favorites like White Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf or Miracle on 34th Street. Make some white chocolate Christmas popcorn to eat while you watch!
- Make Christmas pizzas!: Make a snowman pizza, a Christmas holiday wreath or a Christmas tree pizza!
- Make a “What do you want for Christmas” video: Ask everyone what they want for Christmas this year, and watch last year’s video of the same question.
- Do an annual Christmas picture – in the same spot – everyone standing in the same position: Take an annual Christmas picture with the family – in the same spot, in the same outfits, or something along those lines. Compare photos over the years.
- Volunteer together at a local charity: Our family likes to volunteer at a charity called Feed My Starving Children where we pack meals for needy kids. It’s a lot of fun, and you’re giving back at the same time!
- Put on a concert, or a play: Get all of the members of the family that want to participate, especially kids, and put on a simple play for Christmas!
- Pack a shoebox for operation christmas child: Set aside some time and supplies in order to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Give a child in need a Merry Christmas!
Celebrate Christ’s Birth, And Spend Time With Family This Christmas
Christmas in American culture can quickly become very commercial, with it becoming more about the toys, decorations and gifts, and less about the important things – like faith and family.
While it’s great to celebrate the day, and partake in holiday traditions, don’t let the busyness and consumerism of the season rob your joy in the true meaning of Christmas.
Have your own holiday traditions, frugal gifts or decorations that you care to share? Leave a comment!
Fourteen years ago, my husband and I had our first child, and just three months after he was born, we bought a minivan. A Toyota Sienna, to be exact.
We planned to own the car for a while, especially since we bought it brand new, but honestly, I never thought that 14 years and 193,000 miles later we’d still be driving that vehicle.
pay if off early.
We paid it off in four years, so we’ve driven that vehicle for the last 10 years without making a single payment. The only expenses we’ve had are routine repairs, replacements, and requisite license plate tabs.
Glamorous It’s Not
I’ll admit, now that the car is quite a bit older, it’s certainly not the envy of the neighborhood.
In fact, my kids, especially my older two who are 14 and almost 10, find it quite embarrassing. However, it’s been a very reliable car, and we plan to keep it until it finally gives out completely.
Our van had one electric sliding door and one manual. As is common for electric doors, ours stopped working at about year 10. I didn’t want to pay the $1,500 plus that it would cost to fix it, so we just stopped using that door.
About two years ago, our passenger manual door outside handle became loose. No biggie. We just opened the driver’s side door, reached into the back, and used the inside handle to open the slide door.
Was that embarrassing? Yes, but why spend money when the door did work, just not in a conventional way?
We’ll Never Wash The Car Again
We joke that we’ll never wash the car again, and we probably won’t. The dirt might be the only thing holding it together at this point!
A year ago we were at a manual car wash when the outside handle that was loose completely broke off. That, even I can admit, was embarrassing. A motorcyclist was there, and he just stared at us.
My kids were so embarrassed.
When it broke off, we could no longer open the door from the inside, either, so we had to admit defeat and pay $700 to get that door handle fixed.
Surely, that was a fluke, right, and a car wash every now and then would be fine, right? Right?
This summer, we again tried to wash the car at a manual car wash. After my husband hosed down the car, I heard a loud pop, much like a gun shot.
I looked all around, but didn’t see anything. Then, I started washing the car and the passenger window on the electronic door that does not work just completely shattered. Glass filled our entire interior.
We had heard a rock hit the car a few weeks before when we were on the highway, and I think that weakened the window before the car wash.
The Air Conditioner Gives Out
This summer, our air conditioner gave out, which isn’t a good thing in the middle of an Arizona summer when temperatures routinely reach 110 degrees daily. The problem ended up being two-fold, and we had to pay $2,500.
I can see the day is near when we’ll need to replace this vehicle, but I’m hoping we can hold out for a few more years.
After all, even with car repairs and routine maintenance, owning this vehicle for the past 14 years has been much cheaper than owning a newer model that needs fewer repairs but requires a monthly payment.
What is the longest you have ever owned a vehicle? What finally made you decide to take the plunge and buy a new vehicle? Are you comfortable with driving a car that others may find embarrassing just so you can save money?