April Expenses – $2839.95

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for April.

















Debt $26



My expenses in April were way too high.  Our car needed both a new starter and a new timing belt which caused the extremely high transportation expense.  There were also considerable gas costs from my wife driving from Missouri to Pennsylvania and back to pick me up from the trail.  If I had known the timing belt in the car was going to break I wouldn’t have gone on the hike but luckily we have enough money in savings to cover these expenses.  I also spent $170 on a new phone which I included in the household expenses.  For the month of May I am going to avoid any big expenses I can and hope my expenses will be closer to the $1000 level than the $2000 level.

5 thoughts on “April Expenses – $2839.95”

  1. What kind of car are you driving?
    Are you mechanically inclined?

    How do you know the starter was bad?
    (Alarm, battery, battery cables, voltage regulator, stiction, fuse, relays, solenoids can all masquerade as “starter” failures.)

    If you replaced the timing belt, why not the water pump?

    Hint: for future purchases – where timing belts often require replacement on 60K-90K intervals, engines with timing chains will go 150K or more without intervention. And of course, manual transmissions will save you heartache, dough, gas, and keep a lot of people from asking to borrow your car. 🙂

    • I have a Toyota Camry and I’m not mechanically inclined. It actually was the solenoids that went out and only they were replaced. I just called it the starter.

      Maybe I should have replaced the water pump. In my previous car when the water pump went out I had the timing belt replaced so I guess it makes sense to do it the other way around as well.

      My car has 190,000 miles on it and I’m guessing this was the first time the timing belt was replaced so I’m not doing too bad.

      I will post my cost per mile later this month.

  2. For $1K total cost, being stranded, with a timing belt replacement, I’d say, you’re doing just fine. I was afraid you were driving an American car that wants $1K every other week. Camries aren’t perfect, and they’re quite dull, but they tend to last past 200K with relative ease.

    Kudos to Toyota: we took her 8+year-old Toyota to the dealer last week, when it started acting up, bucking like a Bronco, grinding and pounding and slamming through the gears, after nearly a decade of flawless service – zero defects, zero repairs, just tires, a battery, and oil changes. Unfortunately, it has an automatic transmission, and it looked like it might need a replacement, and we’re a little past the 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.

    I don’t normally go to dealer service, but I was distressed enough that I wanted an official diagnosis – and what do you know, they said “We know about this problem” and “we’ll fix it, no charge, even if we have to give you a new transmission.”

    In the end, they only replaced the transmission control unit, and advised us to come back if there are further glitches. But can you imagine, a company re-warranting its product seven years after the fact?

    • I’ve had good luck with Toyota myself. My previous Toyota had 140,000 miles on it when I bought it and I put another 100,000 on it myself before I sold it. That car is probably still on the road.

  3. It’s always interesting to see the difference in other people’s monthly expenses and your own household.

    Our phone used to be about $60, but we nixed the landline and got a majicJack. It’s fine for people who don’t use their phone very often, but not the greatest if you want to use it for biz or to chat a lot. Unfortunately.


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