Sunday, November 2, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's something else...

We all know that there are expenses that will eventually happen. If you own a car, once you pay for it (which, thank heavens, I can say mine is paid for), there are maintenance and insurance expenses and if you move, there's the cost of titling and tagging your car in the new state. Sadly, if more than some of these occur at the same, we'll you're spending money you know you need to, but dang it, holding on to the wallet as tight as you can cause it's wimpering.

About a month after I moved, I noticed one of my back tires was low. On closer inspection, I realized not only was it low, but the tire itself was dead. I mean, really dead. I knew there had to be something in the tire for it to go as low as it was as quick as it did, so I took it to get it repaired. Sure enough, there was a screw in it. They also informed me that I needed to replace my tires. Since I'd already figured this out, not a shocker. Well, the tires turned out to be $10 more per tire than I expected, add in mounting and alignment and well, the total bill was about $200 more than what I'd hoped. Not to mention the fact that I'd had my oil changed less than a month before I moved and asked them to check the tires! In reality, the tires should have been replaced before I drove 1500 miles. I thought I was more careful than that.

So, last week was pushing 60 days in Maryland, so I got organized to get Maryland title and tags and a Maryland driver's license. First, let me say, that I think having to title a car in every state you move to is a rip-off. There should be one title that you get when you pay it off and that's it. I find out that Maryland requires an inspection, one time, before you can title. Then I discover that Maryland will also charge you sales tax on the value of your car when you title. Double rip-off; I paid sales tax when I bought it (though if you live in Maryland and go to another state with lower sales tax to buy your car, I get it). Well, Texas charges more sales tax than Maryland (by .25 percent), so I only got charged a minimum fee. Add in the license plates, but at least they're for two years. Then add in driver's license. I paid more for it here than in Texas and it will expire at the same time my Texas one would have. All those costs together - close to $400. Yep, $400. For a car that is five years old. The only positive to me is that I don't have to renew tags for two years and the license is for 5 years. But, as with everything, it just seems like all the big expenses come at the same time. And, there's more for the house coming due next month, because, yes indeed, it's property tax time. Joy.