Is This Worth Spending $$ Out of Savings

Updated on June 10, 2009
N.S. asks from Dallas, TX
47 answers

After years of immature spending habits just this year I became more mature about spending my money. I use to blow money on just about anything, but now every time I get paid I save money and set aside a certain amount for spending. My savings is just over $1500 and I'm very proud (even through I'm almost thirty) Well the AC in my car is out. I was informed I need a compressor which will cost me $754 including labor. I'm not sure if this is something which should wait. If I get the AC fix half of my savings is gone. What should I do??

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S.D.

answers from Dallas on

I would get a second opinion. I know the compressors are expensive, but that sounds crazy! My husband owns a shop, I would be happy to have him give you a quote, but I would defendantly get a second opinion from someone. AC is almost a must in Texas.

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

To me that is what a savings is for....things out the ordinary. Another thing.... Do you want ac? Me texas yes!
I say congrats on saving it is very hard with kids and wants....but you now know you can do it. Think about how nice it is to know you do have the money. You should be proud.

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I think that is what savings is for, when something like this comes up. Be proud that you have it and get the AC!! It's Texas -- WAY to hot to not have AC in the car! :)

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

Pay for 1/2 of the AC with your savings, and try to double up on your savings for 2 months in a row to pay for the remainder. If you normally save $100/month, try to go for $150 or $175. You'll have the remainder of the bill paid in 2-3 months and will have preserved most of your savings.

This will make you feel better about yourself and your finances.
Congratulations on making great steps towards financial security. In the old days, you wouldn't even have the choice because you wouldn't have had the savings stored up.
One practice I like to do: Think about car trouble, dental work, etc. Things you KNOW will come up every year. figure out the typical bills for that stuff. Total it and divide by 12. I open a different account and put 1/12 of the total into an account each month - In addition to doing a savings account. That way, when your tooth needs a crown or the AC on your car needs to be fixed, you can take it out of what I call my "Lump Sum" account, and not touch my savings. Takes a while to grow, but if you do it religiously, it will grow over time and you'll have what your need for emergencies.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

You need DaveRamsey.com! He also speaks for about three hours in the afternoon on KLIF 570am. You are on the right track. Spend the money the A/C and start getting that emergency fund up to $1000. Then get three to six months of expenses saved up. Don't pay credit card intrest! Get any you have paid off. Check around at other places to get the best estimate for the A/C, don't be afraid to ask if they could do better than the offered price. You are new to this frugal life but I have been living it for 22 years since I married my frugal husband! I used to chaffe about it but I have long since seen the light and have enjoyed its benefits many times over! College tuition for 2 paid for before they go is so much better than a cola out at every meal..water is free! Finacial freedom is so much better than temporary things that are gone in a min. or a month.
Good luck,
B.

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V.B.

answers from Dallas on

Some things are just not practical to do without and A/C is one of them in Texas heat. Can you make payments to the people who install it without interest? Can you pay cash and replace your savings at a faster rate? Consider how long it took you to save the money and replace it soon as you can. Don't pay any interest on the a/c as you fall back with lost money when you do.

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J.W.

answers from Tyler on

I guess it would depend on how badly you want to fix your a/c. I was just like you and just now have started having a budget and trying to stick to it. I have a hard time sometimes but I am determined to do better. How was it for you when you first started budgeting and saving? Can you give me some insight?

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Get a 2nd opinion-- but DO IT!! We just had to have ours replaced after waiting a bit and it cost over $1200!!

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T.R.

answers from Dallas on

Read Dave Rasmey's book "Total Money Makeover" and listen on the radio at [email protected]____.com you have started is your emergancy fund. It should be 3 to 6 months salery and it is there for you when you need it. AC in Texas is not a want - its a need. You have the cash to get it repaired.
I think this book will answer your next questions about how to save and spend your money.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Good for you for changing your ways! If you have no other debt, I would spend the money and it fixed. If you have other debt, I would wait.

If you have never heard of Dave Ramsey, you should give his program a try. It sounds like you are in the perfect frame of mind to do so. You can listen to his show on 570am, KLIF from 1-4pm weekdays. HIs website is www.daveramsey.com.

Good luck!

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V.A.

answers from Dallas on

Thrilled to hear of your new-found financial maturity.

To the question -should you spend it now on car AC?
1.) Do you have children under the age of 10?
2.) Are you living in Texas?
If answers to both are yes, THEN BY ALL MEANS, FIX THE THING. Small kids don't handle the heat well.
If not, can YOU stand the heat of a Texas summer?
Thanks, Mother of 5

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Ran very quickly through responses and didn't see some questions you need to ask, How old is your car? What is the blue book value? How much longer are you planning on keeping your car? Are you planning on getting the work done by a "shop" or by the dealer? How are you planning to travel around while the car is in the shop? If it is the dealer, do you get a free "rental" car? If you have an older car, compare the cost of getting a new one vs repairs and that also will help you make your decision.
You need at least 5 (yes five) estimates and I would suggest doing your homework on the internet so you can ask questions...and/or Do you go to church? See if there is someone who works on cars as a hobby and talk to them about where they would go, and what questions they would ask, and what type of parts would they get if it were their car.
You are doing well by not rushing into repairs but asking questions 1st, keeping your head about you and not being emotional will help greatly in the long run. Blessings

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the others who have responded about AC being a necessity in TX. We are on an extremely tight budget with three kiddos in college and two 1997 vehicles. Both ACs went out last summer! My hubby found this place in Mesquite that sells AC products locally and nationally. We paid around $350 for the accumulator and compressor. He said to tell you that you must change the accumulator also or it could damage the compressor. It was a very tedious process for my husband, but money was the issue for us since we were replacing two. He bought the parts, brought them home, our friend who is in the AC business came over and removed the freon, my hub. took everything apart, and it ended up being the wrong parts for our Expedition! There was no way to know at the time...some 1997's have one type and the other 1997's have the other! Auto Zone told him the wrong part number...experience! So back out to Mesquite to get the correct part, installed it, friend came back and charged the freon. This took two days. So I would say that the price you were quoted was reasonable. If you find someone you can trust, you could go and buy the parts yourself and then just pay for labor. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to pass along the info about where we found the most reasonable price and how much labor went into it so that you can make a decision. Here is the info about the place that we bought the parts: Air Pro, 3918 East Highway 80, Mesquite, TX 75149, ###-###-####. They have a web site as well. Good luck!

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

I would say that since your living in Texas it would be a priority. ") And by the way I just had my compressor replaced last week on my van, that's a pretty good price.
And by the way, great job on saving. Never too late to start.Too bad that things like this come up but that's why you have it for.
C.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Yes. Fix it - several reasons:

1. You work and need to arrive without looking like you've tumbled around in a washing machine or just arrived from the gym.

2. You have a child (probably young since you're only 30 - they can't change position to dry off the sweat when they're strapped into a car seat)

3. You said you like to enjoy life! Texas summers and no AC in the car does not equal enjoyable.

4. That's why we save money - so we can spend it wisely. This would be a wise expenditure

Look around for a Financial Peace University class or read Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" book to learn more about budgeting. Ramsey is funny, entertaining and worth the money to learn the financial principles he teaches.

A.

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S.F.

answers from Dallas on

the reason we should have a savings account is so that when an emergency comes up we can take what we need from our savings and never touch the credit card.
you live in texas and your a/c is out! celebrate the fact that you've wised up and get your a/c fixed!! be thankful that your a/c broke when you had this wonderful savings!
since you are in the habit of saving, you'll get it back up and growing again! great job!!

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T.B.

answers from Dallas on

First of all you need to get several estimates. I am in the Burleson area and go to a small shop and always get a fair price. I know it is expensive to fix an a/c (especially depending on what the make of the vehicle) but I think that seeems a bit steep.
However, on the other side if you are comfortable with the shop that got the estimate from then you need to ask yourself these question. Am I going to keep the vehicle for a while longer and keep up the routine maitnenance.
I myself look at it this way my vehicle is paid for and there are going to be things that need fixing. I need to be willing to fix the things that go wrong and keep up the small maintenance items to avoid having a to have a car payment.
Last but not least there is no way I would ever go through a summer with no a/c. Some people say that it is a luxury, but the saying in our home is that it is a necessity.

Last but not least, wherever you decide to get it fixed find out what kind of WARRANTY they have on their work. A reputable repair shop will give some kind of warranty even if it is 30 days, but most give longer.
Good Luck and God Bless.

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

If you live anywhere in TEXAS "Get your A/C fixed".

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

N.,

Maybe this is a test for you. Are you a glass half empty person, or glass half-full?

$754 is about half of your savings. Do you lament the loss of the $754 and dwell on having ONLY $750 left in savings?

Or do you rejoice and give thanks that:
1. You have any savings at all to get your through the crisis;
2. You still have half of your savings left;
and most important
3. You have the ability to create $1500 in savings again, AND MORE in the future, IF YOU FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE that the universe holds for you.

If in the past you have had a tendency to be "half empty" perhaps this is your chance to become the "half-full" person you are meant to be! If you embrace the opportunity you might be able to create even more future abundance for yourself!

Good luck.

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hello N., I am going thru the exact same thing and I truly believe that God put it upon your heart to start saving for your future (your compressor) Girl, spend the money that God has most graciously placed in hands and "CHILL" OUT." (A litte air conditioner humor).

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S.F.

answers from Dallas on

TOO hot to do without aircondition. That is what a savings is for - to have money available when you need it. It is hard to see the money go after so much discipline in saving, but be glad you have it to use.

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R.E.

answers from Dallas on

There's nothing more frustrating than saving money in hopes of doing something fun with it some day and something like this happens. I think that's what savings is for. It's not a fun purchase, but at least you don't have to use a credit card or other necessary money to do it. If it were October, I'd say you could wait. But it's June in Texas, so I would go ahead and do it. I have never considered a/c a luxury, but more a necessity. We had the a/c go out a few years ago, and I had to drive for a couple of days in the heat of the summer and it was miserable. The heat gave me such a headache and even the shortest drive, I was so sweaty and stinky. It was awful!

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

Get more estimates and like someone else said, ask about the warranty on the work and get it in writing. I think you should have it fixed and then work to build up your savings again. It's just too hot in Texas to do without your AC esp if you are working. JMO

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

Pay it out of your savings and keep paying yourself every pay day. You are doing what most of us do not do. I am 60 and in two weeks hope to be debt free. It costs a lot to live though. But to be able to save is better. I had the tranny go out in my car and it was $3,000 plus a rental car for a week. I had to get a loan and finally paid it off early but it was a struggle a couple of months when income was low. So once it is out of your way just keep on. My daughter is 31 and is not so mature. Star Bucks is her life and all that money on a drink that she has nothing to show for could add to being wealthy. Some times it takes being broke a bunch of times to do it. I do not have any savings but $175 and I am 60. Now will be saving for my retirement and hope to work another 10 years. It takes a lot of money to retire nothing else to live on for the next 30 yrs. Most of us are living longer. I am proud of you. Keep it up. I live in Tx and went without A/C for a long time. Just shopped at night and rolled down windows. G. W

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Dave Ramsey calls savings "Murphy Insurance." AC being out is tough- in our house, it leads to cranky family, feeling sick if you have to go more than a couple of miles, and being stinky when you are going somewhere you would have liked to smell and look nice! I say, get the AC fixed, then save back up until you have at least $1000 set aside for the next emergency.

Good luck!
A.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

SOunnds like a good deal- I had mine replaced (but they ended up replacing most of the system) for 1600. If you plan on keeping the car and going anywhere durig the day in the summer I think it is worth it. Yes you'll have to reuild your savings but heat can really make people sick, all the savings is worth your family's health.

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

Depends on how hot you're willing to get, I guess. In my opinion, this is the perfect example of WHY we save money- so we can take care of little emergencies as they come up! I think this is a perfect way to spend some of your savings; and now that you're on the right track with saving, it will be no time at all and you'll have all the money replaced and then some.

D.D.

answers from Dallas on

Use your savings THIS TIME. After this is over start setting up an "Emergency Fund" of about $1000-$2000(to start). You eventual goal for the "Emergency Fund" will be 6 months salary (enough money to live off of for 6 months if you were to loose your job). Once that emergency fund is in place then it is safe to begin saving for retirement...ect.

This is not MY original thought. This information comes from Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. It is a proven system that WORKS to help people live their lives Debt Free.

D.
SAHM of two: 19,and 5. Home Baker and Candy Maker. Married to the same wonderful man for 12 years.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

yes, you need to do this. However, I would take the quote to another place and get an estimate from them. With a second price you will know if you are paying a good price.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you checked around to get different price quotes? If you belong to a church, you might ask if someone there is a mechanic that might do it a little cheaper than shops! I usually don't us AC during the summer. Hope this helps!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Good for you for getting a handle on your money! I am currently reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (which I would highly recommend) and he says your savings is your emergency fund. An emergency is something you didn't know was going to happen, not that you want to go on vaction, etc, but like the ac in your car breaking. I have 2 thoughts. Can you survive without your AC?? I don't think I could, it's too hot in Texas and I have 3 kids and I don't think that it would even be safe...I'm thinking if you are driving to work, would you end up at work sweaty b/c of no ac, or would it matter? If you could hold off, save the money to fix it and then get it fixed, that would be great. But what I think I would do would be to get it fixed with my savings, and then replenish my savings over the course of time.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

A/C is not something you can do without in Texas. Use as much as you can from your checking account and get the rest from savings. Pay yourself back as soon as you can, little by little if you have to.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

N.,

Way to go on the savings! It's not hard to change spending habits, I know...
I would wait as long as possible to fix your AC. If you can wait another month or so, it won't half you savings. But don't make yourself sick in the heat, just to save money. If you are getting to hot, then get your AC fixed. Best of luck and keep up the savings!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Maybe it's my age showing, but to me, AC is a luxury, not a necessity, and I'd wait until I was on firmer financial footing to repair it.

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B.P.

answers from Abilene on

I would pull as much out of your regular checking account as you can, and use the rest from savings.

It's better to do that than put it on a credit card.

Just budget $50 a paycheck (or so) until you have it paid back into savings.

I understand your frustation. It seems like everytime we get our savings built up, something wipes it out! : ) Hang in there and just be frugal until you get it built back up again and you will be fine!

R.H.

answers from Dallas on

We had to go one Summer w/out A/C in our car and it was miserable! We at the time did not have the money to get it fixed. If you are someone who does not mind 100 degree temps and you don't have to drive during the hottest part of the day then don't get it fixed. If you spend a lot of time in your car and will have children with you, then at least get it fixed for your childrens sake so you don't risk possible heat strokes. The summer has not even began and it's HOT out there already. Just yesterday the A/C in my house went out, we called our landlord to get it fixed and they had someone out by 9:30AM the next day......just within 12 hrs of no A/C my house was HOT and we were miserable. If you have the money to fix it, then it would be smart to. Imagine being stuck in an hour traffic jam with kids in the car and temps over 100 degrees.....it won't be good. Try and find a cheaper mechanic to get it fixed.....if you know exactly what the problem is, start calling around and see if you can find it cheaper. Take care

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A.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I am no Dave Ramsey, so I am not sure what the professionals would say, but if it were me, I would say yes. This is the kind of stuff you have a savings for, so that when a car emergency, or family crisis etc..arise, you arent going to go under when you have to use "bill money" to pay for it. I wonder if maybe it would be good to get a few opinions/quotes to be sure you are getting the best deal, but I say go for it. It is too hot here in Texas to have to live with no ac in my opinion!! ~A.~

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R.N.

answers from Dallas on

It's your decission, but I would get the ac fixed with the money. You can always save more and it's a need for the summer and your child(ren).

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Good for your for building up a savings account! As far as the AC in your car, YES, get it fixed. We live in Texas and the summer will be unbearable without a working AC. However, you should get a few estimates on the repairs before you commit to spending the money. I know it's a lot of money, but at least you aren't charging and you know you are able to save so you will be able to build your savings account back up in not time.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

First of all, congratulations--I was older than you when I changed my ways! A/C in TX is pretty essential--I would pay for as much as you can out of non-savings resources then use the rest from savings to get it repaired. As soon as possible, get that savings built up to at least $1000--this is a great amount for an 'emergency' or 'life happens' fund. I recommend Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University", a 13 week course that goes through "baby steps" to financial security, one step at a time. You've already acomplished the first step with the basic $1000 fund. Good luck.

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F.R.

answers from Dallas on

In my opinion, because you have a child/children you should get the A/C fixed. I was against you getting it fixed until I read you were a mom. Keep saving! The fact that you are weighing this out shows that you are on a better road with your finances. God bless.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

In my opinion, yes, you need to fix it....

Your child is in a carseat and they get hot, like wearing a thick coat in the car in the summer. If it was just you, I would say save a bit more and then get it fixed, but, it isn't just you.

Next, if possible, I would also get a 2nd opinion just to make sure, unless you truly trust who told you this.

Third, get it fixed and have it done and then start paying yourself back. One happy meals worth at a time if need be, so long as you pay yourself back.

good luck

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P.R.

answers from Dallas on

hi there!! look, i think that amount its really expensive i dont know what kind of car u have, but it just happen to my car and i paid 400 total, and they buy a brand new compressor bcause my car is a 2008so they can't one used, if u want to mail me and i let you know where they fixed.... girl its hot out !!!!

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

How hot is it going to get???

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

If you are on the Dave Ramsey plan number 1 is $1000 emergency fund. Use what you have to and build it back up. Thank God you have the money to fix it.

M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi N.,
Isn't that what your savings is for?? Unexpected emergencies?? Get it taken care of. Call around for the best deal to get it fixed and continue saving for another "rainy day".

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Get the repair. This is what savings is for ...emergencies ...cushion. You are lucky that you started saving before this emergency. Otherwise you would be facing a long hot summer with no options but a rolled down window! You are not blowing your savings on a frivolous item. You are using it for what it was intended.

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