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personal finance Sep 27, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I came outside to yet another flat tire.  What the heck?!  It seemed like every week a tire was going flat on my car.  I knew when I bought the car I would have to get new tires (that was one aspect I used to negotiate the price down), but I didn't think it would be this soon.  I made my seemingly weekly trip to the gas station to fill up again, and I was on my way.  Of course, that wasn't the end of it... 

After a few hours, I'm ready to leave my location and go to a lunch meeting with a friend.  I get in my car to pull out, and I noticed my car wobbling and noise coming from the tire.  I pull back in and get out to inspect.  Low and behold, the tire is completely flat!  So, now I'm stranded.  Of course, I got rid of AAA a few years ago as I deemed it a waste of money for my situation.  Now, I needed it!  My brain started twirling trying to think of how I was going to get anywhere forget the meeting at this point.  I called my grandpa.  He's always my knight in shining armor...
"Hey Papa"
"Hey, what's up?"
"Remember I told you I was having issues with my tire?  Now, it is completely flat, and I'm stuck."
"Call AAA"
"I don't have AAA.  I got rid of it a few years ago."
"Well, I'm at work and can't leave.  Try putting on your spare."
"I would love to but the lady I bought the car from put on some fancy rims which have fancy lug nuts and no tool to get them off." (I found this out when my boyfriend was trying to put on new brakes for me a couple days prior)
"I can't leave right now.  You would have to wait until a little later."
"OK, I understand.  I'll figure out something else.  Thanks!"

Mission Papa: FAILED.  Now what?  The ironic part of the situation is that I had an appointment with a local tire shop later that day to discuss the possibility of new tires.  I figured I should call them and see if they have a tow fleet.  That way at least I can get it towed there, and they can figure something out.  In my head, I am thinking oh gosh, towing was not in the budget but I'll call anyway.  

My first question, of course, was do they have a tow truck. Unfortunately, the employee said no but he could get me in contact with the one. He started asking what was wrong and did I have a spare? I told him I had a spare, but I can't get the special lugnuts off. He had me send him a picture to see if he had the tools.  Do you believe he offered to come out free of charge to change my tire and then follow me back to the shop? I was in disbelief. I told him absolutely, please come when you can, and he showed up about 10 minutes later. This employee was extremely helpful. Come to find out later on that he was the manager. When we got to the shop, he asked if I wanted them to try and figure out what's going on. I told him just to give me all new tires! I explained how I was tired of going to the gas station regularly to get air. He described the different kinds of tires and gave me three price points. I told them to let's go with the middle-of-the-road.

Fast forward, they couldn't figure it out what was wrong with their original tires and why my new tires were doing the same thing. I went back up there the next morning and receive VIP treatment. Someone met me at my car explain the already knew what was going on because I had talked to the manager via text the previous night. They offered to give me an $80 discount for having to come back and also upgraded my tires to the top-of-the-line. I was extremely grateful because I was not expecting to get that type of service. They also gave me the special tool I need it to get the lugnuts off myself going forward. This experience showed me how important customer service was to them.  I am definitely a lifelong customer now! IT is a prime example of reaping what you sow.  

Okay, enough with the backstory, let's get to the numbers. Of course, buying four new tires was not in my budget. So, I had to dip into my savings. Luckily, I had enough to cover it. My total ended up being about $560. I was able to make that money back within a week by rideshare driving and selling a few things on the Facebook marketplace. I was still able to pay off debt this month, so all is happy!

Total paid on debt in September: $1,931.07
Current balance: $64,592.25
Total debt paid to date:   $24,847.44

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