Monday, April 11, 2011

When Trivia Isn't So Trivial

Okay, today's blog post is devoted to me gloating. That's right! I'm super proud of myself because I saved someone hundreds of dollars by knowing somewhat of a random fact about state vehicle laws in California. I'm no lawyer, but I do keep an eye out for economic changes that might make my wallet fatter one day. Well, I guess it paid off. I didn't make myself richer, but it sure feels great helping someone out!

Recently, my co-worker came into the office late because he had to take his old car to the shop after a failed smog check. He had recently bought a brand new car and was trying to sell the old, barely functioning one to someone for a little under 1000 bucks. That was before he failed the smog check. Now, he has to either fix it or sell it at an even greater discount. A repair would probably cost him between $400-$1000, depending on the mechanic and cost of parts.

Of course, there was an easier way around it. I happened to know that in order to get more "eco-friendly" vehicles on the road and get rid of the polluters, California has a Voluntary Vehicle Retirement Program. The program pays you $1000 to salvage your vehicle instead of repairing it. This way, hopefully, owners will purchase a more environmentally friendly vehicle. Kind of like the (in)famous Cash for Clunkers program from the Obama Administratiokn. Low income individuals and families have the option to subsidize up to $500 of the repair cost if they choose to keep the car.

Whether this actually helps the environment or stimulates the economy is a discussion for another time. What I'm trying to point out is that sometimes, it really pays to pay attention! Watch the news, read blogs, and check twitter, chances are you'll find bits and suggestions that can come in handy one day. Also, remember to talk to friends and acquaintances about your situation and see if they have ideas to save you more. If you know a way to save others some cash, don’t hesitate to share. Happy saving!


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