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1967 GT500 Mustang: 1/24 scale Johnny Lightning Diecast
We all know that having roommates saves money because of the fact you can split the cost of cable and utilities amongst the number of roommates, thus effectively reducing your cost in half or by thirds depending on the number of roommates you have.   I’ve also mentioned the intangible benefits of having roommates.  Normally, you can’t put a monetary value on these benefits; they are more of a convenience factor more than anything.


This week I’ve utilized these intangible benefits to save me money.

On Tuesday, my truck decided to blow a spark plug on cylinder #2.  Apparently this is a pretty common problem on my truck – thanks Ford.  The money saving guy that I am, I decided to take on the problem myself.  Without a car to transport myself around, this poses two logistical challenges:

  • How to get work
  • How to get parts to fix my truck

Either one of my roommates were happy to take me to work and drive me to the local parts stores for replacement parts, which I was grateful for.  The biggest hurdle came when I need this special kit to fix my blown out spark plug.  I could have ordered it, but it would have taken several days to get it in-hand, thus prolonging the repair time of my truck.

The next best option was to borrow the kit from a buddy of mine, which sounded simple enough.  However, he lives an hour away and without a car, it makes it a bit challenging.  I asked one of my roommates if they could drive me to go and pick-up the kit, but with schoolwork or other obligations, it made it difficult for them to sacrifice their time.  In the end, I suggested if I could borrow one of their cars so that I can drive to my buddy’s house to pick up the repair kit.

One of my roommates agreed with the plan and in exchange, I filled up his tank.

With the special kit in-hand, I fixed the blown out spark plug the next day and avoided a costly repair.  If anyone has fixed something on their own, they know the satisfaction of doing it on their own.  I can say without a doubt that I’m extremely grateful that my roommates spared their time to help me out when I was in need.  Effectively, I leveraged the temporary mode of transportation from my roommates to allow me to fix my truck.  Of course, if the situation was reversed, I would have done the same.  Matter of fact, I have given past roommates rides to work when their cars were in the shop.  So I guess this is just retribution for all the good deeds I’ve done for my past roommates.

Since people like to deal with numbers, so here’s the break down of the cost savings:

Items Cost
Repair kit  – Borrowed Nothing
New spark plug $7.43
Grease/brake cleaner/RTV $8.55
Gas to re-fuel my roommates car $45
Lunch for a co-worker letting me use their garage space* $19.18
Total $80.16

*it rained for several days straight so I needed a garaged area.


In contrast to the total cost of the parts, the shop cost for repairs was estimated at $500-$575.  Clearly, it’s evident that since I was able to bum a few rides from my roommates, I easily saved a few hundred bucks – a real savings for a working man.


Side Note

One of my roommates had their insurance premiums increase because he mentioned that he was living with roommates.  I’m guessing the rationale for this was the fear of loaning out the car to roommates, thus increasing the likelihood of accidents from the additional users.  To reduce these increased premiums, my roommate had to sign a waiver that claimed he will not have his roommates drive his car.  In case you’re wondering, I didn’t borrow this roommates car, I borrowed my other roommate’s car.  So we’re all legit in that sense.

Creative Commons License photo credit: PMC 1stPix

  • krantcents September 24, 2011, 7:20 am

    If you are lucky enough to have good roommates, this works. Otherwise you rely on your friends or family.

    • Mike September 24, 2011, 6:51 pm

      I agree, that roommates must be willing to help. I’ve never really had a roommate who wasn’t willing to help myself or my other roommate out.

      As for my family, all of them live in another state so that option is off the table.

      So I have to be nice to my roommates!


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