Author Topic: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?  (Read 1488 times)

sergrief

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Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« on: December 30, 2018, 09:06:43 AM »
One thing I sometimes find confusing about the mustachian lifestyle is the money vs time issue. It seems that going out your way to save small amounts everywhere you go brings exponential benefits (riding your bike to work for example) but I'm also thinking about the fact that time itself pays you dividends depending on how you use it, and thus you should do things to save time.

I'm wondering whether I should wash my own car or get it valeted.

It takes me 1-2 hours if I'm doing inside and out, vacuuming, cleaning the dashboard, washing outside, cleaning every nook and cranny in each wheel rim, applying polish all over the car, then wax all over. I save £15 doing this. However I can get it valeted and have all of that done in 10 minutes and spend the £15.

I'm not sure whether I should save time or money in this case... and how do I know in the future what things to consider in a similar time vs money situation?

Cranky

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 10:59:54 AM »
Is someone offering you >£15/hour for that time? If so, take that time to work and pay someone else to wash the car.

But if youíre just going to use that time to watch tv, wash your own car.

Also, donít be so fussy. How often do you actually need to wash your dashboard!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 12:35:14 PM by Cranky »

damyst

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 11:13:02 AM »
MMM isn't very big on cleaning in general.

He'd ask - do you even need the car?
If so, do you need to wash the car?
If so, how often do you need to wash the car? You can cut down the cost (in money and/or time) arbitrarily, simply by washing the car less often.

There's also the question of the fitness dividend from washing the car yourself. Many activities that take more time when you insource them are also opportunities for "free" exercise. I'm not sure if washing a car is one of those. Contorting your body at weird angles while breathing dust and fumes is not my idea of healthy living.

Mustachianism is not so much about frugality as about efficiency.

Sibley

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 12:12:15 PM »
What are you doing to your car to get it that dirty? My car mostly gets washed by the rain. I take it to the car wash every couple months, if that. Maybe twice a year I vacuum it out. I don't polish or wax. I don't clean the wheel rims.

hint: no food in the car.

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 12:14:04 PM »
Is someone offering you >£15/hour for that time? If so, take that time to work and pay someone else to wash the car.

But if youíre just going to use that your to watch tv, wash your own car.

Also, donít be so fussy. How often do you actually need to wash your dashboard!

I'm not being offered more than £15 an hour for that time, but I use it productively either by studying or doing other chores around the house. So the line is fuzzy and I'm not sure which is the better choice.

If you must know, my dashboard is so dirty it has cob webs at the corners.

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 12:15:43 PM »
MMM isn't very big on cleaning in general.

He'd ask - do you even need the car?
If so, do you need to wash the car?
If so, how often do you need to wash the car? You can cut down the cost (in money and/or time) arbitrarily, simply by washing the car less often.

There's also the question of the fitness dividend from washing the car yourself. Many activities that take more time when you insource them are also opportunities for "free" exercise. I'm not sure if washing a car is one of those. Contorting your body at weird angles while breathing dust and fumes is not my idea of healthy living.

Mustachianism is not so much about frugality as about efficiency.

I haven't washed the car in half a year, and it actually has paint specs all over it from when I was using a spray gun nearby. It's also got bird shit all over it. The rims are supposed to be silver but are completely brown from dust.

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 12:18:14 PM »
What are you doing to your car to get it that dirty? My car mostly gets washed by the rain. I take it to the car wash every couple months, if that. Maybe twice a year I vacuum it out. I don't polish or wax. I don't clean the wheel rims.

hint: no food in the car.

I babysit kids, who eat and drink all the time in the car (even when I tell them no, they still do it and I can't physically stop them while I'm driving).

There's bird shit and paint specs all over the car, and the rims which are supposed to be silver and just layered with brown dust.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 12:29:40 PM »
Is someone offering you >£15/hour for that time? If so, take that time to work and pay someone else to wash the car.

But if youíre just going to use that your to watch tv, wash your own car.

Also, donít be so fussy. How often do you actually need to wash your dashboard!

I'm not being offered more than £15 an hour for that time, but I use it productively either by studying or doing other chores around the house. So the line is fuzzy and I'm not sure which is the better choice.

If you must know, my dashboard is so dirty it has cob webs at the corners.

IMO doing it yourself is a productive use of time and it saves you £15.  It might not be that fun but the effort comes with an immediate, tangible reward and further drawing of the line in the sand that small expenditures add up.  This is an easy thing to DIY and saves you a specific amount of money immediately.  And it can be very satisfying psychologically to clean up for yourself. 

Hard to believe they can do the job as well in 10 minutes as you would anyway, and you have not considered the cost of taking the car to and from the cleaning location (if it is not an on site service of some kind). 

damyst

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 12:51:51 PM »
I haven't washed the car in half a year, and it actually has paint specs all over it from when I was using a spray gun nearby. It's also got bird shit all over it. The rims are supposed to be silver but are completely brown from dust.

Your OP made it sound like this is a weekly ritual for you. If this is something that happens once or twice per year, then we probably already spent more time discussing it on the forum than the question merits.

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 05:08:20 PM »
I haven't washed the car in half a year, and it actually has paint specs all over it from when I was using a spray gun nearby. It's also got bird shit all over it. The rims are supposed to be silver but are completely brown from dust.

Your OP made it sound like this is a weekly ritual for you. If this is something that happens once or twice per year, then we probably already spent more time discussing it on the forum than the question merits.

Tbh I've only not washed it because I was thinking so long about whether I should save time or money, so I ended up just procrastinating for months and months. But whatever I end up doing, I would never wash my car once a week, that's exaggerated... a car usually takes like 2 months or something to get significantly dirty. So I think whatever choice I end up making it will be washed once every 2 months.


Igelfreundin

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 07:41:37 PM »
Another vote for doing it yourself. When I outsource something, it's easy to get stuck on autopilot, thinking "This is something I need done." When I do it myself, I consider every time whether it's worth the effort to do it. For me, this is a good thing, because I want both my time and money to go towards the things I really value.

waltworks

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2018, 12:08:54 AM »
I have never washed a car that I owned. Period. And I have lived most of my life in cold snowy places with lots of salt and crap on the roads in winter.

If it's nice enough that you feel like you should wash it, it's too nice. Sell it. It's a box with wheels to transport you/stuff. Nothing more.

-W

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2018, 01:07:56 AM »
It takes an hour, max, to wash a car and vacuum it out. And that needs doing how often? Every few months?? I've never bought a car wash or a car valet in my life. If you're going to spend money on your car, make it maintenance - check the wiper blades, check the oil, maybe fill the tyres with nitrogen, stock it with glass wipes and tissues, that sort of shit. I have actually used some kind of protective shit on the dash plastic..... about 4 years ago.

HipGnosis

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2018, 09:15:26 AM »
What are you doing to your car to get it that dirty? My car mostly gets washed by the rain. I take it to the car wash every couple months, if that. Maybe twice a year I vacuum it out. I don't polish or wax. I don't clean the wheel rims.

hint: no food in the car.
You really should wax your car once a year (preferably fall).  It really does (help) protect the paint, which effects the value of the car.

Sibley

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2018, 10:23:53 AM »
What are you doing to your car to get it that dirty? My car mostly gets washed by the rain. I take it to the car wash every couple months, if that. Maybe twice a year I vacuum it out. I don't polish or wax. I don't clean the wheel rims.

hint: no food in the car.

I babysit kids, who eat and drink all the time in the car (even when I tell them no, they still do it and I can't physically stop them while I'm driving).

There's bird shit and paint specs all over the car, and the rims which are supposed to be silver and just layered with brown dust.

You can't stop them from eating or drinking while you're driving, but you CAN remove access to the food and drink before you drive.

Sibley

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2018, 10:24:58 AM »
What are you doing to your car to get it that dirty? My car mostly gets washed by the rain. I take it to the car wash every couple months, if that. Maybe twice a year I vacuum it out. I don't polish or wax. I don't clean the wheel rims.

hint: no food in the car.
You really should wax your car once a year (preferably fall).  It really does (help) protect the paint, which effects the value of the car.

You are perfectly welcome to come do it for me.

jamesbond007

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2018, 12:31:40 PM »
Twice a year, I take my car to a Chevron and pay $8 to go through the automatic wash thing on the outside. Each month I use a hand vacuum to clean the interior. Takes 10 min.

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2018, 12:38:17 PM »
Another vote for doing it yourself. When I outsource something, it's easy to get stuck on autopilot, thinking "This is something I need done." When I do it myself, I consider every time whether it's worth the effort to do it. For me, this is a good thing, because I want both my time and money to go towards the things I really value.

That's a pretty good psychological trick actually. Do everything yourself so you can easily identify which things are worth doing.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 01:33:59 PM »
It's pretty simple:

If I do NOT clean my car myself, what would I be doing?:

If that something would yield more  per hour after tax than the cost of hiring somebody or a machine to do it, then by all means outsource it or wait until you have free time to do it.  If I would otherwise be watching "Oprah reruns", then by all means, clean the car yourself....

sergrief

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2019, 09:21:47 AM »
It's pretty simple:

If I do NOT clean my car myself, what would I be doing?:

If that something would yield more  per hour after tax than the cost of hiring somebody or a machine to do it, then by all means outsource it or wait until you have free time to do it.  If I would otherwise be watching "Oprah reruns", then by all means, clean the car yourself....

What if you're doing something very productive that isn't being paid for? I want to become a psychologist, so I study various topics of psychology in my free time. The knowledge will pay dividends in the long term but there's no immediate figure attached to studying.

HipGnosis

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2019, 09:29:51 AM »
You really should wax your car once a year (preferably fall).  It really does (help) protect the paint, which effects the value of the car.
You are perfectly welcome to come do it for me.
I'll do it
IF you split the amount of value maintained with me

BlueMR2

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2019, 08:06:34 AM »
You really should wax your car once a year (preferably fall).  It really does (help) protect the paint, which effects the value of the car.

This is what I do.  A yearly wax in the fall.  Keeps the paint nice that way (I don't care about value, but I do like the cars to look at least halfway decent if I can do it on the cheap).  More often than that is a waste of time and money in my climate.  Perhaps if you are in the South it might be something you'd do more often though as it's mostly protection against Sun damage.

I also do a single wash in the Spring to try and get the majority of the salt off the underbody.  I don't worry about dirt/mud.  While salt definitely helps promote corrosion, some of the most rust free old cars I've seen where ones that got coated in dirt/mud and were never cleaned.  Scrape it off and amazingly rust free underneath...

I'm a red panda

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2019, 09:38:12 AM »
Where are you getting your car washed that they do all that in only 10 minutes? Taking a car to be detailed is a day long event around here. 
Most people arrange a ride to pick them up so they don't have to wait; but some people sit and play on the internet for hours while waiting...

kpd905

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2019, 12:42:06 PM »
I wash mine once a year in the spring to try to get some of the winter salt off.

Rosy

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2019, 03:32:50 PM »
The kid drops by and takes it to the car wash on occasion, checks on the fluids etc. He just cleaned both windshields from the inside and vacuumed the car for me for Christmas even gifted me a little vac for the car. He had the tires checked/rotated and changed the wiper blades himself.
Even picked up some windshield wiper stuff for me.

I do clean it myself once or twice a year ... it's a nice looking car and I like to keep it in good condition, but hate to spend the money for a car wash.

When I was working I'd just hit it with the hose each Saturday and then take it to the local gas station for their vaccum machine. Maybe 50 cents.
Always took it to the same oil change/fluid/filter change place and had a reliable Mechanic to keep ole red running despite it's age.
Like someone already said, maintenance is the important thing, but I do like a clean car too.

In late spring I will have it waxed in time for the summer heat since now I have a new/used car.


use2betrix

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2019, 03:45:13 PM »
It really depends.

If someone takes home $40k/yr and spends $35k/yr, Iíd suggest that extra $15 (or euros) might be worth the increased savings rate.

If someone takes home $200k and spends $50k and they donít feel like wasting their time washing their car, but want a clean car, I think thatís their choice.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Wash my car to save money or get it valeted to save time?
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 03:49:40 PM »
I have to comment because if someone offered all that for $15 I'd take it! Where I live in Australia, a basic wash and vacuum is $40 and what you are describing is $95 :D Our minimum wage is v high.

Needless to say we give ours a basic wash at home once a year ish. We take it for a logbook service annually and they wash it too.