The Importance of Your Circle of Contacts, and How I Replaced My Clutch for $200

by David Bakke

I have spoken at length in the past of the importance of your circle of contacts. In a nutshell, it crystallizes the point that “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” If you’re smart, you should have a good bit of the following people in your circle of contacts: a computer guy, an insurance person, a car repair guy, a mortgage guy and so on. Not that these relationships are unilaterally beneficial, but that you are offering these people something in the way of your knowledge as well.

Get These People in Your Life

Once again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having these people in your life. If you’re going to save all you can in all of these areas, it’s just not possible to be an expert in all of them. Thus, the need to have these experts in your life.

My Little Story

To drive my point home, I want to tell you a quick story.

The car I drive is old. Very old. I affectionately refer to her as “the classic”, and that’s being very nice. It is a 1994 Toyota Tercel. One of the main reasons why I am still driving it is because it’s one of the best investments I ever made in my life. Almost 17 years old and I’ve paid for very little besides tires and tune ups over the years.

However, I am not stupid. Were a major repair needed, I would not get it done just for the sake of still driving her around. For the most part, I have set that bar at around $600-$700. Any more than that, and it would be time for her to go.

The Clutch

Well, recently, I came to find out that my clutch was going bad. It definitely needed replacing. I knew this because I know a little about cars myself, and my brother used to be a mechanic and he confirmed it for me. So, for this particular repair, it’s not like she died on the side of the road and I had to pay towing and get  a rental and everything else. I knew it had to be done. So, in this case, this is exactly what I did.

First, since I am pretty savvy online shopper, I found the clutch that I needed for my car online. It was priced at about $110, but I was able to find a coupon for $40 off. I was able to find another small discount code that I used, and the final price I paid for it was right around $69.

Next, I contacted my auto repair guy. He knows how to do everything. I told him of what I needed, he said he’d need about a half a day, and I dropped my car off there one morning before I went to work. He is actually on my way to work, so getting work done there is even that much more convenient.

I trust him so much now that I didn’t even ask for an estimate or what he was going to charge me. Heck, I didn’t even know that this was a fairly expensive repair.

Anyways, I went to get my car later that day, asked him how much it was, and he told me $140. This sounded a little steep to me, but of course I didn’t say anything. I’ve known this guy for years and he’s done lots of work for me.

It wasn’t until I got home later and researched the average cost for this type of repair and found out that it was somewhere in the area of $500 to $700.

So, as you can see, if I didn’t have this guy in my life, I’d probably be driving a new car right now. And have a new car payment, and be paying a lot more for car insurance and everything else.

Find these people and get them in your life. You’ll be glad you did. Again and again and again.

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