06 October 2015

3 Ring Binders and Accounting Rules

I keep 3-ring binders for all of my vehicles.  Each vehicle gets its own binder.  I put the service records and receipts into clean sheet protectors in chronological order and I try to keep everything.  When I do an oil change, I try to write out on a blank sheet the date and mileage.  It’s not easy to keep “perfect” records, it takes discipline and deliberate effort.

For this car, I am going to keep my usual 3-ring binder.  I ported all of the service records I got with the car into the binder, just like I would have done if she were mine since new.  In addition, I am going to keep a running spreadsheet of the costs.  I am going to record all of this so some of you can learn “this is what it costs to make an S52 ‘good’”.  I am a little afraid to know the total cost of ownership.  I am sure it’s a lot.

The previous owner kept a small notebook with the records while he owned it.  He even recorded every tank of gas.  I am going to leave his notebook just the way I got it and keep it inside the 3-ring binder too.

In this blog I will always post retail prices of parts.  You can certainly buy BMW parts for less than what I post here (I do).  But, BMW has a habit of adjusting retail.  And in the interest of history, I will stick to their retail prices.  The dealer I buy from does not inflate retail prices, but many BMW dealers do, especially on service/wear parts.  When you read this blog and see an "r" after the price, that means I am showing you a retail number.  If I show an "a" after a price, that's the actual price I paid.  This will help me better keep track of the value I put into the car, too.

The blog will account for every penny spent but I may not discuss every little piece.  So the running totals may jump up unexpectedly between posts.  But the 3-ring binder will always be right.

The 3-ring binder of receipts for this car

The 1200 mile service, I think?, for this car, in German

Note pad with every record, hand written by previous owner

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