When we had Miles, we were cramming 3 little boys and 3 little car seats into the back of a Dodge Neon. I literally had to shove the back door closed, because the car seats were a 1/2 inch too bulky for the back of the car. However, my car was paid off, and we're on a really strict debt snowball, and there was no way I was going to get a new vehicle with a payment. I was ready to run our car into the ground, puttering on it's last breath, before I bought another.
Mitch on the other hand was anxious for a new vehicle whether or not we were in the middle of our debt snowball, and he felt like it was not unreasonable to put aside $500-$800/month if we could work extra and eventually purchase a vehicle that would last a long time. Those numbers were way too astronomically high for me, because I could just see our debt snowball being on hold forever and I could our student loans hanging over us into our 90's.
The kids hugging "Roberta" good-bye.
The solution: We called Dave Ramsey for advice. :) He said that Mitch and I were both on opposite extremes and that we needed to meet in the middle. He also said it's hard to fit 3 chihuahuas in the back of a neon, haha! He also brought up that our vehicle probably still had value--which it did. He also gave us a lot of hope by encouraging us--he was happy because Mitch & I we're on the same page with our goals to get out of debt and stay out of debt and said that we were just working out some of the little nuances on our way to our end goal. He was proud of us for not wanting to finance a vehicle and said he's really excited for the next decade of our lives.
By the end of the summer, we got $2200 for our neon. And the 2nd van we looked at from online postings happened to be listed by Mitch's cousin (but we didn't know it was his until we met up to look at the van). It was so funny. We did a test drive & were sold on it! We knew he wasn't lying to us about the car's history, and it was in our price range. They had just had their 6th baby and needed a bigger vehicle, too. Haha! We were happy to take their awesome van off their hands and pay for it in cash. I bought lego head decals to celebrate this milestone in our lives, because I felt REALLY OLD owning a minivan.
The kids loved it--there was so much space & I could fit a stroller in the back AND buy groceries AND have all 3 car seats in AND there was STILL room!
Mitch calls our van the "Swagger Wagon" sometimes, to help us feel cooler as parents of 3 driving a minivan. And we've named the vehicle "Van Solo" since our kids were obsessed with Star Wars at the time.
Life is so good!