We’re working on the budget here in our house. We work hard, inside the home and out, and want our money to go a little farther. So we’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to tweak things to make our lives more financially okay. Dave doesn’t like car payments. To be fair, I don’t either. In fact, they sort of make me want to throw up. But it seems like every time we get a car paid off, we get another kid and whoops! Now we need a bigger vehicle. We’ve had Nissans (my favorite), Hondas, Chevy’s, and now a Kia.
The Nissan and Honda were nearly paid off when we had to upgrade in size to what we lovingly referred to as the Black Mamba (que Megamind) or the Tank. That suburban was the extra large edition, which we needed when we had to take the hole famdamly an hour and a half away to buy groceries. When we moved back home and the engine started going out, I started thinking about trading that bad boy in. The decision to take the plunge was made one hotter-than-hades July day when the hydraulics for the back door went out and I was left with a chunky one year old in one arm and bags of Walmart groceries in the other, and a two thousand pound door that wouldn’t keep itself open.
Mama had had her last straw. I drove my fed-up self to all the car places, baby and tow, and tossed that mammoth of a car-seat into all the things that sort of fit our budget. I ended up sitting across from a stressed out car salesman who couldn’t have been a day over 12, and was sweating over selling one last car to make his quota for the month. I think his job was on the line and I was two Walmart bags away from losing my sanity, so I was happy to oblige.
I drove off the lot in a cute little cross-over that fit all the fam, saved on gas (not hard after the Tank) and came with a car payment. We seem to always be told that car payments are just a way of life. I actually had a banker tell me that once-that you always have a car payment. Sort of like she shrugged her shoulders and said “it always snows in Montana.” That simple. Dave disagrees. He’s all for a non car payment. And at the root of it, so am I. They make me cranky.
So we’re trying to do the smart thing and have been looking at selling off the payment and paying cash for something else. Here’s the problem: my family has all the people. Now, paying for a cute little sedan that holds two adults and two children in perfect harmony-that’s cheep. Finding something not the size of the Titanic that holds all the people and doesn’t have a bagillion miles on it-that’s a miracle. And I always swore I’d never drive a minivan. (I threw up in my mouth a little just typing that).
Now don’t get me wrong-I have nothing against minivans or minivan drivers. I know many a mama that would sacrifice herself for the love of her minivan and I’m all for it. They’re seriously comfortable and really are stellar when you have kids.
Slide those doors and keep the KidsBop bumpin’! I’m just not that girl. The thought of driving a minivan makes my ovaries cry (wherever they are). I think because I don’t wrap my whole identity into being a mother. I’m more than that, we all are-we all have amazing gifts and talents that extend beyond our season of motherhood. I love being a mom. I love my kids. I love that I have been gifted with children to parent. I just hate minivans.
So, what’s the big deal, right? Well here’s the deal: mini vans are ridiculously cheep. Like stupid cheep. For example, there’s a Toyota Landcruiser at our local dealer. It was made in 1998 and has 280,000 miles on it (see all those zeros!?). Guess how much their asking? $7,500. Did that make you want to pass out? Me too. I know, that’s an expensive car in general. But all the cross-overs are stupid expensive when you have to have a third row to maintain child safety laws. Now a minivan with 100k? Like $3,500. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s cheep.
Now here’s what terrifies me: some of those minivans are down right pimped out. I’m talking all black leather and heated seats and look at those children waaaayyyy back there and not touching each other. I feel like the dark side is calling. The force is strong in the minivan galaxy. Dave would tell me to buy the minivan, that a car is meant to go from here to there and I don’t need my identity all wrapped up on four wheels like the rest of America. I know, I know. But I still had a visceral reaction when the hubbs texted me a photo of one today.
The decision as to what to do in the car arena isn’t decided. We may keep the cross-over or we may trade it in. All I can say is that the minivan struggle is real. As in real hard to ignore when it comes to the dollars and cents.