Thanks for everyone who stuck it through with me during my absence. Life has been very crazy here and we’ve just been working on getting back to normal. For just a glimpse of our week, I bring you the Minivan O Doom Saga:
Back in January, I wrote that I paid off my minivan 9 months early. I was so excited to mark car payments off our list of obligations. Shortly thereafter, our finances went sort of wonky. We were still cutting our expenses and spending our money wisely, but Mark’s income from the new company was sporadic.
Over the last couple of months, Mark has made inroads to head back to the land of Employed. With several great leads on jobs and things starting to look up, we’ve been continuing in conservation mode while planning ahead for getting our savings and debt payoff back into high gear.
On Sunday, my minivan died on the highway 3 hours from home, with me, Mark and Faitha. Mark arranged to have the van looked at by a local garage first thing the next morning and got a hotel room. I arranged for my brother to come pick me and Faitha up to bring us home. One day in the hotel turned into 2, as the van was shuffled from one garage to another. $40 diagnostic at the first garage only to find that they didn’t have the proper equipment to figure out the problem, and then a trip to the local Ford Dealership. $241 diagnostic at the dealership to tell us that the cost to repair would be $1400 … almost the exact same as the trade-in value (and more money than we have in our emergency fund).
So, after some hard decisions and a stop at a few different dealerships where he was stranded, Mark found a minivan that had low miles, a clean history, and with a dealership that offered us a fabulous trade-in. Now I have a nifty new (to me) Chrysler Town & Country… and a new car payment. As much as I hate having a car payment, I’m thrilled to have reliable transportation that I don’t have to worry about continuously sinking hundreds of dollars into to keep on the road. Mark is thrilled that he no longer has to worry about my vehicle dumping me beside the road every time I leave the house.
I’m proud of us for spending time researching deals and book values of the vehicles before Mark went to the dealerships. We knew what we wanted. We knew our price range. We knew what the trade-in should be for the old van that we drove into the ground. Although we had to buy a vehicle no matter what, we didn’t let the situation cripple us or cause us to make bad decisions.
My Dear Hubby is home, finally… with the new minivan … and lots of hugs for me. Now, to get the snowball rolling on getting rid of this car payment!