A testimony from Suzi
We recently paid cash for a new-to-us Volvo Wagon! We are a family of 5 that realized we just didn’t need so much space or better yet…a car payment!
Financing a Van
Before relocating to a large city, we purchased a 2008 Honda Odyssey Van. At the time, our youngest child was transitioning from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat and it didn’t seem that our sedan would “cut it” anymore for our family of 5 + 1 large dog!
We wanted something that was bigger, more comfortable for everyone and “nice!” We found the van we loved, paid a bit of cash, and financed the remainder.
Our car payment was relatively low and for the short-term we were quite pleased with our purchase! It fit everyone (with lots of extra room), looked nice, drove well, and would last us a long time.
Simplifying & Realizing We Didn’t Need the Van
- We could live with a lot less!
- We could save more.
- We didn’t drive nearly as much as we used to.
- Public transportation is cheaper, easier, and fun for the kids!
- Walking is oftentimes better.
- We didn’t really need so much extra cargo space in a van that we were rarely driving.
- The cost of gas was rising.
- We didn’t want to pay monthly payments on a van that was being parked on the street.
We had the van for about six months until one night it hit me: we didn’t need the van! I approached my husband with the crazy idea of selling it.
Within days, we had posted the van for sale.
Thankfully, we were able to sell the van for our asking price (the same as what we had paid for it six months prior) and deposit the money into our savings account. What a great feeling!
Focusing on Our Needs More Than Our Wants
We moved forward with the premise of casually looking for a replacement car. We weren’t in any rush since we knew we could manage without one. This time we had very different criteria for our family car.
- We wanted to pay cash, while still leaving a substantial amount of money in savings.
- We set a price of $3500 and we wanted to stick to it.
- With the lower price point we we understood that we’d have to be flexible and really focus on our needs and not our wants.
- We wanted something that was “good” based on the price range we were looking in.
- We’d prefer something with lower miles, but we were realistic that we may not find it.
- We were hoping to find something that would comfortably fit everyone, but not necessarily offer so much extra room that we’d repeat our first car buying mistake.
- We wanted something safe.
- We wanted to feel good about parking our purchase on the street.
After a couple months of looking and narrowing down our choices, we found a second owner, 1996 Volvo Wagon (with a 3rd row seat) with only 110,000 miles on it. It fit all the car seats and allowed room in the back for the dog!
We negotiated the price to $3200 and paid cash. Changing the way we thought about transportation, our family, city living, and the direction we wanted to go with saving money, allowed us to find the perfect car for this stage of our lives!
Suzi is a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom to 3 little girls (5, 3 1/2 and 20 months). She spends her days homeschooling and exploring the city with her husband and girls.
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