Thursday, July 14, 2011

Biting the Bullet

I rarely talk about my finances even though from time to time I will blog about frugality. The topic of finances is very personal and I think it's very easy for people to become offended, jealous, or defensive while discussing personal finance. The problem as I see it is that if you're not independently wealthy, then you have to make decisions based on what you can afford not necessarily what you want. In short, you have to choose between wants and needs and very often the two are confused.

Without going into alot of detail I will say that due to a combination of financial blessings and frugality we are able to be debt free. Does that mean we are wealthy? No, we're not. We still have to choose between needs and wants and it has been a long learning process. But, the freedom that comes with being debt free has made this process worthwhile.

The only reason I mention any of this is because we are currently having to decide between needs and wants - our minivan, a.k.a. "The Crapmobile" has finally died. I am no longer Minivan Mom. We are deciding whether to buy a new car (I like the Honda FIT) and take on a car payment, increased insurance and increased licensing fees or to buy a used car and take on someone else's problem. A third option is to remain a one-car family.

After my husband's car wouldn't pass the smog test a few months ago, we got rid of it and bought a 1973 VW Bug. It's definitely a no-frills car, but it gets him to where he needs to go and there is always a cool factor to driving an older Bug. A decent older Bug will run us in the $3000 range with the added bonus of cheap insurance. Another bonus, is that since it's an older vehicle, it is exempt from having to pass the smog emissions test in California. Yet, another bonus, is that we can pay for it up front and not make payments.

Some may ask, "What about the kids? Won't it be uncomfortable for them? What about road trips?" My reply is that honestly, it's not always about the kids and besides we can always rent a larger car for vacation. We may have to do that when we go to Yosemite. My oldest son looooves the Bug. He calls it the "Bugmobile" and wants to ride in it every chance he gets. My younger son is happy when he's riding in any car. For now, we're still mulling our options and weighing the pros and cons of each. I'll keep you posted.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Isaiah 55:2


  1. we have always been a 1 car family, mainly because we can only handle 1 car payment at a time, and it seems when the car gets paid off, it dies, so onto a newer car with a new payment. It it really hard sometimes. But Filip has, for the last 4 years and continuing, been able to ride his bike to and from work. There are times when a 2nd car would be great to have. I say you split the different a bit and get a VW bus! =) not sure how much more that will run you out of pocket upfront...but they are cool and you will get the added room a minivan or SUV can offer =). The 1 time we bought a brand new was a lemon, we will forever buy used cars. If you go the used car route, my only suggestion...make sure it is certified! Good luck with your decision!!

  2. Thanks. I'm getting to the point that I wished I lived in a city where I didn't need a car. They are so annoying; convenient, but annoying.



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