Travis and I looked at our growing family and decided we needed a minivan. He looked online, stopped by a couple dealerships, and did some research and number crunching. We needed a $5,000-$6,000 van in fairly good condition. We prayed that God would provide us with the right van.
While looking online, we found a van that fit our needs. So we headed over to the dealership and Trav took it for a test drive, during which the breaks began to smoke. When he and the salesman returned we all sat down and talked about money, and the dealer sent the car to the garage to be fixed right away. While talking with the salesman Travis told him, "We won't be buying today; we need a night or two to think about it." "Okay," the salesman said, and then he asked us to sign some paper so he could figure out monthly payments.
We continued to discuss numbers and then the salesman got out paperwork, asking us to sign a form stating no extras were promised. "Ummm... we're not buying the car today." "You're not?!" "No, my husband told you that and you said 'okay.'" "Oh.... ummmm..." He then got the sales manager came over to reassure us that the breaks were being fixed since legally they can't sell us a car that has something wrong with it. I responded, "I hope you wouldn't ethically either." This dealership didn't need 3 strikes, 2 was enough and we were done.
That night we talked about things some more and decided that right now, with just two kids we didn't need to buy anything. Why tighten our belt even more to take on a new monthly payment. We basked in our wisdom.
My father-in-law found a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan with 117,000 miles at small dealership in a small town near his home. He talked to the dealer and if we traded in our Cavalier it would cost us $5,450 - taxes, license and everything included.
The next day the transmission died in the Cavalier. I love when God makes things obvious.
We took the Cavalier to the dealership, the dealer test drove it, guaranteed $5,450 and told us to talk to our bank. That was on a Saturday. On Monday, during his lunch hour, Travis called Cefcu, got a loan and drove to the dealership. We bought a van.
Buying the van was kinda painful for me. Here I am, two small kids, too fat to dress well, and driving a minivan. It's kinda depressing. It's the official turning in of my "cool card." But then my wonderful husband pointed out that the title read sports van not mini van. So the pill wasn't so bitter after all. :)