Starting Fresh

Yesterday morning I woke up VERY excited thinking that we were going to sell my car and buy a new (to us) larger vehicle this coming weekend. The last car I bought for myself was nearly 15 years ago, and the car I’m driving now is an inherited Ford Fusion that Charlie bought brand new 7 years ago. It’s AWD, has great gas mileage, and is great in the mountains, but as the kids get older we have realized that we really want more space, both for space for running errands & traveling and for space when we have out-of-state guests and/or friends of the kids who will be riding with us as the kids grow up.


Long story short, I was up at 3am with a fussy, sick kid again (Harvey) before frantically cleaning out the car from 7-9am so we could head to the town 30 minutes away to show it to some potential buyers who found us through our Craig’s List ad. The entire way there I was feeling conflicted. I wanted to start the year fresh with everything from a new attitude about food & exercise to a new vehicle. However, it’s not a great time for us financially to add a new loan payment to our lives. Then again, is there ever a good time to add another bill?


At any rate, I was 75% hoping for a smooth sale & a new car for me. I was 25% thinking it would be okay if it didn’t work out. After a 30 minute test drive and 60 more minutes of them debating while we grocery shopped with the kids, the other (super nice) couple decided they couldn’t pull the trigger and they didn’t buy the car.

Honestly? I was relieved.

As much as I wanted a newer, bigger vehicle, a fresh attitude & outlook on life doesn’t need to be accompanied by a loan payment.

The new goal? Save up enough over the next year to pay for the new vehicle we want outright with no loans whatsoever.

Dave Ramsey FTW! 🙂


  1. mcmissis · · Reply

    We wanted a bigger car just before Lyla was born and knew we wanted a third kid someday. So we went straight for the minivan with only one kid outside my belly hahaha. We’ve had them all in the middle row until just yesterday when we moved Gracie all the way to the back in a booster bc Poppy outgrew her infant car seat, needed to move to Gracie’s convertible, and the booster didn’t fit it in the tiny, removable seat in the middle. I guess the new year, new car situation is a thing 🙂

    Good for you for waiting. Once I make a decision like that, there’s no going back for me, good or bad :/

  2. I agree! All during this post I was thinking nonono! Buy one outright if your car still runs! When Mark finally got his new job, he got carried away thinkig he needed a better car to commute in since he’s have some meetings weekly in the bay. I was almost in, until I was like, no!! We moved here to downsize and simplify! We have paid off vehicles. So he’s going to drive our family car and I’ll use the beast for the kids (whih is safer anyway, if I want to run errands or go somewhere around town.

    Where do u get yor Dave Ramsey advice? I used to watch suze orman weekly, but quit cable (Whoo hoo) so now need a new influence.

    1. Ha, i know! Our car is great and it’s paid off – definitely good features. 🙂 The problem is that there is no way I’d want to drive cross country with the kids in it (b/c of space limitations and no DVD system), and financially that’s starting to make more sense for us every time we go back to MN. It was $600/ticket to go back last month! However, the car is worth $9k and that car we were looking at was $18k. We already have a little bit saved, so my goal is to get the balance saved so we could just buy one outright next year.

      I’m just on Dave’s mailing list and go through links sometimes…

      1. Ouch! It’s almost worth it to finance the rest if tickets are so pricey and you’ll be going to MN a couple times a year! A DVD system is a must if I’m going to take ever anywhere! Put that on my parenting thigs I said I’d never say list!!

        1. Yep, that’s what we were thinking. Interest is WAY less than just one set of plane tix to MN. We shall see how it all shakes out.

          Also – i thought the same thing about the DVD system when I wrote it. Never thought I’d say that!! LOL

  3. I still love those acadias! Funny, we’ve been thinking about a new car sooner than later too, but are hoping to get closer to July when mine is paid off before pulling the trigger. DR for the win!! I know when we do buy we won’t be able to pay cash, but that’s awesome if you can!!

  4. This seems to be a popular conversation. We discussed getting a new car for me since we’ll be turning over 100,000 miles soon and are down to just my car payment, but I said no way… We’ll drive this car into the ground. I see no reason to extend a car payment when we’re at least half way done with mine. I’d rather pay it off entirely now and sit on it until a new car is really needed.

    Good for you! I’m glad they didn’t pull the trigger!

  5. After years of enjoying life with fully paid-off vehicles, we ended up buying a Mazda 5 year before last after Nick was rear-ended at a stop light, totally our Pontiac Vibe, which was our primary family car. We ended up trading in his Land Rover (we’d had it for 10+ years, it was nearing the age of expensive repair/maintenance work, and was a premium gas guzzler), buying outright an older Subaru for him, and buying the Mazda 5 for our family car. Hello, new car payment. While this car has been an awesome, affordable, small family car for us (it has a third row, plus; using it takes up the trunk/hatch space, minus), it really sucks having a car payment again. And, now, on the cusp of a third kid, Nick is wanting to get a bigger vehicle. Like, a Suburban. In the city. In our two-car garage (a luxury in the city!) where we have juuuust enough room for our two small-ish cars. No way, I keep saying. True, I have no idea how we’ll fit our double stroller in the back when we move Arlo to the third row, but I just don’t want another bigger car, and certainly not another bigger payment. Especially on a single income, as we are about to pay out of pocket for a home birth, and will be increasing Arlo’s preschool hours come the fall. There is something about the challenge of living smaller and making what you have work for you that is really appealing to me. Eventually when the kids’ crap takes up more space, we’ll need more space, but until then? I think we can manage. And, seriously, I am NOT driving a Suburban in St. Louis, trying to parallel park THAT beast somewhere. Nope.

  6. Love this Josey! We are pro Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman entirely! (Hence paying off our house as soon as we can I hope.)

    I realize we are in a “unique” situation. My husband has a company car and gets a new car every 5 years and I get a super cheap company car through my FIL who is retired from a car company (like a new car every year for a couple hundred bucks a month, insurance included and maintenance included and 18K miles…we have 4 young kids so to get a $50K minivan for under $350 a month and the option to buy it cheap after…yay!)

    If we didn’t get such a awesome deal through my FIL (a company car) then we would buy outright. But that and my husband’s car let us put our money more towards the mortgage, organic food, etc and things important to me.

    Oh and I wanted to ask, any more posts about cloth diapering coming up? 😉

    I am super proud of you for waiting to pay cash for a car (hope that doesn’t sound weird lol!)

  7. Glad that it worked out the way you “really” wanted! Saving up to buy outright is a fabulous idea, and with the math from above (about trips and plane tickets and all), even if you have to finance a small portion, that’d be a WIN. I am glad, every day, that we can still manage life without a car. I know some day we’ll have to change that, but it is so wonderful to not have that headache and expense!

  8. We sold our paid SUV 4runner and went big, the 4runner was too small with 2 kids and a dog. We got a full size Nissan Armada and love the space, gas at $1.84 this morning is nice too. Yup having a loan sucks tho 🙁

  9. we’d love to buy that ford fusion from you – sounds perfect! Chris’s car went kaput last week, so we’re looking for something new – like, NOW, for him. ugh!

    1. I wish I could just drive it to IL to visit you and fly home! (now that I just spent a day on twitter telling you not to drive that far with kids if flying is an option *grin*)

  10. […] month we put my car on Craig’s List when we were thinking about buying an Acadia, but the guy who contacted us… um, I have no words. I’ll let the snippets I’m […]

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