For the first time in my life, I purchased a vehicle all by myself. Even before I was married, my parents made the arrangements and I just paid for my vehicle. In marriage, my spouse heard my requests and made the decision. But when my van was diagnosed to cost more in repairs than it is worth when running well, I knew it was time to look for a decent used vehicle.
I began scouring Craigslist and looking at most every mini-van that was listed. Fairly quickly it became clear what I would and would not be able to afford in a van. It’s always a bit hard to reconcile what I want, with what I can reasonably afford. So, I narrowed my search and determined some markers that I would look for:
- No older than my existing 2002 model.
- As close to 100,000 miles as possible.
- No known mechanical issues.
- Rear air vents for the kiddos.
- At least one “amenity” like auto sliding doors or dvd player.
- Could be paid for in cash or feasibly paid in full by the end of the year.
It was oh-so-tempting to 'upgrade' to a van with more perks than my budget could reasonably afford, but I'm very thankful that I refrained from overspending. Once again, I see God providing before I knew about my need.
The experience of researching, test driving and purchasing a vehicle was a new one for me. If I was not divorced, I would not have had a big part in the task and so there is a sense of victory in having accomplished the purchase. Many thanks to my father who listened to me recount my test-driving, received many emails describing vehicles and finally helped me locate the chosen vehicle in the backwoods of East Tennessee. I take full ownership of my purchase, but I would not have found it without his persevering navigation skills.
I love being a mini-van-mama!