Do We Need Two Cars?

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Crowded CarWe’re in a bit of a pickle right now.  Our second car is on its last leg… finally.  I mean, what did we expect?  It’s a 1993 Toyota Corolla and it has been in my family for years!  I think my oldest sister learned to drive in that car.  We’ll be ok though, right?  We don’t need more than one car. That is, if we don’t ever have to go anywhere as a family.  Our other car is a reliable 2004 Honda Civic that we purchased about 6 years ago in a moment of weakness.  We’re still paying for it, although not for much longer.  Everyone keeps telling us that we need a van, and I guess they’re right.  We are a family of 6 after all.  We need to be able to get to church on Sundays.  No question about that.  And, I’m definitely not going to be asking my parents to help us out every week.

So, I guess we’ll have to put our house hunting off a while longer in order to stay on track with our financial plans.  We just did some landscaping, which added a few thousand dollars onto our credit card balance.  So, we’re set to have all of our cards paid off by April of next year.  Once we have those paid off, we should be able to save for a down payment on a house.

It is very tempting, though, to just refinance and include all of our credit card debt in that.  But, we only pay 1.99% on $5000 of credit card debt at this point.  So, to refinance that balance into, let’s say, a 3.5% interest 30 yr mortgage would be stupid to say the least.  We just need to be patient and help each other stay on track.  It will all be worth it in about 5 years when we own a rental property (our current home) and have only our mortgage on our nice new home with plenty of space for our 4 children… make that 6 children in another 5 years.

Now we just have to find a van that is reliable and doesn’t cost more than $3500.  Good luck with that, right?  Maybe we can swing having just one vehicle?  Would it be worth it to sell the Honda for a few thousand dollars and get a van when my husband would have to take it to work every day?  There aren’t many fuel efficient vans out there to my knowledge.  What to do, what to do?

Option #1:  Sell the old car for $500 and buy a used van for $3500

  • Pros:  We would have two cars and a vehicle that our entire family would fit in
  • Cons:  We would have to buy the van on credit and would have to hold off on buying our second home

Option #2:  Sell both cars for $4500, buy a used van with cash, and use the bus for work

  • Pros:  We would have a larger vehicle that our entire family would fit in and we may end up with some extra cash
  • Cons:  All of that extra cash would go toward gas!  NOT fuel efficient at all.  Inconvenient to only have one vehicle.

Option #3:  Sell the old car for $500 and just keep other car

  • Pros:  We would have some extra cash and no additional debt
  • Cons:  We would not be able to go anywhere as a family and would only have one small vehicle

Are you in a similar situation?  Please share your vehicle woes and put in your two cents about the above options.  Which one will it be?  Option#1, 2, or 3?  Our fate rests in your hands!  Until we take it back into our hands of course.

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