Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Van... Is Back....

So today, is a monumental day. I have paid off my car loan. YEAH!!!! Can you hear the crowd going wild?! When I took out my car loan 5+ years ago, I had JUST finished paying off my little sunbird when an old crazy lady rear-ended me and pushed me into the car in front of me, I got double-whiplash, the frame on my car was bent, and the insurance company totaled it and wanted to give me something like $500 for it when it was worth about $3000-4000. (high miles)

At the time I had no intention of getting a new car. Mine was fine. It was literally the same week that I made my last payment that I was rear ended while waiting for a train in Princeton, in front of the Coffee Cup Restaurant... by a lady who had sideswiped a semi just days before. She should NOT Have been driving. At all. So I got my new car. Then not far after that I lost my job unexpectedly (long story, restructuring, my boss got fired, etc.) and had NO JOB and a new car to pay for. So I ended up consolidating a personal loan and the car loan, in order to lower the payments. So now my $12,000 car was over-collateralized at $18,000 but at least I could make the payments (for the most part!) and It has taken me all this freaking time, paying $394 a month, to pay off a car that I have had for about 5.5 years. Whew! You can not believe how relieved and happy I am. Now I just want it to keep running and for no one to HIT me!

The plan is to get a different vehicle this winter, once I get back to work after the baby. After putting a car seat in my car, I see why so many people can't drive cars anymore, even with one kid. Holy CRAP! She can't ride behind me because I can't FIT in the car with the seat behind me. Annoying! Damn Long legs and the big preggo belly don't help that any. But I have a big sized car, and they just don't make them like that anymore! And then I figure if it takes me 5 years to pay off a new car, by then we will have at least two kids, and where will we put TWO car seats and all the other stuff. Ugh. So while an SUV is enticing, the gas prices are not. Unless you go smaller like trailblazer, but the inside of them is actually smaller than my car! Jeez! So more and more, I have been thinking along the lines of an explorer, or something larger, but then it's like, for half the cost of the explorer, you can get a damn nice van!

I hate vans. I have spent my life vowing to never drive a van. But lately.... my smart sense has been coming out and saying "WHY spend $18-30 thousand dollars, that you can't afford, on an SUV with gas mileage that you can't afford" especially when you can get a sweet van for $10-20 thousand. (Sweet van is a relative term.)

And then last night, I see my friend/neighbor Jamie taking Landen out of the van in his car seat, and I was like "man. A van wouldn't be half bad..." and I have driven many van loads of kids in my time. I like the idea of the DVD player, the climate control, the dual sliding doors with remote open and close.... stow and go seats.... The list just goes on and on! So, can you see me, driving a van? Do the dazed81 plates belong on a van? I dunno. A Durango seems so much more appealing. It's like a modern van. Why can't they make vans look nicer?

So, tell me your thoughts on the van.


Michelle said...

Congrats on paying off the car - what an accomplishment!!!

Yea, vans are nice and I wish I had the cash for a new ride but we suffice with my dodge intrepid ... yep, 2 tall parents with 3 kiddies (1 car seat and 1 booster seat) in the back seat. I definitely say, if you can afford a van, do it instead of getting a SUV - just my 2 pennies!

I'm getting anxious for little Ardyn to arrive - can't wait to see pictures of her!

PCinAZ said...

Had a van when my kids were younger (and the vans weren't as nice as they are now). It was really handy for toting them around along with their stuff like strollers, playyards, etc. From strollers and playyards it was good for hauling kids and their friends around. Got rid of the van when I moved to AZ and regretted it. I now have a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer extended version that I am glad I got instead of another van just because I wanted something a little sportier. And, I was never a soccer mom type person. Drove an 84 Mazda RX-7 before buying the minivan. Bottom line is that anything that makes it easier to tote kids and their stuff around is wonderful, even if it isn't your style. Kia Sedona is a pretty good van from what I hear as is the Honda Odyssey. Have fun! I think dazed81 plates would look great on a van! :)

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