Friday, March 15, 2013

Financial Friday: Learning To Say No To Debt

As you may know, we're van shopping.

No, not because I blew a brake line, but because it's getting older and we want to make sure we have time to shop around while we have the money for it so we don't have to take out another car loan.

On Saturday, we went and checked out a SUV. I love vans because of all the cargo space (very important with three kids, especially when one of them is going to want to start playing sports soon!), but I prefer the look of a SUV.

We happened to find a Subaru Tribecca in our price range and in a color I loved. I was getting my hopes up about it; we really miss having a Subaru, especially with the all wheel drive on our roads and driveway in the winter. However, the cargo space was half of what we currently have, and I had to say 'no' to it. Depressing, yes, but space is more important than the looks.

We looked at a Kia Sedona minivan, but it was smaller than our current van as well. Another no.

Then the salesman brought over a Toyota Sienna, which is my dream van. It was perfect! It had seating for eight, tons of cargo space, the back row of seats folded flat into the van (no more having to take them out for hauling furniture or for trips to the drive in!), and all the bells and whistles we could have ever wanted.

All five of us fell in love.

Then we saw the details: it was a 2011 with just over 14k miles on it. There was no way we'd be able to afford it without taking out a loan.

Would the van last us a long time? Definitely.

Did it have everything we wanted and needed in a new vehicle? Yes!!!!

But could we afford it? Probably, but at what cost? We'd be tied down to another loan, and we've worked so hard to get out of debt and build up our savings so we wouldn't have to get another loan when it came time to get a vehicle.

We said no. We walked away. We had to. It wasn't easy, but we wouldn't have enjoyed the van knowing how much debt we would have been in.

We have a couple other Siennas we're going to check out. They're not as new, and have a lot more miles on them. But both are relatively in our budget and should last us a few years. As long as there are no other problems with our current van, we're hoping to trade it in, haggle, and we'll still be able to pay cash without completely draining our savings account.

And we'll drive the new van away, excited to drive it knowing that it's paid in full.

When have you had to say no to something that was out of your budget? Have you ever said yes to debt and regretted it later?

1 comment:

  1. I was going to post this, but Chris would die from embarrassment.

    We really wanted to add on to our house. We really felt we NEEDED to add on to house. We really, really, REALLY wanted to add on to our house.

    We got estimates. Wow! Were we surprised! It turns out that adding on to a house is quite expensive. Who knew? Well, to tell the truth, we did. We had asked a builder friend last year what it would cost just off the top of his head. He told us and we began saving and saving and saving.

    Well, it turns out that prices go up as the years go by. Technically, we could afford the addition. But it would wipe us out complete! I mean completely. As in, we can't afford luxuries like the $50 new diaper wraps although ours are pretty much falling apart. So, we thought and prayed about it. And we prayed and thought about it. We came to the conclusion that an addition was not worth the money stress.

    Now, I am so thankful that we prayed and thought about it. We have had so many "emergencies" that we would have been crazy about. 1. Our tree needs to be fixed. A huge chunk is dead and parts of it have already fallen down. $500! 2. Our septic tank needed to be pumped. The guy told us it is really old and could go at any time. $1000! 3. I have a cavity! Don't know the price. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Thank you God for finical wisdom.