Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Almost Minivan Time!

We've been talking about buying this stinking van for months and months now.  We argued about the van, dreamed about the van, and remember when I was stupid enough to go test drive a $24,500 Odyssey and then come home and try to sell Evan on how we could "probably make the payments work?"  I even came up with an incredibly stupid plan for how to buy one.  Ah, the days before the Total Money Makeover.  I was such an idiot.
But, gone are those days!  Just a couple weeks past our one year anniversary of being on the TMMO and we are starting to plan out a van-buying trip down to Illinois where we will (hopefully) drive home with a Honda Odyssey we paid for in cash.

Man, did it ever feel good to type that last sentence.

It hasn't been easy, but over the last year we were able to save up to put a new roof over our heads as well as set aside money every month for a van.  Thanks to a generous gift from some family that gave us a much needed boost, we are now equipped with the funds to go make our purchase. 

On his last trip to China, Evan listened to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and picked up some helpful tips on purchasing a vehicle Ramsey-style.  He told me we should expand our search to up to 250 miles away from where we live.  At first I thought he was crazy, but then he asked, "If someone said they would pay you $1000 to drive down to Rockford and back, would you do it?"  I replied with, "Of course! Duh!" 

Oh.....I get it!

To Autotrader.com I went and searched for up to 200 miles away.  Lo and behold, we had literally dozens of Odysseys to choose from, all within our price range!  *Happy Dance!*

The master plan is for Evan to take a couple vacation days from work and we'll ship the kids off for an overnight at Grandma's house.  We'll drive down to Illinois and spend the first day on a test-driving binge.  That night, we'll weigh our options and rank our choices.  Day Two will be spent trying to strike a deal and make a purchase.  Knowing that we have several other options at our fingertips will give us much more bargaining power and being able to skip over the hassle of needing financing is HUGE.  Who knows?  Maybe we'll even be able to drive home and pick up our kids in the new Swagger Wagon!

We're hoping to have this done by the second week of June, so stay tuned! 

Delane, I'll be expecting my bumper sticker in the mail by July 1st.  :)

And if you're really bored or care to see what we're going to be test driving, here is the link to the search I ran on Autotrader.  Of course, we've narrowed this down quite a bit and some will be gone before we make our trek and perhaps some new ones will be added to the list, but you get the idea.




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