Yup, that's me laughing. Because really, what else can you do? We don't have control in life over much, except how we respond to what happens.
Last April, we became debt free except our mortgage. And it felt awesome. For 2 months. Then we discovered our air conditioner in our van didn't work. And of course, you don't discover something like this until it's hot and you need the air conditioning to work so that was not a pleasant trip. The cost to repair it was more than the value of the van. And they weren't done estimating the final cost yet. And they didn't know if it would mess up anything else in the process.
Now, we had two choices. I suppose we actually had three, but keeping a van with no ac was not a choice we considered. So our two choices were to take out a loan or find something that we could pay cash for. We had some cash saved up but not a huge amount.
I adore Dave Ramsey and agree with much of what he says but this is one area we have trouble with. He would say to pay cash and drive around something that is less than pretty while we save up more cash and then trade it in for a better vehicle. I'm not saying that wouldn't work but we don't like worrying about vehicles or dealing with repairs. I'm home with 4 children - I like to know there is a reliable vehicle in my garage for those days that we just need a change of scenery.
So, we went with a loan. We were able to buy a 2007 van with a dvd player and the extra st0w-n-go seating and we love it. We paid off the loan last August and were able to once again say, we're debt free!
And then last week, Josh came home and said the truck was making a horrible sound. His truck is a 95 Chevy that we bought in 98. He had taken it in a few weeks before and was told it needed about $1000 worth of repairs. We were holding off on those because we had just spent $1400 on it last December. With this new noise, the estimated repair was $400 . . . or a new engine rebuild. We had been looking ahead and planned to purchase a new truck sometime in the near future because our current one was an extended cab with only 2 doors and it was not very family-friendly. We all fit, but just barely, and it resembled a clown car watching us all get out. Just when you thought we must be all out because there was no way one more person could be in there, out popped another one. :)
So, as I was saying, we had planned to purchase another truck next year sometime after we had saved up cash. But now we were looking at $1400 in repairs, at least. To a 15-year-old truck that didn't fit us that well and that we didn't really want anymore.
Okay, we give up!
We went shopping Monday night to look at some different trucks and happened to find a 2007 quad cab (4 doors!) with only 17,000 miles! Now that we've accepted that we'll have another loan, I'm excited about this. It would have been nice if we could have had more cash saved up so we could continue to say we're debt-free but that's okay. We'll pay it off as soon as we can and in the meantime, I will love opening the back door for the kids to climb in.