Have you ever had that moment where momentum on all your financial goals halts because you somehow forgot about a planned bump in the road? I’m not talking about the surprises in life, like when a tree falls on your car or the basement floods.  I’m talking when its 3 weeks till Christmas and you have no gifts and somehow forgot to put money aside for any so you have to either charge it or pull money from some other reserve.  I’m sure for many this happens at least once in a while but I never imagined it’d happen to me since being so aware of our finances.

I have a plan for everything and allocate money very specifically to stay on track of things.  So, I found myself quite baffled when I realized I neglected the fact that we need a bigger vehicle since our family is growing.  I have a car replacement fund, which has roughly $3500 in it currently.  Our 2 cars are in great condition and should have lasted us at least 3 more years, so I thought I was doing great with that fund.  Unfortunately, cramming 3 kids, all in car seats, into a 5 passenger vehicle isn’t going to be manageable for long, if it’s even possible.

I never wanted a car payment again, especially if in entails paying interest on a loan.  So now I have to crunch numbers and figure out how to make this work.  I’ve looked at used prices of crossovers and SUVs and they haven’t really lost a considerable amount of value to rule out getting a new vehicle.

My Vehicle Options

  1. Sell 2002 Mazda with 100,000 miles on it for a low end estimate of $3000.  Add that to the current car fund plus $3000, which I can save within the next 6 months and get a new car with a 0% interest loan (I will not get a loan if I have to pay interest.)
  2. Sell 2007 Honda with 80,000 miles for roughly $7000.  Add to car fund and $3000 and get new car with 0% interest.   I can get more money out of the Fit but the downside is it is more reliable and gets better mileage than the Mazda.
  3. Postpone getting a new car till I absolutely have to so I can save as much as possible to hopefully pay in cash.  This will only work if 3 car seats fit into the back of at least one car.  If so, I could stretch it for another year or maybe 2 before upgrading cars, which would be great!

Only other factor here is my husband.  He does not feel the same way I do about taking on a car payment and it’s hard for me to keep getting his hopes down about getting a new car.  He hates the Mazda, which he drives, and would get a new car today if I let him.

Any option I choose puts a huge bump into my other financial goals but of course it needs to get done so I’ll adjust to make things work. But I won’t be happy about it, ha.  I’m sorta beating myself up about not even realizing this was coming up so soon.

Readers:  Got any wrenches thrown into your plans that you should have fully expected but somehow slipped your mind?