I really wanted to share this post for a long time, but it's been a pretty emotional issue for me. I don't even like to talk about it, but I've also learned so much that I couldn't help but blog about it.
This post is about my vehicle. It's a minivan. From 1997.
We bought this Plymouth Voyager in 2003, a few months before Dabney was born. We brought each of our babies home from the hospital in this van. It has taken us to North Dakota, Texas, North Carolina, Utah and through all of those states inbetween.
The odometer shows it.
As the years went by and we needed more leg room for the kids, I figured we needed a bigger car.
When we hit 150,000 miles, I figured we definitely had car shopping in out near future.
When we couldn't fit all the Costco groceries and all the family members in the van at the same time, I knew we needed a new car.
As our babies grew in number, I always figured we'd get a new car because we needed one. Especially when I was pregnant with Aaron. We needed another seat and seatbelt! Hurray! We need another car! PLEASE! Imagine my reaction when my creative and incredibly thrifty husband went to the salvage yard 2 days later and found a 3 seat belt minivan bench seat to replace the 2 seat belt bench seat so we "don't need to buy a new car"! Yeah, imagine my pregnancy hormone induced reaction. Not. Pretty.
Buying a car is not a big deal for most Americans. You pick the car you like, go down to the lot, get a good interest rate, sign the papers and drive away on your merry way. And you pay for it for at least the next 4+ years. And you also pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest. We don't want to go that route. A few years ago, thanks to Dave Ramsey, we decided that we would not be borrowing any more money, and especially not for a car payment.
With a growing family and 5 kids and one income, saving money is not easy. We have been saving money for a car inconsistently for 3 years. It has been such a long, long road. I've been dreaming of a newer car for much longer than 3 years.
I've dreamed so much about our future vehicle, that I've even bought a few little accessories for it. My little dream car stock pile is only stash of little clearance items I've picked up along the journey: a new key chain, a down mitten ice scraper, a coffee sleeve to keep in the car, a packable shopping bag to stow in the back for the shopping trips in the vehicle that will fit my kids and giant packages of toilet paper (not that the bag will fit the toilet paper...), and my favorite scent from Yankee Candle (Ocean Water!) in a car air freshener. Ironically, buying these little treats have kept me motivated to save money for the big purchase. They remind me why our budget has been so tight for so long.
God has been gracious to us in the last few months and we've been saving money like never before. He's granted us an opportunity to earn money for our savings specifically and we are so grateful. To be completely honest, I don't know when this vehicle will be moving into our garage, but I'm pretty sure it will be quite soon. We're still waiting on God's perfect timing and a perfect deal. In the meantime, we're amazed at God's provision and we're filled with hope.