After finding out I was pregnant, early this year we traded in our beautiful coupe on our current car. It was before we started on our mission to become debt-free. We knew that we wanted to try to go down in car for the sake of cheaper payments but we also wanted a third-row seat and no mini-vans. I really didn't want a van. I know, materialistic isn't it? If it gets you from point A to point B it shouldn't matter what it looks like. But somehow it still mattered.
We traded in our coupe on a late model used Toyota Highlander with a third row so we could fit lots of kids inside. We got what we felt was a good deal on it, and we were happy. It was still a rather expensive loan with high monthly payments because we rolled in negative equity.
Enter the major revolution in our lives to become debt-free. After listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show, we heard over and over "dump the car." It made sense. We pay more for a car payment than some people we know pay for housing. Yikes.
Why exactly were we hanging on to a depreciating hunk of metal? What made it so more "valuable" than a cheaper car? Reliability? Looks? My husband can fix anything, and my dad knows a lot about cars, so we would be okay if it needed occasional repairs. Looks- well, I would just have to live what I believe is true- that material possessions are not what this world is about. All that really matters to us is that the car is pretty reliable and that it fits our growing family. My spouse's car will not hold our family, so this would be the only car we could all ride in. It's important that it won't break down frequently.
So, here we are, trying to "dump the car" as Dave says. It is a lovely vehicle, and we haven't had a single problem with it. It runs as well as every new car we have bought. Our biggest problem now is that we owe more on it than it's worth. We have negative equity in it.
If we get a loan for a cheaper car, we would have to find a way to finance the difference that we owe on the Highlander. At this point, we are shopping for a much older used car and trying to find out how to finance the difference. We could possibly get a personal loan at a bank, or put it on a very low-interest credit card. There are a lot of important decisions to make. We don't want to make the same mistakes that we have made in the past. Decisions like these are not easily made when you are trying to get the best deal and get out of debt.
Something that is comforting to us is that the whole situation is going to work out in God's timing. We are praying to make the right decisions and that God will open the doors for us to allow us to get out of debt. It's hard not to try to figure it all out on my own (as I often try to do), but I know that if it is in God's will for us, He will make it happen.