Personal Finance Blog, Saving

The Black Sheep Bought a New Ride!

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With another baby due in January of 2018, my wife and I have been looking for a larger vehicle to accommodate our (still) growing family.  We went into our search with several key things we were looking for.  We made our own list of demands for the Black Sheep Family’s new ride.  But, I’ll get to that in just a bit…

You see, every time we make financial decisions or a major purchase, our emotions can get in our way and cloud our judgment on making smart decisions.  Now, I’m not saying that we should NEVER buy something that makes us happy or not ever be picky about certain things even.  But, we should weigh our options and ask ourselves what is really important to us at the end of the day.

For example, we are getting ready to start building our dream home in the next few years.  This will be the home we want our kids to grow up in, and that my wife and I want to retire in when the kids head out to start their own lives.  We’ll have large Thanksgivings and Christmas dinners there with our kids and grandkids (I’m getting old just thinking about it), and for the remaining 90% of the year, my wife and I will do whatever the hell we want, just enjoying each other and our land!

While we’ll be practical, and make good financial decisions while we’re building it, we will spend more on certain things that we like, just because we want to… and because that’s what we’ve worked all these years for.  It’s okay to do that every once in a while, when it’s REALLY that important to you and when you can afford it.

Now, back to the car…  Our list of wants includes: a black SUV with enough storage in the back for a family our size, captains seats in the middle row – so we can get all the kids and car seats in without it being a complete circus/debacle every time – which basically limits us to a Suburban or Yukon XL, black leather interior and a dvd player.

It’s also worth mentioning that we are a one car family, which makes our preferences a little weightier, since we are only spending money on one vehicle.  So, we went in search of our perfect, used because we NEVER buy new, family vehicle with those things in mind and here are a few that we found:

Which vehicle would you say is the better buy/deal?

Details Vehicle A Vehicle B Vehicle C
Model Year 2013 2011 2011
Mileage  153,000  97,620  58,000
MPG 15 City/ 21 Hwy 15 City/ 21 Hwy 19 City/ 24 Hwy
Cost  $22,000.00  $24,000.00  $16,500.00

Before you read anything else… AGAIN,

Which vehicle would you say is the better buy/deal?

That’s a no-brainer, right?  Well, as you can clearly see, it is almost equally as ridiculous to get a used Suburban as it is to buy a new one.  If you’ve never looked at Suburbans or Yukon XLs, those prices already sound totally absurd the moment you see them…. That’s what we thought too.  I mean, seriously, who would ever pay that much for something that is probably not going to last longer than 5-7 years without needing some major repairs?

If we could have found one in the $15K range that was well kept, we would’ve planned to spend a few thousand dollars to drop another engine in, and get another ~12-15 years out of it when that one went out.   We did find one that was reasonably priced, but the guy had already sold it by the time we called him.

So, Vehicles A and B were the types we REALLY wanted, and Vehicle C was everything we DID NOT WANT.  Vehicles A and B were black Suburbans with black interior.  And, Unexpected Vehicle C was a white Nissan Quest mini-van, with light gray leather interior…. Oh, shit!  We are not ready for this!

Important: My wife absolutely HATES vans and has always said she would NEVER drive one (no offense to anyone who owns a van, but that’s just personal preference)… she’s a stay-at-home mom and we have 5 kids already.  Every minute of her day is a constant reminder of that, which any stay-at-home mom would understand.  For her, getting a van would be like getting the last nail in the coffin…  With as many sacrifices as she already makes, she really wanted a Suburban, so that’s what we went looking for.

Personally, I didn’t want a van either… I really didn’t…

BUT, an automobile is a depreciating asset (a home usually is not btw).. You will almost ALWAYS loose money on your automobile.  Your constantly depreciating vehicle really only needs to do just a few things:

  1. Get you where you need to go, so you can actually MAKE money to spend on non-depreciating assets.
  2. Provide enough room for your family members, for things like:
    1. Getting the kids to and from school, activities, etc.
    2. Taking family trips – to see other family, vacations, etc.
  3. Be reliable

That said… the things that are important to us, when it comes to our vehicles, do not come close to carrying the same weight as something like our home would.

So, what did we do about the new ride?

Obviously, you already know.  When my wife saw the van, she told me we should look at it and consider it ( I’m so proud of you babes 😉 ).   We pretty much knew right away that it was the “best” choice for all practical purposes: it was a great vehicle, at a very reasonable price, that had everything we really needed, that would last us many years.  Like we do with every major decision, we went home and slept on it anyway… In the morning we went back and bought it.

We’re now some Black Sheep that own a Mutha Lovin’ van…. because we just don’t give a damn!  And you’ll be seeing us, riding around in our super-luxurious swag wagon, with our middle finger in the air saying, “Eff The Joneses!” And, waving to the other millionaires and soon-to-be millionaires who don’t care about what they drive, as long as it serves the purpose.

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