Embracing The Car Payment

Being a grown up is hard.

When Brent and I first got married, I drove a 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit.  I loved that car but it wasn’t very practical.  It had a leak in the back and possibly extremely toxic and hazardous mushrooms grew on the floor in the back seat.  One day Brent and I decided on a whim to go check out the VW dealership and, a few hour later, we drove home a 1999 VW Golf.  Brent had a panic attack.

I felt toooootally ok with adding an extra $350 to our monthly expenditures and it didn’t even phase me that it would be HARD to pay that car off.  Well then I got pregnant and we went down to a single income and, after five annoying years, we finally paid off the car.

We enjoyed the fact that it was paid off.  We LOVED having no car payments.  We loved it soooooo much that….well…we still own that car.  In fact it’s still our family vehicle.  We fit us, two growing boys and a basset hound into a Volkswagen Golf.  For those of you who don’t know cars…this is what I mean…


That’s my car…minus the sunroof and we have cooler rims, a LOT more scratches and a missing light on the bumper.  Once upon a time it had keyless entry, but the remote broke and because I’m too cheap to pay $100 to have a remote unlock my car for me, I never got it fixed.  There’s also manual windows too…so you have to do that old-fashioned thing and crank the windows down by hand.  It’s really annoying when a friend drives up on the passenger’s side and wants to yell a quick “hi”….sorry…I can’t roll down my window…..there’s no button for that.

All that car had going for it was air conditioning, the broken remote and an alarm.  All are now broken.  Brent fixes everything on that car but really, only the things that actually keep the car running.  He tried the AC and $75 later, nothing good came of it.

There’s a lot of things we can’t do in that car.  It’s good for tearing around the city but I’m a major camper and would spend an entire summer out camping if I could.  Camping cannot happen in that car.  The basset hound takes up half of the hatchback.  The suitcase goes in the other half.  We must pack lightly for road trips.

The only good thing about putting a basset hound in a hatchback is that it’s funny watching me hoist her in there.  First her front paws which she USED to put up there herself but then realized I would do it for her, then I get my hands around her belly and lift the rest of her sausage body up and into it.  Her legs are like 3 inches long….she can’t make her way up much of anything.

I just realized that it doesn’t matter what vehicle we own…there will always be hound hoisting.

Anyway, so we’ve known we need a bigger vehicle for a while.  We were very much planning on getting one this summer so we had room for spawn #3 (sad moment).  People wanting to camp with us is just making us want a bigger vehicle more and more and more.  So off we went hunting for the minivan of our dreams.

OK so not the minivan of our dreams….we can’t afford any sort of dream car. 

After pissing off a German car salesman, (We tend to piss off salesmen.  Their selling tactics just look like selling tactics to us and we can’t fall for it.  They end up rather huffy by the end.  It’s kinda funny)  we moved to a different car dealership with a salesman that I know.  Now we are waiting on loan approval and hopefully we will be into a minivan soon.

This gives me very very large amounts of anxiety and I’ve been kind of freaking out all day, unlike the young 20-something Leah that had no issue with going into debt for something.  Even though I KNOW we can afford it, even though I KNOW Brent was spending more than what we will be paying on cigarettes when he was a smoker.  It just never feels like there’s enough money.  And I freaking hate car payments.

Here’s where being an adult sucks.  We need to do this for our family. We need to have a vehicle that allows our family to have more positive experiences.  We need something safer.  We need something that’s new enough that it feels more reliable.  We have “made do” (something I’m very very good at) for a very very long time now.

It’s time to embrace the car payment.


  1. you got to do what you got to do…..it will be fine you’ll see. And maybe then you can come to Manitoba and swim in our pool and go to Tinkertown and see family, and more. You will love the new wheels.

  2. You had me laughing at the hound-hoisting image. I hate car payments!! I’ve only had one, and the 6 years felt much longer. We are thankful to have two vehicles that are paid off, but we have spent quite a bit over the last three years on repairs. I know someday we will probably have to suck it up and take out a loan for a new or newer vehicle, but I’m going to pretend that is not the case for now.

    I’m sure that you will be able to make things work financially. I think it’s great that you are making positive family experiences a priority. Camping sounds like fun. I haven’t done it in 4 or 5 years and really need to!
    Hayley from Love Art Baby recently posted..{Letter to My Son} 18 monthsMy Profile

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