Author Topic: Please punch me in the face  (Read 11181 times)

Ddub925

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Please punch me in the face
« on: April 22, 2015, 11:06:43 AM »
Ok here it goes...

A few months ago I was obsessed with this blog and read the whole damn thing. I was ready to be the ultimate mustachian. But since finishing the blog I have been pulled back in to the sucka consumer lifestyle. I learned that my wife is pregnant with twins, which will give us 4 kids! I read the "your only allowed to have one kid" article too late. So, I feel like I have to have a minivan. We have a 7 passenger 2010 Highlander that will seat all of us, but leave no room in the back for strollers, etc. We owe 5.8k on the Highlander that we bought new and recently refinanced to give us a 168 note (to free up cash flow to pay off credit card debt, 18k). Its valued at 17k KBB private party. We also have a 2006 Toyota Avalon with 133k miles paid off valued at 8.5k KBB private party. Ive listed it for sale but have gotten no interest. Ive actually considered trading it in and LEASING a brand new Toyota Sienna. My train of thought: no one wants to buy my car, 10 year old used siennas with 100k miles are going for 15k, I might as well buy new for 30, might as well lease for the lower note to allow me to get rid of my other debt and then save to buy the leased van for the residual value (I think 21k). My wife is maintaining that we need to keep the SUV because we both need the ability to transport all 4 kids at any time. Someone please punch me in the face and help me give some logical options to help my wife and I come to an agreement on a reasonable vehicle fleet for our growing family. We will both continue to work and both have about 20 mile commute in opposite directions.

MDM

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 11:34:22 AM »
With minimal planning you should be able to have only one of the two be 6-passenger vehicle and have it work.  Worked for us having one sedan and one minivan w/ 5 kids.  See http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/more-than-3-kids/ for more thoughts.  Good luck!

okits

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 11:35:56 AM »
Is it absolutely necessary to have two vehicles that can transport all the kids, or is that just a convenience (avoidable with advance planning, coordination, communication?)

How many of your kids genuinely need strollers?  I assume at least one of them is walking. Do you baby-wear?  With twins you can use a twin carrier or do one front, one back.  A minivan seems like overkill just so you can put strollers in the trunk.  You kids won't spend more than a couple of years using them.

Ask yourself, "if we were broke and couldn't take on any more debt, how would we handle the transportation situation?"  Because I'm sure there is a more frugal way, it just sounds like a spendy option is the solution you'd naturally turn to (but could avoid).

I read that MMM article as "you are allowed to have only one child", not "you are only allowed to have one child".  There are a few threads around about large families, have a read as they may be helpful.

mandy_2002

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 11:39:16 AM »
I believe that it was "You are allowed to have only one kid," as in you don't HAVE to have multiple.  It's not a put down to multiple kids, but the revelation of an option many people don't consider. 

I don' t have kids, but here's my advice.  You do not need two vehicles to haul all the kids.  You (will) only have 4 kids, not 8.  They can only be in one place at a time.  If the problem is that you can't share or swap vehicles, that's a different story.  When you've got 2 cars for all of them, you've also got 2 car seats/booster seats per child.  May be worth it for convenience, but the cost of the doubles adds up.  You seem to have a lot of money stuff going on in your cars, but I'll only say one thing:  you have enough of them.  Don't go get another one.  Figure out the best plan with your current fleet and try to sell. 

tlars699

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 11:51:36 AM »
I can fit 3 car seats next to each other in a Chevrolet Impala's backseat, so I'm fairly certain that a 7 passenger car should be able to swing 4 carseats.

The only reason I can think of that you would need 2 cars is because one of you is on a different schedule from the other.
If you're both on 1st shift (8-5pm), then one person should be able to drop off and pick up the kids, easy peasy.

I think the bigger problem is the 20 mile commute in opposite directions, and the mentality that you need to lease the 30K option because it's only DOUBLE the 15K price.

Seriously, go re-read the get excited about 10$ post, and commuting reduction posts again, and calm down. You can do it!

Ddub925

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 12:34:23 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions everyone. Im actually the one chomping at the bit to do something with our Cars. My wife isnt that freaked out about it, shes willing to see if we can make it work with the cars we have. I think the worst thing I can do right now is dig our debt hole deeper. I may still sell my car and buy the 2k corolla. and extra 6k wouldnt be a bad thing right now!

neo von retorch

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 12:59:19 PM »
When I was a kid (youngest of 4) my parents had a '76 Buick Skylark and a '78 Chevrolet Truck for several years. We were fine. Later the Buick was replaced with a full-sized van and were the kings of luxury!

The only time all six of us had to be in the car at the same time was that one day each fall we piled into the truck and went upstate to hike. I know, I know - safety! But somehow we rode in the back of the truck 3 hours each way and all survived. (If anything siblings might be the real danger to each other.. :)!)

ohana

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 01:46:46 PM »
We also have a 2006 Toyota Avalon with 133k miles paid off valued at 8.5k KBB private party. Ive listed it for sale but have gotten no interest.

You're probably asking too much for it then.  There's a buyer for every car.

Take it to Carmax.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2015, 02:44:29 PM »
Just stick with the 2 cars you have, both can hold 5 people, (enough for 1 of you + 4 kids), and then when you need to hold 6 people you still have the highlander, and if you are both going to be there then so will the highlander. I don't understand what the issue is.

ENL

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2015, 03:23:27 PM »
Just stick with the 2 cars you have, both can hold 5 people, (enough for 1 of you + 4 kids), and then when you need to hold 6 people you still have the highlander, and if you are both going to be there then so will the highlander. I don't understand what the issue is.

Kids can't ride in the front seat of cars.

JLee

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2015, 03:35:54 PM »
Just stick with the 2 cars you have, both can hold 5 people, (enough for 1 of you + 4 kids), and then when you need to hold 6 people you still have the highlander, and if you are both going to be there then so will the highlander. I don't understand what the issue is.

Kids can't ride in the front seat of cars.

Most modern vehicles have (should have?) a weight sensor to disable the airbag for the front passenger seat if a certain weight limit is reached (I believe the Avalon is 60lbs, but I could be mistaken).  My Tacoma had a switch that let you disable it with the ignition key.

MDM

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2015, 03:42:06 PM »
Kids can't ride in the front seat of cars.
Most modern vehicles have (should have?) a weight sensor to disable the airbag for the front passenger seat if a certain weight limit is reached (I believe the Avalon is 60lbs, but I could be mistaken).  My Tacoma had a switch that let you disable it with the ignition key.
(Un)fortunately (depending on your perspective), many states have "kids can't ride in the front" as a law.  See http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/childsafety_laws.html

MayDay

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2015, 03:58:21 PM »
With 4 kids, two of whom will be in car seats for the next decade almost, I would For Sure go for the minivan.  That said, I'd trade in the highlander for a similar priced minivan, and keep the other car as is.  It will take about a day of trying to vault two older kids into the way back (good luck with that if they are in car seats or boosters still too, lol, and you have to somehow get back there to buckle and unbuckle) before you are screaming for the minivan.  Getting everyone in and out of that vecle will add time on either side of what already promises to be a super fun morning routine. 

But, big but, what are your work hours?  It's hugely unfair for two working parents with similar hours required and similar responsibilities, to not split daycare drop off/pick up.  Hopefully you can arrange it so one of you does m/w/f and the other does t/r or something like that, rather than one doing mornings, one afternoons.  But for me and my kid, when H and I were both working full time, doing that meant the kid had a seriously long day in a daycare and we weren't ok with that. That required me to go into work early, and pick up the kid at a reasonable time, while h dropped the kid off later and then worked later.  YMMV.  But I can certainly see why you would want two vehicles that can hold all the munchkins. 

And even if it's legal to put a kid in the front seat (it is in my state if younger children are filling up all back seats) it's the kind of thing I consider acceptable in "emergency" situations, but not in a daily basis.  I don't have any data to cite, it's just a gut feeling, so someone feel free to prove me wrong on the safety of that.

Psychstache

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2015, 04:08:57 PM »


When I was a kid (youngest of 4) my parents had a '76 Buick Skylark

Was it metallic mint green?

JLee

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2015, 04:09:50 PM »
Kids can't ride in the front seat of cars.
Most modern vehicles have (should have?) a weight sensor to disable the airbag for the front passenger seat if a certain weight limit is reached (I believe the Avalon is 60lbs, but I could be mistaken).  My Tacoma had a switch that let you disable it with the ignition key.
(Un)fortunately (depending on your perspective), many states have "kids can't ride in the front" as a law.  See http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/childsafety_laws.html
Vermont and Virginia specify rear seat unless the front airbag is deactivated. I see numerous states listing "rear seat if available;" I would argue that if there are four children to seat and there are only three rear seats in addition to one front seat, that there would be no "available" rear seat for the fourth child - therefore front seating would be acceptable under the law.  However, I was a police officer - not a judge or attorney, and New Hampshire didn't have a back-seat law. :)

MDM

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2015, 04:12:09 PM »
I would argue that if there are four children to seat and there are only three rear seats in addition to one front seat, that there would be no "available" rear seat for the fourth child - therefore front seating would be acceptable under the law.  However, I was a police officer - not a judge or attorney, and New Hampshire didn't have a back-seat law. :)

Not fair - you are being reasonable!  And maybe all the state laws are too, but...?

Ddub925

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2015, 04:30:39 PM »
With 4 kids, two of whom will be in car seats for the next decade almost, I would For Sure go for the minivan.  That said, I'd trade in the highlander for a similar priced minivan, and keep the other car as is.  It will take about a day of trying to vault two older kids into the way back (good luck with that if they are in car seats or boosters still too, lol, and you have to somehow get back there to buckle and unbuckle) before you are screaming for the minivan.  Getting everyone in and out of that vecle will add time on either side of what already promises to be a super fun morning routine. 

But, big but, what are your work hours?  It's hugely unfair for two working parents with similar hours required and similar responsibilities, to not split daycare drop off/pick up.  Hopefully you can arrange it so one of you does m/w/f and the other does t/r or something like that, rather than one doing mornings, one afternoons.  But for me and my kid, when H and I were both working full time, doing that meant the kid had a seriously long day in a daycare and we weren't ok with that. That required me to go into work early, and pick up the kid at a reasonable time, while h dropped the kid off later and then worked later.  YMMV.  But I can certainly see why you would want two vehicles that can hold all the munchkins. 

And even if it's legal to put a kid in the front seat (it is in my state if younger children are filling up all back seats) it's the kind of thing I consider acceptable in "emergency" situations, but not in a daily basis.  I don't have any data to cite, it's just a gut feeling, so someone feel free to prove me wrong on the safety of that.

Thanks Mayday! Im in CA, my wife says we cant have our 5 year old in front seat until hes 10 yrs old BUT I just looked it up and according to the CHP if the rear seats are occupied he can ride in a booster in the front. That solves a lot of problems! I agree we sell the highlander and get the van. We have more "equity" in it. My wife instantly rejected this proposition. I think shes afraid to be seen in a minivan lol. I hope your right about once she tries to buckle everyone up she will change her mind quickly! I wouldnt mind using the van mostly and giving her the car, but Im in sales and do more driving. Plus, want to keep mileage minimal on the van so that it lasts us longer. My original plan was to sell the Avalon and buy a Corolla AND a van, and only use the van on family outings.

Currently with 2 kids, we both do drop off and pick up with 1 as they go to seperate places (older preschool, younger Nanas) Not sure what we are going to do about Childcare with the twins. Ideally one of us can be a stay at home parent but dont know how we can swing it financially. I net @ 4k / mo plus commissions (2-20k per quarter) + get a caddilac health plan for the family, she is an assistant principle at an elementary school and nets @ 6k per month. We live in the SF Bay Area.

Longwaytogo

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2015, 05:23:20 PM »
I only have 2 kids but watch my niece and nephew full time. So pretty much have 4 kids to transport to and from pre-school, groceries, etc. My 5 year old has been riding in the front seat of my ford fusion (probably similar sized to your Avalon) since she was 3. The airbag shuts off automatically if under 60 pounds (which of course she is).

Many people have told me it was illegal; it's not. Just not recommended. I can't afford (nor do I really want) a new 7 passenger car. So fuck it, me, wife, sister and brother-in law are OK with it so it is what it is. The hardest part is strapping the middle kid in the back in! Takes being a contortionist, really sucks in rain/snow. But luckily I only have to do it a couple times a week and most of our trips are short non rush hour.

Congrats on the twins!

neo von retorch

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2015, 05:13:44 AM »


When I was a kid (youngest of 4) my parents had a '76 Buick Skylark

Was it metallic mint green?

I wish - sadly it was a pretty boring beige (or unwashed white... ?)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2015, 05:30:40 AM »
Is your sales job tied to SF Bay? That's a damn good salary most places. Your wife could also switch to a job elsewhere but her salary would fall precipitously in LCOL areas.

MayDay

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2015, 06:20:10 AM »
Well, if she is the one doing the hellacious loading of 4 kids, and she wants to keep the highlander, then who are you to complain?  Personally I'd rather do the car shopping while pregnant, and not once the babies arrive, but I will bet you actual money that after about a week of being back at work, she decides she wants the van.

Good luck figuring everything out. 

Merrie

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2015, 11:19:57 AM »
Don't lease a vehicle just for the cash flow boost. Figure out some other solution to cash flow. In the long run you really lose out.

We bought a 2011 4-cylinder Sienna used last year for 18k (or maybe it was 17k). We got a great deal because it was 4 cylinder; the 6 cylinder ones are a lot more expensive. I agree the resale market is frustrating, but I don't think "used ones are expensive so let's just get a new one" is very good logic. You lose a lot to depreciation.

Can you hold where you are and just deal with it? If you are doing 2 different child care destinations and you each go to one of the two places you don't have to have all 4 kids in the car at once very often anyway. If it becomes a real pain you can have this same conversation with your wife a year from now. You don't HAVE to fix this problem now.

Don't buy a bigger car just to hold your strollers. Get a better stroller. It'll be way cheaper than a new car. LOL. We have never had a stroller to put a baby bucket on, but I'm told it's hard to avoid with twins. Even so you should be able to find something that folds up pretty small. You can make the big ones walk most of the time and borrow/rent a stroller when you go to somewhere that requires a lot of walking.

Everyone I know seems to think a double stroller is essential for 2 kids close in age. Ours are 2 1/2 years apart and we managed to avoid it. Even if you go to the zoo, most of the time one or the other kid wants to be carried anyway; we did the zoo with 3 kids and 1 stroller and just rotated who was in the stroller according to their preferences of the moment. Just some thoughts on why you might not need as much stroller capacity as you think.

Merrie

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2015, 11:25:29 AM »
Or... hire a nanny or get Grandma to come to your place, thereby removing the need to do so many childcare dropoffs?

mlejw6

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2015, 12:19:40 PM »


When I was a kid (youngest of 4) my parents had a '76 Buick Skylark

Was it metallic mint green?

LOL! Love that movie!

RainyWindow

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2015, 12:29:45 PM »
As a parent of 4 myself, having two vehicles that can move one adult + 4 kids eliminates a lot of stress.  Reducing stress is super valuable because YOU HAVE 4 KIDS AND YOUR LIFE IS CRAZY.  (mine is anyway) 

I'd consider downgrading when the opportunity presents itself.  We have 2 6 passenger vehicles each worth about 5g.  They have served us well and we don't have to worry when one gets hit with a baseball bat, scratched by bikes, etc.


CheapskateWife

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2015, 12:54:35 PM »
I predict a minivan in OP's future....about 4 weeks post partum.

Seriously though, I've had 3 in carseats at one time, and the van was an excellent alternative to squeezing them all in the back seat of my Mazda Protege :)  We've had our Dodge Grand Caravan for 7 years, 130K miles and moved cross country 3 times.  It's not sexy, but it gets the job done. 

Kaplin261

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2015, 12:58:01 PM »
A stroller is a convenience item. If your child can walk let him walk. I have a 17 month old who has been walking for 10 months now. When we go places I let him walk and some times hold him to give his little legs a break. He should be getting exercise and a stroller takes that away from him. He does what he wants to do and tries to run off some times, we have tried a leash and it works for the most part.

DollarBill

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2015, 02:41:44 PM »
You can always add a hitch carrier for gear.

stlbrah

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2015, 02:46:02 PM »
Ok here it goes...

A few months ago I was obsessed with this blog and read the whole damn thing. I was ready to be the ultimate mustachian. But since finishing the blog I have been pulled back in to the sucka consumer lifestyle. I learned that my wife is pregnant with twins, which will give us 4 kids! I read the "your only allowed to have one kid" article too late. So, I feel like I have to have a minivan. We have a 7 passenger 2010 Highlander that will seat all of us, but leave no room in the back for strollers, etc. We owe 5.8k on the Highlander that we bought new and recently refinanced to give us a 168 note (to free up cash flow to pay off credit card debt, 18k). Its valued at 17k KBB private party. We also have a 2006 Toyota Avalon with 133k miles paid off valued at 8.5k KBB private party. Ive listed it for sale but have gotten no interest. Ive actually considered trading it in and LEASING a brand new Toyota Sienna. My train of thought: no one wants to buy my car, 10 year old used siennas with 100k miles are going for 15k, I might as well buy new for 30, might as well lease for the lower note to allow me to get rid of my other debt and then save to buy the leased van for the residual value (I think 21k). My wife is maintaining that we need to keep the SUV because we both need the ability to transport all 4 kids at any time. Someone please punch me in the face and help me give some logical options to help my wife and I come to an agreement on a reasonable vehicle fleet for our growing family. We will both continue to work and both have about 20 mile commute in opposite directions.

off topic question, but how can you trade in a purchased vehicle on a lease?

MayDay

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2015, 05:59:02 PM »
I think you *can* get by without a stroller, but I really cannot imagine trying to go places with 4 very small children and no way to contain at least 50% of them.

On the other hand, if I had 4 small children I don't know that leaving the house with them all would really ever be worth it.  I'm trying to picture trying to corral them all through a grocery store and my brain is breaking.

Longwaytogo

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2015, 08:08:28 PM »
I think you *can* get by without a stroller, but I really cannot imagine trying to go places with 4 very small children and no way to contain at least 50% of them.

On the other hand, if I had 4 small children I don't know that leaving the house with them all would really ever be worth it.  I'm trying to picture trying to corral them all through a grocery store and my brain is breaking.

I've went grocery shopping with a 1,2,3 and 4 year old every other week or so until last month. Still do it but Now they are are 2,2,4 and 5 :)

They are pretty well behaved honestly and everyone always says hi to us. The bakery lady also laughs as I'm guessing not many swing through for 4 free cookies. We always do bakery last so they can eat in check out line. If they are bad in store they don't get a cookie.

They actually have these wide carts now that are a toy car on the front (sort of like the red/yellow fisher price ones) for 2 kids and then 2 kids ride up top. But the older kids usually walk now.

Merrie

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2015, 08:37:56 PM »
I think if I had, say, infant twins, a 2 yo and a 5 yo (not sure how old OP's kids are), I would get a double stroller and then could have either both twins or one twin and the 2 yo in it while wearing/carrying the other twin. That is my thought about minimizing strollers. There are probably double strollers that can fold down small enough to get in their existing car.

I for sure wouldn't take them all grocery shopping. We have a 14 month old and an almost 4 yo, and it is already nuts. One parent grocery shops either solo or with 1-2 kids and the other stays home.

Ddub925

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2015, 10:21:54 AM »
Ok here it goes...

A few months ago I was obsessed with this blog and read the whole damn thing. I was ready to be the ultimate mustachian. But since finishing the blog I have been pulled back in to the sucka consumer lifestyle. I learned that my wife is pregnant with twins, which will give us 4 kids! I read the "your only allowed to have one kid" article too late. So, I feel like I have to have a minivan. We have a 7 passenger 2010 Highlander that will seat all of us, but leave no room in the back for strollers, etc. We owe 5.8k on the Highlander that we bought new and recently refinanced to give us a 168 note (to free up cash flow to pay off credit card debt, 18k). Its valued at 17k KBB private party. We also have a 2006 Toyota Avalon with 133k miles paid off valued at 8.5k KBB private party. Ive listed it for sale but have gotten no interest. Ive actually considered trading it in and LEASING a brand new Toyota Sienna. My train of thought: no one wants to buy my car, 10 year old used siennas with 100k miles are going for 15k, I might as well buy new for 30, might as well lease for the lower note to allow me to get rid of my other debt and then save to buy the leased van for the residual value (I think 21k). My wife is maintaining that we need to keep the SUV because we both need the ability to transport all 4 kids at any time. Someone please punch me in the face and help me give some logical options to help my wife and I come to an agreement on a reasonable vehicle fleet for our growing family. We will both continue to work and both have about 20 mile commute in opposite directions.

off topic question, but how can you trade in a purchased vehicle on a lease?

on a lease you pay depreciation ((purchase price - residual value)/term + interest + tax. Its like an interest only loan. your trade in lowers the depreciation amount over the term. so If I were to lease a 37k car (after licensing and fees) with a residual value of 21, I would have to pay 444 a month + interest. If I trade in my car at 6500 I would then pay 263 a month + interest. The only other benefit of leasing is that you pay tax on the payment not the full purchase price.

 Or is your question how to trade a leased vehicle? In that case, the dealer buys it or you sell it and pay the difference to get out of it, or in some cases, recoup some of your investment if its worth more than your settlement. This can happen with Toyotas, as they hold their resale value pretty well, especially if you put money down.

Ddub925

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2015, 10:27:18 AM »
Is your sales job tied to SF Bay? That's a damn good salary most places. Your wife could also switch to a job elsewhere but her salary would fall precipitously in LCOL areas.
yes I live in the bay area. The problem is that houses cost 700k+ for a fixer upper. We are lucky and rent from a relative for 2200 per month. I make $76k plus commission. Commissions for each client are a large chunk up front and a small residual as long as they remain a client. My residuals are up to about 600/mo. Commissions are taxed differently though, I think my comapny witholds like 50%. I work for a national organization, I think the 76k is only in markets like SF, LA, and NY but I could be wrong. We do have a Denver office. Either way, I don't think we would ever leave Northern Cali.

SomedayStache

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2015, 10:51:15 AM »
I have 3 kiddos and not 4.  But back when I was pregnant with number 3 I was in a similar situation where the cars that we had WORKED but kind of SUCKED for loading all the kiddos we needed.   Sure fitting 3 carseats in my Corolla wasn't fun or comfortable for the front seat passengers, but it worked. Because it worked we had the luxury of time to minivan shop.  It sounds like you are in a similar situation where you have a workable solution, therefore you have time to optimize your end solution.

I really really wanted a Honda or Toyota minivan <why on God's green earth are they so hard to find used???>.   The 2006+ Kia Sedonas have better or equal crash test ratings to Honda and Toyota minivans of similar year.   I have a severe aversion to anything Kia after watching my brother-in-laws almost new Kia basically disintegrate back in the early 2000s.  But supposedly Kia has improved, and starting in 2006 their minivans got a complete overhaul and redesign.

Still I was skeptical of anything Kia, but when a 2006 Sedona with <$100,000 miles came up for $4,000 we went to the dealership and took it for a test drive.  We then paid cash and drove it home.  That was about a year ago, and we've been surprisingly satisfied so far.  My friends who have a similar age Honda minivan paid 3 times as much for their Honda and have had more problems then we've had with our Kia.  The Honda automatic sliding doors keep going out on them and are dang expensive to fix.  Our Kia has manual sliding doors and so far my arms haven't need expensive auto mechanic work. =)

That's what worked for us.  I think you have time to figure out something that will work for you.  Don't lease anything.  Just don't. 

The perfect is the enemy of the good.  If you start looking at financing and leases it's all too easy to just add a bit more onto a loan to get your perfect dream car.  But face reality.  Any car you get will be covered in ketchup and spilled juice.  Don't spend more then you need for perfection.  Because you don't need perfection.

Edited to add: It took us about a year and a half to find our minivan.  We made our sucky car situation work until my youngest was about 10 months old.  At one point we found an awesome deal on a minivan and had someone buy it literally 30 minutes before our scheduled test drive-that was a bummer and I almost cracked and just got a dang loan so that I could GET WHAT I WANTED then and there.  But I'm glad we waited for something affordable.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 10:56:42 AM by SomedayStache »

Ddub925

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2015, 12:11:12 PM »
Thanks Someday. Thats the kind of reminder I need. I went from looking at 100k mile vans for 4k to brand new ultra luxury with leather (cuz its easier to clean) and nav (like my phone wont work better). its only a few dollars more in payment is a very dangerous trap! I almost believed the car salesman "youll always have a car payment if its paid off, it will need repairs" I need to remind myself how important it is to be debt free to start building a stache. Otherwise I will ensure a lifetime of self imposed slavery.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Please punch me in the face
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2015, 01:32:37 PM »
Couple thoughts, from a guy with four teens/preteens:

I saw the word "lease" in there.

First: DO NOT LEASE A CAR. Just don't. You are flushing cash down the drain if so.

Second: We were a 1-car family up until kid #4. We bought a second-hand minivan and I kept my frugal Saturn for work. Ten years later, this is still the arrangement we use. I could carry myself and all 4 kids in the Saturn, or we took the van if we were all going.

You don't need anything bigger than a minivan to carry everything. You can fit a LOT under the seats, and the stroller can either fit in the back around town, or you can strap it on the luggage rack on top for long trips.

Your best options for Mustachian transport are:
1. Use what you have
2. Use what you have
3. Find a reputable mechanic, it's cheaper to fix cars than buy another one (with very few exceptions)
4. If your current vehicles won't meet your needs, find something simple and reliable.

Car salesmen are good at selling cars... they will tell you almost anything to get a sale. I paid for my last 2 cars with cash! Didn't need a payment. Still cheaper to repair it.

I could replace the engine in my minivan every other year, and it would still be cheaper than paying for a new car.