Making Another Large Family Purchase

This post is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book and the Mom it Forward Influencer Network, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Many of you may know that Derek drives a very old 1992 Geo Prism. That car was a miracle in our lives right when we needed it the most. When we moved from Utah to North Carolina, we sold Derek's car to his dad and only took my 2004 Honda Civic with us. It was an amazing, reliable car, and it will always be my favorite car that I ever owned.

After driving it across the country though, it needed a lot of maintenance. I don't remember specifics anymore, but it needed repairs of upwards of $1,000 and Derek and I decided that our best option would be to look for another car. The dealership gave us $4,000 for the Honda on a trade-in, and we got a year old Ford Escape and financed the remaining balance. 

When I was pregnant for Em, we quickly learned that one car wasn't going to make it for us anymore. We "knew" that she was going to spend a lot of time in the NICU and we didn't know how we were going to juggle getting Derek to and from work, Jay to a babysitter each day, and then me 20 miles over to the hospital to be with Em each day, all with one car. It seemed like the only option was to buy another car, although we knew we simply couldn't afford it. 

Then one day at church, a friend pulled us aside (completely unaware of our situation), and asked Derek, "How much pride do you have?" to which Derek responded, "eh, not much...". Our friend then went on to say that he and his family were moving back to Utah, and that they had this 1992 Geo Prism that they didn't want, and that if we wanted it, it was ours for free. It was seriously the biggest blessing and miracle. A second car, right when we thought we needed it the most.

As many of you know, Em wound up being in the hospital for only 32 hours after she was born, and we were discharged right away, and all these circumstances of needing this car wound up not even being a thing for us, but we've loved having that car the last three years, and not needing to share the Escape on a daily basis. 

For a car that we got for free, is super old, smelly, and has a bunch of dead bees stuck in the back windshield that we can't get with the vacuum, we've spent a whopping $15 fixing it the last three years. One of Derek's tires went flat a year and a half ago, so he put the donut on it, and another tire needed repairs last week (which is where that $15 went), and the donut has been holding up on his 80 minute round trip commute since we moved in June. It seriously is the epitome of "Old Faithful". 

As the saying goes though, "all good things must end". Since we live in the Atlanta area, and it gets incredibly hot here in the summer, Derek claims that he will in fact die if he has to commute to work again this summer in a car without AC. I don't blame him. Since he got a promotion this year, we're in a position where we can afford another car payment (and mine is almost paid off anyways), and we figure now is as good of a time as any to invest in a new car, pass this one along, and let it be a miracle to another family that needs it.

When looking for new cars to purchase, my family growing up always used Kelley Blue Book, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. My dad is a very frugal man, and I remember him sitting at the computer for hours when I was younger estimating car prices and values with Kelley Blue Book when he and my mom were both in the market for new cars one year. And when I turned 16 I spent a majority of my life looking up car values and negotiating with my parents which one I thought they should let me get (which turned out to be nothing, nada, zilch). 

Now that Derek and I are in the market to invest in a new car, we really want to make the most informed decision that we can. That's why we've spent a lot of time on looking through Kelley Blue Book's 12 Best Family Cars of 2017 list to see which ones peak our interests the most. One thing that I love about is that their editors, and their families, have actually driven these cars and tested them out themselves, so they truly know what it's like to be in each car, and even give you the pros and cons for each vehicle on their list. I also love that they have a car seat guide so you know which cars are better equipped for them than others.

We still don't know which car we're going to spring for. I'm voting that we get another Escape so that Derek and I can be the cheesy couple with matching cars, but he really wants a pick-up, or another sedan. But one thing I do know is that we have to help us make the best decision possible for our family.

1 comment

  1. Great post! My husband and I are thinking of purchasing a new car too and its such a daunting task. What a blessing that you got a car for free but even more so that your baby didn't have to stay in the NICU for very long!