Will Our Van Last Until we Graduate From Our Debt Consolidation Program?

A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

Will Our Van Last Until we Graduate From Our Debt Consolidation Program?

  • Comments 4

As our mini-van approached 100,000 miles, I wondered how much longer it would last. At the time, I hoped it could make it another year. 

The best case scenario was it would last until we completed our debt consolidation plan when our finances would be better equipped to allow us to think about purchasing a different vehicle.  

That was eighteen months ago, and I'm happy to report that we still have the van, and it has just broken the 120,000 mile marker.

Don't get me wrong, there has been plenty of speculation with regards to ending the van's run as the official Pizel family bus.

There was the time all the dashboard lights flickered and the radio dropped power as we were driving through rush hour traffic in Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  Luckily it just needed a new battery.

There's also the simply awful sound the power steering makes periodically, especially on colder days. But then it will go weeks without making a peep, or I get in our neighbor's identical van and hear the same noise only louder.  So mine can't be all that bad, right?

The front passenger side window hasn't worked in about two years, and the latch for one of the sliding doors gets stuck occasionally, resulting in not being able to get the door open.

But it still gets us to where we need to go, and with less than two months until our debt consolidation plan graduation day, I'm confident that our van is going to go the distance.

The real question now is how much longer can we make it stretch?

It's starting to take on that feel of how much further can you drive before you completely run out of gas.  Does the needle actually go below the 'E' mark on the gas gauge (on our van it does, just for a point of reference)?

This is a new perspective for me.

For the last eighteen months I've been hoping that the van will make it until we complete the program, so that we'd be in a better financial state to buy a new vehicle.  It was almost a foregone conclusion that we would make the last payment, hang up the phone, and drive immediately to a dealership to pick out a new vehicle. Now that we're almost there, I could care less about having a new van. I just want this one to last as long as possible. 

After all, the longer it lasts, the longer I get to keep my money.

I want to be the guy that rubs my baby blue van's hood each morning saying, "Come on, old friend, give me one more day." 

I think I've finally gone full frugal.

What do you look forward to more? Buying something new or seeing how long you can make something last?

Related Links:

How Much Longer Will my Mini-Van Last?

Do we Really Need a Second Car?

Buying a Car While on a DMP, What You Need to Know 

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc.Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the

You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

 

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • I've definitely turned to a "see how long I can make it last" mentality, but I wonder if I'd view things differently if we were done with our debt payoff. :-)

  • I am also in the "see how long we can make it last" club for my car...which recently reached 194,000 miles.  I was tested yesterday when my car wouldn't start (of course, it is currently between 0 and -10 degrees outside BEFORE the wind chill).  My husband really wanted me to look for another car (there's more issues with my car than just a tired battery), but I just had him charge the battery all day long instead.  I NEED my car to last until my debt is paid off.  And then, the plan is to save enough to buy a car for cash outright at an auction...  I don't want a car payment - and I don't want full coverage insurance!

  • I think there may be a little "relaxation" of this mentality once we're done.  We will definitely want to get as much value as we can out of everything we purchase.....but I suspect whether we consciously do it or not, the threshold of pain may come down just a little.  Not tooo much....but maybe just a little.  Just being honest... :)

  • I would LOVE to never have a car payment again, ondecker.  Although I suspect that we'll have to at least partially finance our next vehicle because I don't think our blue friend will last long enough past our graduation date to allow us to save up the cash to buy our next one.  BUT, that would be the LAST time we ever finance a vehicle.  Saving for the "next car" will be an item in our budget from now on!

Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share