One month away from the one year mark in our debt repayment journey. This month I had set a goal to pay off $1000 and came in short but over the $470 we paid last month. This month we're down $707 which leaves:
This month we got rid of our old 2004 Montana that DH was using to commute just over 100km/day. It finally kicked the can so we are now a 2 car family. We picked up a nice used 2010 Kia sedan, 4cyl, 2.0L, manual transmission, with all of the bells and whistles and under 50,000km. With the amount DH drives, this should easily last him a few years and it is reliable. The biggest bonus is that the savings in gas offsets the higher payments on the car and slightly higher insurance premium which means, our budget will remain unchanged in the vehicle department but DH gets way nicer and more reliable wheels.
A lot of discussions were had in our household about what vehicle should replace the van. We were under the mindset that we needed one larger vehicle as a family with 2 growing boys. You know, for all those times where we had to haul renovation materials, canoes, and kid gear and of course we needed a vehicle with towing capacity for the boat that we MIGHT want to get in the future. DH really wanted a truck. No matter which way we crunched the numbers we couldn't get a truck (even an old truck or the most basic model) to fit into our budget with the amount of driving DH does both because of the higher price point of trucks and because of the fuel economy. Though I only commute 25km/day, I didn't want to drive a large gas guzzler. I really like my Prius and the other fear was that DH would run the Prius into the ground with the amount of driving he does before we had paid it off.
After looking at the costs, we found that DH could get a much nicer, newer, 4 cyl. sedan - with added luxuries like heated seats - within our budget than any SUV or truck we looked at. The reality is also that with DH being in construction, very seldom do we use his vehicle for anything other than his commute to work since he brings home a lot of dust and dirt on his clothes (and a couple other sweaty men).
We also laughed about the time we brought a dishwasher home tied in (mostly out) of the trunk of his old Neon and that time we secured a bunch of sheets of drywall to the roof. For the once every couple of years trip to Home Depot to get larger materials/items, we'll borrow a truck or van from family/friends or just pay the $30 rental fee for a truck or van for an hour to get the materials home. If we feel we need more space for a long drive or trip, we'll rent a larger vehicle for the trip though this summer we did the 6 hour drive to DH's family cottage and didn't feel cramped at all in the Prius. If space becomes an issue, we'll also investigate roof racks. Even after the cost of a few rentals, we're still saving substantially by not owning a larger vehicle.