I am finally going to pay off my car!! woohoo!! I am so excited. I bought it brand new in 2007 and really couldn't afford it-I think we got caught up in the excitement of buying a super safe family car and went a little overboard (for us at least!) :)
In any case, I love the car and have had 0 problems with it-the only money I've put into it has been new tires plus basic maintenence. Gets fairly good gas mileage, still has fairly low miles. The only problem is that it is a little too small for us. I should say, it fits the two little ones well, but when my stepdaughter is with us (which she is just under 40% of the time, plus all long car rides for vacations,etc.) it is tight. We fit safely, but not really comfortably at this point.
My decision at this point is this: Do I trade in my car for a minivan if I can get an equal trade? I am not at all interested in another car payment, nor could I get a loan if I wanted once since my credit is really bad at the moment. My car is worth enough at this point that I could trade it for a fairly decent minivan of equal value. This may not be the case in a few years as the car's value goes down, and while I don't forsee my credit or financial situation getting any worse (knock on wood!) I also don't forsee it being hugely better enough that I would be able to pay for a van out of pocket or want/be able to take out a loan. I feel like I have this kind of short window to make this decision in a smart way, but can't decide!
More room=happier kids, easier vacations, etc.
Lower gas mileage=more gas $-not a huge issues since I don't really drive all that much, but still a factor.
Possibly less reliability- older van, more mileage, etc.
Honestly, I'm leaning towards keeping my car and crossing my fingers because I love the reliability and gas mileage, but if I dont' trade up (or down as the case may be!) now, I worry that I will want to and not be able to later...advice?