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Home > Travel Doings, Car Doings, and Sad News

Travel Doings, Car Doings, and Sad News

March 1st, 2015 at 02:31 pm

Well I've never had travel abroad plans, that we actually paid for, get quite this far. So hopefully that's a good sign! We got our airfare booked a couple of days ago. I will send my dad a check for dh's airfare tomorrow when I get paid. $1100 for that, which is about the amount I was sending to saving anyway tomorrow. So that works out fine. I think we will settle up the rest when they return in April. Which means I probably won't dip into savings at all. I am expecting a big OT check in April.

I am relieved my parents really and truly are covering my son. (They can be kind of wishy washy with gifts, so I feel better now that the airfare is paid for).

Which reminds me, it is amazing what people assume! Obviously we could never afford to plan and save up for a trip like this and obviously my dad is paying for everything! What I don't get, beyond all else, is why everyone assumes my dad would pay for my husband to go on this trip? The grandson assumptions are at least a little more understandable. (Could be very wrong too, but are more understandable).


I received an e-mail that Hawaii fares were going on sale through September travel. (We are going in October). Apparently this sale was 3 months ahead of the usual. I am glad I signed up for a website that keeps on top of that and we are ready to jump on the first October flight sale. No rush, but with low gas prices and everything I feel it's good just to jump on anything that pops up below $400 per person. I want to just lock it in and be done. I thought we would do that in June, but I guess it might be sooner!

Maybe some unexpected cash outflow, earlier than planned, but I don't mind when it is for something fun like this!


In other news, we have had a bit of car serendipity.

I am kind of having this "DOH" moment because though we have been wanting to sell our minivan forever and always figured a time of low gas prices would be more ideal to do so... The reality is all my brain was thinking, "I can actually drive the van! It doesn't cost an arm and a leg to drive it!" Now that gas prices are low.


To be fair, I have been way more focused on replacing dh's 15-year-old car, at this point. We are in the very early talking stages on that. But I think this is also some of why the van fell off our radar.

Anyway, I don't remember how we got on cars last weekend but I was looking at some and feeling very frustrated with internet information overload. We bought our last cars fairly new and figured we had so long to save up to replace them that we would just do the same this round. But after seeing small car after small car each having some major deal breaker, I was getting frustrated. We have a very basic car and the bar should be set pretty low. But it's really set pretty high as to fuel efficiency, reliability, safety, etc. We aren't really finding anything newer that compares.

Feeling frustrated, I checked out Mr. Money mustache's car recommendation page and mostly struck out. In my opinion, too much emphasis on more costly name brands. I think our strategy is to more go for not what everyone else is buying. Much better deals that way. That said, he also had a lot of more used car recommendations and maybe that is where we will eventually end up when we replace dh's car. We just aren't to that point yet.

But something struck me from his car page. He recommended my dh's car, years 2005 - 2009 I think, in the wagon version. If you want something a little more roomy and fuel efficient.

Ding ding ding!! I told my dh I had a plan to replace our 2005 minivan and he is totally in. I set up a google alert and have been receiving on average one new car listing daily. (Who knew there were so many wagons of this specific model?? I have absolutely never seen one). It helps to have access to a few super major metropolitan areas. I had written off a couple with 90k or 130k miles (my van has 120k miles) and everything since has been like 200k+ or 300k+ miles. Yeesh! But that is making me more confident in this decision. I don't really want to buy something until May anyway and so for now I am just kind of gauging the market. That said, if anything pops up that is "perfect" we would buy it today.

I am expecting to pay $5k-ish for the fuel efficiency upgrade and to sell our minivan for $2k-ish. Though I'd happily pay a little more for something with lower miles that will last longer. That's probably more what we want anyway. I know if we are patient something with really low miles will pop up.

Well that's our crazy plan for now. Will see...

I have never shopped for a specific vehicle before, but I guess the internet helps with that and this is very in line with our usual strategy to stick with something that no one else wants. This whole experience is probably going to make me very love/hate as to car shopping in the internet age. It's got its pluses and its minuses.


Well, my client lost his lengthy (and terrible) battle with brain cancer last month. Frown I just found out Friday and have been very sad about that. He leaves behind a wife my age and two young children. He was obviously too young.

7 Responses to “Travel Doings, Car Doings, and Sad News”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Sorry to hear about your client's death. It is sad when people die young. May I ask what car you are in the market for?

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Ford Focus. My spouse has a 2001 Escort (pre Focus) but it has been an exceptional car. Maybe we have turned into my parents. They just buy the same car over and over and over...

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Something to keep very much in mind here is that your boys are going to have growth spurts soon as they approach their teenage years and then again once in them. You keep your cars for a long time. Will they be able to have legroom in whatever vehicle you buy once they've shot up? It doesn't matter how fuel efficient the vehicle is if your kids are miserable riding in it. There is no way my 6 foot tall 14 year old would fit comfortably in the back of a Ford Focus. He's all legs and giant feet. Before we sold the Matrix he was sitting sideways in it towards the end. Make sure you test drive the car with the boys in the back before you make a final decision on anything.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I'm sorry about your client's death. Brain cancer has taken a friend of mine, too, but the great blessing was that she didn't suffer too much. So sad; she was young, too.

  5. monkeymama Says:

    We can keep our cars a long time but doesn't mean we have to. (I actually haven't due to life changes. My last 2 cars I only kept 3-4 years due to unforeseen circumstances). Anyway, I was more thinking passing this car to the kids in about 3 years. It would be a good first driver for them and we could gauge its reliability in the interim. Though I also think they will be fine with it. My spouse is tall but doesn't have any problem in small cars. But you know, nothing is set in stone if they get uncomfortable.

    (My BIL is about the same height as my spouse and can not fit in most small or even mid-size cars. So, I think a lot of it just comes down to body type and proportions. We primarily drive a very small car and are all very comfortable. The irony is that I was expecting the Focus to be much more roomy than what we are used to. We never drive the van, so this would be a size upgrade for us).

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm sorry to hear about your client. Frown

  7. Looking Forward Says:

    Exciting news on the travel fronts. Big Grin

    Very sad about your client and his family. Frown

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