I’d like to think that I’m pretty level headed when it comes to making decisions (ok maybe I’m not the most level headed while eight months pregnant but I can resist spending an insane amount of money on that totally adorable dress this baby will wear twice…). It’s not so much the decision itself that I have a problem making; it’s the spending of the money part. By no means have I ever been “rich”. While I was single and kidless, I did have more of a discretionary income and looking back I should have done a better job saving instead of spending but at the time it all seemed ok. Research is a huge part of my decision making process and that includes asking friends and family their experiences before making an especially large purchase.
Currently, we’re trying to make two large purchases in our family. Our current van is over 107,000 miles and is constantly having problems. Since we’re driving to Michigan this summer for our vacation, we need something more dependable and reliable before that trip. We know we need a mini van (we haven’t found an SUV that can compare as far as space for people and things) but have gone back and forth about what kind and what features we want it to include. I love the electronic doors and rear hatch on our current van; it makes getting the kids in and out so much easier. Of course, the down side to this is the passenger side sliding door hasn’t worked in a long time due to electrical problems. We’ve replaced the wiring harness thing twice and I refuse to pay all that money to replace it a third time. The boys have also requested that the new van have a DVD player. While we don’t watch a ton of tv – especially in the car, on long trips to Disney and Michigan, that DVD player sure comes in handy. I also love having a sun roof in our vehicle. The weather here in the South is so nice for so much of the year that we really put it to good use. Other than that, I really didn’t have much on my list of “must haves”. Some of the other things to consider for us was the ability of the boys to get in and out on their own and be able to buckle and operate the controls for heat/AC and things like that as well as just being enough room over all. Purchasing a vehicle just makes me so nervous. We’ve never had really great luck with vehicles and buying something that we’re going to keep a very long time is a big commitment to make (especially for the commitment – phobic person like me!). That, along with the car payment have really stalled out the decision making process. I don’t mind paying for a vehicle that’s dependable and reliable, I’m just a girl who buys everything on sale and uses coupons for just about everything so a purchase like this is not an easy one for me to make.
The other large purchase currently being debated in our family is a new home. We’ve rented since we moved across the country four years ago and have been looking ever since. Homes are very different here in the South and I just haven’t fallen in love with anything that we’ve looked at so far. Building a house was also debated at one point but I’ve been through that before and didn’t think I could handle the stress of making all the choices for the house. Now that we’re adding another member to our family, the house we live in currently no longer fits us. It’s got three bedrooms and we need at least four (ideally five) for everyone and out of town guests who come to stay with us. Thankfully the master bedroom is plenty big enough for a crib right now so that’s where the princess will stay until we move. Anxiety’s setting in regarding this purchase because the baby will be here in March, we’re going to Michigan in June and our lease is also up in June. That means we’ll spend a week on vacation and come home to pack our entire house and move in a two week period. Granted, we only had about two weeks notice when we moved across the country so I know it can be done, I’d just prefer not to do it that way if possible. There’s also that little detail of actually finding a house that we love and can call our home for the next several years. I don’t want to spend that amount of money and “settle” on something because we needed to move. The other option is to sign another six month lease and put this decision off a bit longer – right smack dab in the middle of the crazy busy holiday season.
So what big decisions have you made and how did you decide?