My old minivan may have been a beater, but it just wouldn't die.
This made it hard to run out and buy a pricey new car.
I would drive my 2000 Honda (HMC ) Odyssey, with pride, I told myself, while chuckling at the newer cars whizzing by. The other drivers can have their fancy rides and their big monthly payments. My clunker may have been showing signs of wear, but it was costing me zero dollars a month with nothing down.
After eight years of transporting three kids and a menagerie of pets, however, the interior of the old Honda was beginning to resemble a roving garbage barge. The outside had more than its share of pings and dings. A misaligned bumper didn't do much to enhance its increasingly ragged appearance.
The only thing missing was a bumper sticker saying "Don't Laugh ... It's Paid For."
Clearly, the time had come to upgrade. But I tried to refrain from keeping up with the Joneses -- and for good reason. My minivan, despite its many blemishes, and 110,000 miles, was debt- and payment-free. Leasing has never been an option for my family since we put too much mileage on our cars. My 2000 Honda was paid off long ago, and an $800 extended warranty I purchased when the car was new covered the only two repairs I needed during much of the car's lifespan.This didn't stop me from longing for heated leather seats and factory installed XM Satellite(XMSR) radio. It seems that Clear Channel(CCU), the media conglomerate, plays the same songs on almost every radio station it owns in my area. I changed stations so frequently that the black coating on the button I pushed was slowly wearing down to white.
I found my comforts -- and compromise -- in a 2005 Honda Odyssey that I drove off the lot of a Honda dealership last week. It's far more luxurious than my older car -- and cost about $13,000 less than a 2008 model. The dealer also offered us $1,000 more than what I thought I could get for my older car -- and spared me the hassle of trying to sell a vehicle with high mileage on my own.