If you want to throw chum in the water and watch the tension rise in my house, just say the word “minivan.” For a variety of reasons, it has become a hot topic in our house, with my wife and I on opposing teams.
We live in suburbia, where minivans are commonplace. Our most frequented neighbors both have one, and I’m not sure if it’s the brainwashing that happens when you see others having something, but Holly has been insistent that a minivan is in our future. I am insistent it is not. We have two kids (no plans for more), and accordingly our sedan and small SUV fit our needs probably 98% of the time. Our vehicles strategy is to pay them off as fast as possible, and drive them into the ground – which usually means between 150,000-200,000 miles before safety or reliability are compromised. By that rationale, we both have vehicles with long life ahead, with her 2007 the next one to be replaced but my estimation is that it easily has 3 years of good miles left.
So my lovely wife, by bringing up the minivan topic, irks me in two main ways. First, most of the time, we don’t need a minivan. On occasion, when we do need space for an extra kid, or adult, things get a little tight. And camping is especially full, but those events are fairly infrequent. Second, as a frugal dude, buying a clown car, especially one that is on the pricier end (when we have two paid off cars), really chaps my ass. I’ve offered to let her drive my newish car, and I’d take hers, but it doesn’t sound like that’s an option for her. So we’re at a stalemate, and this is not something that will be resolved anytime soon.
The fact that minivans are not “cool” doesn’t bother me really. They are functional and for that, it makes sense. Especially if you have a large family. She did show me that a new version of the microbus may be coming back, which isn’t as bad as a normal minivan. But still, why?! Why Holly, why?!
Any other people struggle with the minivan dilemma, especially with just two or one kid?