Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

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berg
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Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by berg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am

Hello fellow Bogleheads! Can you help me decide if I am being practical or cheap? Of course, it is subjective but would love a sanity check from the hive mind.

My wife drives a 2009 Honda CR-V with 79,000 miles on it (probably $5k trade-in). We have a 3-year-old and 4.5-year-old. She very much wants to get a Honda Odyssey minivan. I have had hard time with it right now because we are really getting the best value out of her CR-V at the moment. Just pains me given the value we are getting now for a car that runs well (though admittedly is 10 years old).

She only drives about 8,000 miles per year. So it would take several years even to get to 100k miles. Our sort of "agreement" is we could upgrade the car when my son leaves daycare and moves to Kindergarten in the summer of 2020. The CR-V will probably only be at 90k miles max at this point.

About us:
  • Net worth: $1.6m -- $1mm in investments, $420k home equity, $150k cash ($50k e-fund, $50k reserves for planned home expenses, e.g. new roof, HVAC, $25k-$35k for minivan, $15k-25k checking on hand
  • Income: $249k, I work in tech, she is a tenured teacher, plus stock and bonus but I don't include
  • We max out Roths and 401k/403b each year
Part of my thinking around the daycare side is that despite our income after we max our retirement savings and put away for the kids' college education, we don't have much left over these days. So even though we could use some of the cash reserves, it still in my mental math feels like suddenly making a decision to add this large expense when it is want vs. a need.

My wife an I recently celebrated crossing $1mm in investments for the first time. While I enjoyed a steak and was thrilled at this Boglehead milestone, she simply asked - don't you think we can afford a minivan now? :D

Pickle11
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Pickle11 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:17 am

Can you upgrade your car and keep the CR-V?.

runner540
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by runner540 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:18 am

Yes, you are being cheap. Upgrade the car today. Make $250k, have $1.6MM net worth and don't want your wife to have a $30k car, to drive your kids around...?

You have the cash in a savings account for the car so it shouldn't affect your budget much except for increased insurance cost.

Edit: Her question should have told you it's time. You have both sacrificed a lot to get to where you are. Time to gently loosen the purse strings.
Last edited by runner540 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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berg
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by berg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:20 am

Pickle11 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:17 am
Can you upgrade your car and keep the CR-V?.
I have a 2012 Subaru Legacy with only 47k miles. So wouldn’t really makes sense to trade that and keep the CR-V.

trustquestioner
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by trustquestioner » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:20 am

Yes, you are being cheap.

nolesrule
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by nolesrule » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:21 am

An Odyssey is overkill if you only have 2 kids.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:22 am

You are being cheap, and you're missing a crucial piece of data in your analysis.

A new minivan is equipped with considerable safety improvements over a 2009 CR-V. Does your 2009 CR-V had the same number and location of airbags? Does it have the same braking ability as a 2019 minivan? Is everything in the mechanical systems up to snuff, recently inspected, and safe? How old are your tires?

I wouldn't hesitate to keep my family in a newer, modern vehicle for safety alone. With your financial situation, IMO your thought process is silly.
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8foot7
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:24 am

How many kids do you have? 2? More planned?
You can afford a minivan, sure, but I’m not really certain what a minivan would provide you for two kids that her current CR-V doesn’t. Three kids, sure, but what’s the point of a minivan for two kids? At 8,000 miles per year she surely doesn’t drive enough to justify a new car if there are only 80k miles on the CR-V.

And you’re right, you’re currently in that Honda “sweet spot” — that CR-V could easily go another 100,000 miles with very little additional expense.

There is a happy wife happy life factor to consider but I also don’t think a minivan is anyone’s dream car and I wonder what the reasons to “upgrade” would be. You’re on a good path and while like I said you can afford the minivan, it’s hard for me to see why you would pull the trigger on it at this point.

Your plan to wait until daycare is over makes a lot of sense to me — when free cash flow improves you could use the savings to purchase the minivan.

But again, why a minivan? Lol

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by tainted-meat » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:25 am

nolesrule wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:21 am
An Odyssey is overkill if you only have 2 kids.
I agree with this post. I also think all the safety arguments are overblown. The safest cars are driven by people who pay attention to the road, don’t speed, and don’t tailgate.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:25 am

berg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am
About us:
Net worth: $1.6m -- $1mm in investments, $420k home equity, $150k cash ($50k e-fund, $50k reserves for planned home expenses, e.g. new roof, HVAC, $25k-$35k for minivan, $15k-25k checking on hand
Income: $249k, I work in tech, she is a tenured teacher, plus stock and bonus but I don't include
We max out Roths and 401k/403b each year
Yes you are being cheap, too cheap.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ferdinand2014
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Ferdinand2014 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:26 am

Consider safety. A new vehicle rated as a 'top safety plus' pick at IIHS would be many fold safer than the 2009 CRV. Something to consider. Technology has advanced in many ways since 2009 regarding vehicle safety. So has safety ratings. A 2009 'top safety pick' would not come close to being a 'top safety pick plus' in 2019 with IIHS much stricter requirements. Since 2009 they have added roof strength, headlights, small driver and passenger overlap crash testing, accident avoidance technology as requirements.

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings
Last edited by Ferdinand2014 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BogBod
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by BogBod » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:26 am

And even as a person who has driven several cars into the ground (and have appreciated that challenge both for frugality and also the reduced impact on the environment from reduced car turnovers and therefore less junk in the junk yards) , I have concluded that ten years is the sweet spot for older cars, since after that time, repair expenses (even for Hondas and Toyotas) start to add up. Maybe your reduced mileage balances that, but my sense is that time also matters in its own right and that ten years starts to see repairs either way.

Lastly, “happy wife, happy life”. So there’s that, too. :happy
Last edited by BogBod on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 am

There is a fine line between being frugal and being cheap. However, you know where it is in this case.

Happy wife = happy life, and she is not being in the least bit extravagant or unreasonable.

Compromise and get a 3-4 year old Odyssey. There is a significant difference between getting the kids in and out CRV and an Odyssey. The Odyssey will also be far more useful when having to pack their friends in as they get older.

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8foot7
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 am

The posters talking about safety features are barking up the wrong tree, IMO. This is not a 20 year old sedan. This is a 9 year old SUV with plenty of airbags and modern features. She’s not riding around in a 93 Cressida.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by mhadden1 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:29 am

trustquestioner wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:20 am
Yes, you are being cheap.
Yes, sorry OP, you are cheap. :( You are probably nice in other ways though I bet. :happy
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by climber2020 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:29 am

You can afford it easily, but if I were in your shoes I wouldn't want to buy the car either. I'd rather invest that money, let it compound, and get an extra year of not working in my prime. That time is way more valuable to me than buying a car I don't technically need to replace one that is perfectly fine.

But it's a personal choice. Some people don't mind working a few more years to buy stuff they really like, and that's fine too.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by boglewill34 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:30 am

Notwithstanding active safety features, of which there have been numerous improvements in the intervening years. From a vehicle dynamics standpoint the CRV is much more likely to be unstable and/or roll over in an accident avoidance maneuver than the minivan. Buy the minivan.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by HomeStretch » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:31 am

Why does your wife want to upgrade the vehicle? Is the justification reasonable (i.e., newer safety features, current vehicle breaks down frequently with two young kids in back, capacity issue as she frequently has other kids in car for play dates, etc.)? If so, I would buy a new vehicle.

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2pedals
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by 2pedals » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:32 am

nolesrule wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:21 am
An Odyssey is overkill if you only have 2 kids.
It can be a very nice family road trip vehicle.

imyeti2
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by imyeti2 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:33 am

Do you need an all wheel drive like the Subaru where you live? Is there a reason you'd want to keep your Subaru rather than trading up for a minivan?

Do you/family plan on taking road trips once the kids get older?

How tall are you/your family?

We traded up to a Honda Odyssey and absolutely love the decision. As my daughter became older, she had difficulty sitting in a CR-V. We do a lot of road trips and a minivan is definitely a plus.

Now that my kids are older, we'll trade our other sedan and go for a full-size SUV. We tried mid/small size SUVs but a minivan or large SUV fits our family's requirements better.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Pickle11 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:35 am

Add life cycle analysis to the discussion. How many minivan turn overs overs do you want to have?

You have the money, but in ten years you may be purchasing a second minivan for safety, features etc. You may want to delay the purchase for vanity purposes so you only ever have to own one minivan.

Also, can you add another plank to your secure foundation by super funding a 529? Money out of sight and knowing you are taking care of the future may help your cause with her and your peace of mind when the discussion comes up in another year.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by retiredjg » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:37 am

berg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am
My wife an I recently celebrated crossing $1mm in investments for the first time. While I enjoyed a steak and was thrilled at this Boglehead milestone, she simply asked - don't you think we can afford a minivan now? :D
Yes, you are being cheap. Incredibly so in my opinion. :happy

I might have a different opinion if you tell us you do the majority of the kid hauling.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by mrc » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:39 am

8foot7 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 am
The posters talking about safety features are barking up the wrong tree, IMO. This is not a 20 year old sedan. This is a 9 year old SUV with plenty of airbags and modern features. She’s not riding around in a 93 Cressida.
LOL No one has a '93 Cressida.

The Toyota Cressida was a mid-size car manufactured by Toyota from December 1976 until 1992 through four generations.—Wikipedia

Someone hit my wife and totaled our '06 Ford. The 2014 we replaced it with was light years more advanced and fun to drive. That was only an 8 year difference.
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:42 am

8foot7 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:24 am

...There is a happy wife happy life factor to consider but I also don’t think a minivan is anyone’s dream car ...
A woman who actually wants a minivan is a true gem.

As the kids get older, they will want to take friends on various excursions. The minivan will be great for this. And you will know exactly who is driving where -- priceless.

OP is being a cheapskate.

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8foot7
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:42 am

mrc wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:39 am
8foot7 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 am
The posters talking about safety features are barking up the wrong tree, IMO. This is not a 20 year old sedan. This is a 9 year old SUV with plenty of airbags and modern features. She’s not riding around in a 93 Cressida.
LOL No one has a '93 Cressida.

The Toyota Cressida was a mid-size car manufactured by Toyota from December 1976 until 1992 through four generations.—Wikipedia

Someone hit my wife and totaled our '06 Ford. The 2014 we replaced it with was light years more advanced and fun to drive. That was only an 8 year difference.
Forgive me for being off by a year, but you get my point.
I am familiar with CR-Vs, I owned a 2007 CR-V for a long time and I've also looked hard at the current model. There is not a lot of difference, not nearly enough to justify an upgrade from a perfectly functional 2009 model.

Now whether OP needs to justify the purchase or not is another story entirely. He probably doesn't. But I still question whether it makes sense for OP's family's use case.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by JBTX » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:44 am

We never bought a minivan or SUV with two kids. But wife was OK with that.

But there is compromise in a relationship. You can get 1-3 year old odessey with less than 30k miles for $20k and up. Base model new is just over $30k. At your income and net worth you can afford that if that is what she really wants. I'd be hard pressed to spend much over $30k, but that just me.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by stoptothink » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:44 am

climber2020 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:29 am
You can afford it easily, but if I were in your shoes I wouldn't want to buy the car either.
To me, doesn't seem like any real reason to get the minivan other than "wife wants". Our income and net worth numbers are pretty similar (we had a late start so net worth is a bit less) and have two younger children as well and we share a single compact car; if my wife came to me about wanting a new minivan, I'd be in the same boat as OP. Wealthy people become wealthy and stay wealthy because they don't buy things just because they can afford it, the CRV is a perfectly reasonable vehicle for a family of 4. I can think of a million ways to spend $30k that would increase our quality of life far more than a vehicle we don't need - how about we try a few of them and hold off on the minivan? That's exactly how I'd frame the discussion if I were having it with my wife.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Youngblood » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:46 am

IMHO, buy the Odyssey for all the new safety features that help in preventing accidents and excellent crash test results.
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by yogesh » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:47 am

Go right ahead if not new; get a CPO or outgoing model off the lot on 29/30/31st of the month at bargain. My wife asked German sports SUV; I politely steered her to EV instead. With no visits to gas station, no maintenance, weekend charging at home has made it worthwhile. As others have said it; go ahead and treat her with new car
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by kinetic2255 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:52 am

I appreciate the OPs position on getting rid of a car in its prime. We were forced into the van decision by adding a third child (three car seats). I wasn't against a van but we had just purchased a used 2013 CR-V. We sold the CRV privately and purchased a 2012 Odyssey with 70k miles. It has been awesome! Getting the kids in and out is a breeze, acts like a truck if needed, and packing for trips is easy. If I were in your position I would get the van and enjoy it and take the car decision off the table for the next 10 years.

aabcd
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by aabcd » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am

Cheap

NMBob
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by NMBob » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:55 am

Why don't you make your wife cook on an old wood fueled stove while you are at this?? lol! Actually, at least you are wisely asking opinions to see if you are off, (and yes, you are way off.)

I can't believe the bachelor has to explain this to people about what the mom values in a vehicle. (Actually, I learned this from watching a grandmother raise 1,3 and 5 year old grandkids when she got them.)

This is all about the power sliding doors that a mother wants with two young kids roughly 3-6 years old, so they can get in and out on their own and the mom doesn't have to physically open and close 2 doors every time. When younger than that, its about the access to the kids and their safety car seats with the space the layout and the door provides and not opening and closing doors yourself. Mileage has nothing to do with reflecting the things the power door van helps a mom with or the number of times it does. Its not how far you drive, its the number of times you get in and out. Take care of the wife/mom please. Since you are reasonably well off, there is zero reason to deny your wife this.

As someone else said, soon it will also be about fitting a childs friend into the vehicle to go to games, waterpark etc..

we are worth 1.6 mil with two really nice jobs and the wife with 2 kids can't have ....a mini van...... sorry, but that just looks horrible.
Last edited by NMBob on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by vineviz » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:55 am

berg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am
Hello fellow Bogleheads! Can you help me decide if I am being practical or cheap?
Possibly more stubborn than either of these two choices :)

Having owned both a CR-V and (currently) an Odyssey over the course of three children, I can tell you the Odyssey is almost surely the more practical of the two vehicles with kids.

As far as expense goes, the total ownership cost over the next 10-12 years is probably only marginally higher for the Odyssey than for than the CR-V (especially if you buy a used Odyssey).
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:58 am

You could afford it. But I don't see a pressing need to replace it (2013 CRV here) and your original plan makes sense.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by BeneIRA » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:58 am

Spouse only drives 8,000 miles per year and enough of those miles are probably to daycare/soon to be kindergarten and back, which is a very predictable route, at least partially going through a school zone with low speed limits. The likelihood that in those 8,000 miles the spouse gets into a crash which would be markedly different in a 2009 CR-V versus a brand new Odyssey are very low.

In any case, OP, if I am you, to have the best of both worlds here if you know you will upgrade. Tell your spouse to wait until October or November of 2020. At that time, the 2021s will be out and Honda dealerships will be trying to get rid of the 2020s. Sure, there is no redesign, but it doesn't matter. You should be able to score a great deal on a new 2020. You will also be able to see if Honda does anything magical with the 2021 Odyssey, even though it is unlikely since it will be midway through its design cycle. If they do, just grab that one. That way, you get another year and a couple of months out of the extremely usable CR-V. It seems to be a decent compromise.

Also, if equities crash by 30% in that time, you can say "look, we don't have $1 million anymore. Time to wait on the minivan" :twisted:

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:02 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:25 am
berg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am
About us:
Net worth: $1.6m -- $1mm in investments, $420k home equity, $150k cash ($50k e-fund, $50k reserves for planned home expenses, e.g. new roof, HVAC, $25k-$35k for minivan, $15k-25k checking on hand
Income: $249k, I work in tech, she is a tenured teacher, plus stock and bonus but I don't include
We max out Roths and 401k/403b each year
Yes you are being cheap, too cheap.
Way too cheap. Her request is reasonable given how well you are doing. Safety features are well worth it. Don’t make living with you lousy.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by MrJones » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:05 am

mrc wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:39 am
Someone hit my wife and totaled our '06 Ford. The 2014 we replaced it with was light years more advanced and fun to drive. That was only an 8 year difference.
I'm curious, can you elaborate on what made it more advanced and fun?

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by tibbitts » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:08 am

As I have said many times before I don't see how a family can fit in a vehicle the size of a 2009 CRV. When I was a kid (the only kid) we maxed out the full-sized "8-passenger" station wagons of the era all the time just doing routine things - even with the seat cushions removed from the 3rd row (it was rear-facing back then, although I believe some models had side-facing?) to allow more under-floor storage.

But yes, the OP is being seriously cheap.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:10 am

NMBob wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:55 am

This is all about the power sliding doors that a mother wants with two young kids roughly 3-6 years old, so they can get in and out on their own and the mom doesn't have to physically open and close 2 doors every time. When younger than that, its about the access to the kids and their safety car seats with the space the layout and the door provides and not opening and closing doors yourself. Mileage has nothing to do with reflecting the things the power door van helps a mom with or the number of times it does. Its not how far you drive, its the number of times you get in and out.
Gosh I wonder how anyone in the world manages to raise two kids without sliding power doors :oops:
Quick mental survey of our ~40 house neighborhood (avg house price low 600s, so affordability of minivan not an issue). Number of households with two kids: over 20. Number of those households with minivan: 1.
Somehow people are able to survive.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:12 am

You are being cheap and you could get much more for that CR-V if it’s in decent shape. I wish you were around when I was looking for car for my kid.

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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by NMBob » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:13 am

8foot7 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:10 am
NMBob wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:55 am

This is all about the power sliding doors that a mother wants with two young kids roughly 3-6 years old, so they can get in and out on their own and the mom doesn't have to physically open and close 2 doors every time. When younger than that, its about the access to the kids and their safety car seats with the space the layout and the door provides and not opening and closing doors yourself. Mileage has nothing to do with reflecting the things the power door van helps a mom with or the number of times it does. Its not how far you drive, its the number of times you get in and out.
Gosh I wonder how anyone in the world manages to raise two kids without sliding power doors :oops:
Quick mental survey of our ~40 house neighborhood (avg house price low 600s, so affordability of minivan not an issue). Number of households with two kids: over 20. Number of those households with minivan: 1.
Somehow people are able to survive.
how many worth 1.6 mil with a wife that specifically wants a van? Good luck sleeping on the couch. This is about the last thing someone should argue with their spouse over.

mrc
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by mrc » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:15 am

MrJones wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:05 am
mrc wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:39 am
Someone hit my wife and totaled our '06 Ford. The 2014 we replaced it with was light years more advanced and fun to drive. That was only an 8 year difference.
I'm curious, can you elaborate on what made it more advanced and fun?
The new model is unibody, the old body on frame. So it was a lot smoother, quieter ride. The navigation, climate controls, and dashboard controls more usable. Visibility out is better too. Much of the difference some might consider to be bells & whistles, but at the time we purchased both vehicles, they were equivalent trim levels. Love the backup camera and the beeps when the dogs get too near the car to see. I didn't expect there to be such a difference after only 8 years. We generally drive cars into the ground.

The OP has the means to replace the older vehicle and put the wife and kids in a newer and arguably safer vehicle. I would too if my spouse asked. (So long as she's the one driving the minivan :wink: )
Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works | Linux is for those who do | DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work | Windows is for those who don’t

stocknoob4111
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by stocknoob4111 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:17 am

before buying the Odyssey you may want to research Transmission issues.. buy a Sienna instead. As a compromise you could buy a 2 year old 2017 with low miles, will be almost new but save 20%.

Luckywon
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Luckywon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:19 am

Another vote for cheap. Get the Odyssey pronto as from this point on if there are any mishaps in that CRV it's potentially going to be ugly.

strafe
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by strafe » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:26 am

stocknoob4111 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:17 am
before buying the Odyssey you may want to research Transmission issues.. buy a Sienna instead. As a compromise you could buy a 2 year old 2017 with low miles, will be almost new but save 20%.
Current Odyssey does not have transmission issues.

The Sienna has not been updated meaningfully in 10 years and at this point is only bought by people who don’t know any better.

ddurrett896
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:28 am

I’d kill for my wife to want a mini van.

stoptothink
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by stoptothink » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:28 am

NMBob wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:55 am
Why don't you make your wife cook on an old wood fueled stove while you are at this?? lol! Actually, at least you are wisely asking opinions to see if you are off, (and yes, you are way off.)

I can't believe the bachelor has to explain this to people about what the mom values in a vehicle. (Actually, I learned this from watching a grandmother raise 1,3 and 5 year old grandkids when she got them.)

This is all about the power sliding doors that a mother wants with two young kids roughly 3-6 years old, so they can get in and out on their own and the mom doesn't have to physically open and close 2 doors every time. When younger than that, its about the access to the kids and their safety car seats with the space the layout and the door provides and not opening and closing doors yourself. Mileage has nothing to do with reflecting the things the power door van helps a mom with or the number of times it does. Its not how far you drive, its the number of times you get in and out. Take care of the wife/mom please. Since you are reasonably well off, there is zero reason to deny your wife this.

As someone else said, soon it will also be about fitting a childs friend into the vehicle to go to games, waterpark etc..

we are worth 1.6 mil with two really nice jobs and the wife with 2 kids can't have ....a mini van...... sorry, but that just looks horrible.
There is zilch in the OP that suggests the wife is doing most of the child transporting, but it is stated that the wife also works full-time. You are making an assumption. I do a lot more of the child transporting than does my wife (we both work full-time, but she also goes to school)...I also happen to do the bulk of the household cooking and cleaning (again, because she's in school). I know all about the "horrors" of transporting two kids with a vehicle much smaller than a CRV; it is so overblown that it is comical, and the rest of the world laughs at the U.S and their "need" for such large vehicles.

Off the topic, but I had an employee ask me advice on buying a new minivan recently, because they just had their first kid. I guess she just assumed that because we have two kids that we had to have a minivan.

Paradise
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by Paradise » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:31 am

Some of these posts are surprising. A Honda at 79k miles is just getting started. We are still talking about the #1 or #2 most reliable auto maker, right? Arguments about "the car is about to fall apart" or "not safe enough" are absurd.

Here are my thoughts: you can clearly afford the new car, but you will be selling it at an inopportune time. You've already paid for the depreciation and are not enjoying the "low depreciation" part. It's an inefficient car transaction in my book. You presumably got to your great position by being money efficient, so consider what this would mean.

Possible compromise: buy the car that she wants 1-2 years used with low mileage and pay for it to be completely detailed so there isn't a trace of another person having been in it. Would she be up for a used car?

JoeNJ28
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by JoeNJ28 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:33 am

Yes you’re being cheap your resources are more then enough. Also a brand new car has safety features even the best driver can’t control others actions. Newer build better materials better chance of protecting your wife and kids worth more then an extra 30k in investments.

strafe
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Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Post by strafe » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:34 am

berg wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am
Hello fellow Bogleheads! Can you help me decide if I am being practical or cheap? Of course, it is subjective but would love a sanity check from the hive mind.

My wife drives a 2009 Honda CR-V with 79,000 miles on it (probably $5k trade-in). We have a 3-year-old and 4.5-year-old. She very much wants to get a Honda Odyssey minivan. I have had hard time with it right now because we are really getting the best value out of her CR-V at the moment. Just pains me given the value we are getting now for a car that runs well (though admittedly is 10 years old).

She only drives about 8,000 miles per year. So it would take several years even to get to 100k miles. Our sort of "agreement" is we could upgrade the car when my son leaves daycare and moves to Kindergarten in the summer of 2020. The CR-V will probably only be at 90k miles max at this point.

About us:
  • Net worth: $1.6m -- $1mm in investments, $420k home equity, $150k cash ($50k e-fund, $50k reserves for planned home expenses, e.g. new roof, HVAC, $25k-$35k for minivan, $15k-25k checking on hand
  • Income: $249k, I work in tech, she is a tenured teacher, plus stock and bonus but I don't include
  • We max out Roths and 401k/403b each year
Part of my thinking around the daycare side is that despite our income after we max our retirement savings and put away for the kids' college education, we don't have much left over these days. So even though we could use some of the cash reserves, it still in my mental math feels like suddenly making a decision to add this large expense when it is want vs. a need.

My wife an I recently celebrated crossing $1mm in investments for the first time. While I enjoyed a steak and was thrilled at this Boglehead milestone, she simply asked - don't you think we can afford a minivan now? :D
Of course you can afford the new van. I predict that after buying, you and your wife will wish you had made the jump sooner.

Buying a 1-2 year old used Honda is a bad deal for you because they depreciate so slowly. I would buy new.

Also see this:
https://www.motortrend.com/news/march-m ... challenge/

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