Ignorance is Bliss
Okay, so while Lori was checking on infant car seats for our upcoming bundle of joy, she learned that the type of child car seats we're using for our kids are, well, less than optimal for safety. So we were checking on prices for the good ones - 5-point restraints and whatnot. First of all, ouch. Anybody want to chip in 400 bucks to keep my kids safe? But obviously child safety is a high prioroty, so while we mull that dilemma, on to the next problem...
We drive a Subaru wagon. If you add up the width of two acceptable child seats and one acceptable infant seat, they are wider than the back seat area of our car. Even with our existing seats, which are narrower, we still come out a couple inches short.
So suddenly we're looking at selling the Subaru - which has a busted tail light, a dented bumper, a scratched fender, and a driver's side mirror held on with Gorilla Glue and covered with residue from the duct tape that was previously holding it on. It's pretty filthy after years of kids and neglect and rural life. It's almost 10 years old and has 135,000 miles on it. And buying what? A minivan or an SUV? Gee, that sounds great. Now I can drive an even lower mileage vehicle 200 miles every Thursday. And pay for it with the pathetic resale value of our current vechicle, plus the zero dollars of spare budget capacity that we have available. The Subaru isn't perfect, but at least we know what's wrong with it, and as you can guess, aesthetic problems aren't a big deal to us. But they are to prospective buyers.
Sigh. All this from a stinking car seat. And to think I used to ride in the very back of my grandmother's station wagon, with no five point harnesses, no seatbelts, no airbags or crumple zones or crash helmets or fire suits.
I do wish I could think of a reasonable solution that didn't involve conjuring money from thin air while the economy swirls in the background.