New Dodge Grand Caravan RT unveiled today at the Chicago Auto Show – A Thrifty Moms take on this.

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Yesterday I was contacted Lyneka Little who was writing a story for ABCNEWs.com about Chrysler’s New Dodge Grand Caravan RT: The Minivan for Men. She was fun to talk to and wanted to get a Moms opinion on what attracts them to purchase a minivan.  Being that  I am ” A Thrifty Mom” price and safety were at the top of my list.  Sure I want something that looks nice, but if I can not afford it then it does not have much appeal to me.  I know I may not be the normal consumer and may frustrate many marketing teams as they try to sell me a pitch.  But I feel strongly that being in dept may bring instant gratification but long term stress which will fracture a family.

Now do not get me wrong, I think you should be selective  and if you want a certain make or model and it fits into your budget plan then go for it. Enjoy your new ride that style and features fit your families needs.  If you are not sure your “dream vehicle” will fit into your budget I suggest you put the money aside each month that you would be spending for that payment ( don’t forget to check insurance prices too and add that to your payment).  After 3-6 months of making your pretend payments see how it effected your over all budget: was it a stretch, did it cause stress, or did you have to take money from other places to make the payment?  If you were able to answer no to all these questions, then you now have made a more informed decision.   You also have  your “pretend payments” set aside which you  can use as a down payment to help you get a better interest rates, or help get approved for financing.

Above is a photo of your 1998 Dodge Caravan, we purchased it in 2004.  We upgraded from a small car, that did not accommodate  Matt’s 6’2 height (all legs) and the car seats for our kids.  When we were looking to upgrade, Matt really wanted a SUV but I wanted a minivan.  I was busy looking at seating, gas mileage, air control and price.  Matt on the other hand was looking at the body style, window tint, tire size, engine power and how far back he could push the front seat to fit his long legs.  We came to a happy compromise and were thrilled with our Dodge minivan, it had what we both  wanted.  Matt was now the proud owner of his “Man Van”.

I went outside to take a photo of our van today, and Matt got this horrified look on his face and said you are not going to put that on the site are you.   I said ” you bet I am”,  sure it is not the glamorous  new body style, the paint is faded,  tires are worn, a little dusty and far from what it was back when it was new.  And yes I desperately want to upgrade, but I am proud to have a vehicle that is paid in full, runs well and have kept my family safe for the last 7 years!

As for the the new Dodge Grand Caravan RT ( Man Van), Matt took a peak at it today online and was rather impressed with the new look.  It met both the need to provide space and comfort for his family, as well as the look he is attracted too.  He was “all about” the grill he said looked like Dodge Charger…..me on the other hand “hmmm what is a grill”.

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