About 3 months ago, we called off our search for a minivan. Yesterday, we found the "perfect" van, unexpectedly, but not by accident. We drove about 45 minutes to see it, as the ad on Craigslist (photo from the ad) only had an address, no phone number and no response to the email I'd sent.
We went using our recently refreshed Dave Ramsey deal making skills, particularly the power of cash, the skill to shut up (and listen) and the ability to walk away. We had a set price, which was $800 below the asking price, and we had the cash in hand (nerve wracking, to say the least, carrying around that much cash). And the whole way there I was coaching myself not to get too attached so that I wouldn't be disappointed to walk away - I knew there was only a very slim chance our offer would be accepted. And I was praying, too, that God would make it very clear to us whether we should purchase a van.
But really, it was worth the risk of that drive. The worst that could happen is that we'd get there and turn around and re-deposit the money in our savings account.
Much to our amazement, they took our offer and threw in a couple of cupcakes for the boys from their son's 12th birthday party. And now we are the owners, for better or for worse, of a one-owner (it had 2 miles on it when they bought it), very clean 2003 Chevy Venture with 8 passenger seating, AWD, and some other nifty features, including a working air conditioner for our sticky summer days. A definite bonus blessing. We paid about 2500 less than the private party blue book value. God is gracious to us. We are praising HIM for this blessing, and pray that we can use what He has provided to honor Him and serve others!