So, 18mos. ago it seemed like a great idea to lease our van instead of purchasing it, due to the tempting lower payments. We have always bought our vehicles in the past. However, I have a bad habit of getting "car envy" after 4 yrs. and wanting a new vehicle, so we have always ended up buying a new van just as, or even before our old one was paid off, meaning we always had car payments anyhow. That's why we decided to go the lease route this time. Trouble is, in the past, we were always able to sell the vehicle (on our own, rather than trading it in) and then we had that $$ toward a nice downpayment on a new one. Obviously, that's not going to happen this time. We have gotten really serious this year and have been able to eliminate all of our CC debt, we're just stuck with these car payments (DH's is almost paid off though). As our kids get older, and college looms closer each year, we feel like we would rather not have perpetual payments! We have been very happy with the van (Honda Odyssey) and we're thinking that it might make sense to try to purchase it at the end of the 3 yr. contract. Hondas tend to have good residual value. Does anybody know if that makes sense to do? Or is it better to simply return it at the end of the lease (we will not be over our mileage limit) or sooner, and buy a different vehicle? Of course, the problem then becomes finding enough $$ to use toward a downpayment, which would enable us to keep the payments low. I am sure that one of you budget experts can help us! Thank you!