A little background first. We have one car. It's a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. My Dh has a company van that he uses for work. My boys are getting bigger (11 and 7) and we also have a dog. The Elantra, although a good little car, is too small for us now, and we really would like a minivan. We've been looking at used, and we want to keep our payments under $200, but we want something not too old (like 3 years is fine) and lower mileage. Back to the Elantra. We owe $4600 on it, and the trade-in value on it is about $5500. I've read that if I trade it, I should have the title free and clear, so I'm assuming that that means I should pay it off in advance. We have about $9000 in our savings account, so technically, I can pay off the car, have possession of the title, and then trade it in for a minivan (and hope that they give me close to blue book value on it). In the meantime, until we found a van that we want, I'd bank the current $189 car payment into savings every month. My worry is that my savings account will be pretty low. I'm uncomfortable with it being that low. We have not been depositing into it regularly, although we will be in the Fall because I've landed a part-time teaching job and will be able to save a little (won't be getting paid much...under $100 a week) The pro to this scenario is when we DO find a van, the entire trade amount will be applied to the price of the van, right? That will make our payments on the van pretty low, and I could possibly take a loan for 48 months instead of 60. I'm not sure if I exactly have a question here or not. I guess I'm looking for some reassurance or advice on how to do this. Thanks for any input!