@andee - Speaking of problems with your transmission, when I was in college and had no money I had an old car that I had to really baby along. One day it just wouldn't start and I needed to replace the transmission. Because it was so much cheaper to rebuild the automatic transmission than buy a new one - that is what I did. I figured I just needed to keep that car long enough to get through college.
It lasted as long as I kept the car. I am not saying there weren't plenty of other problems, but at least the transmission was good for awhile!