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I was Shocked at the Responses


In my recent post regarding my decision not to buy a car, I was floored at the backlash and criticism. Not because it hurt my feelings, I’ve definitely gotten thicker skinned since writing here, but because I honestly hadn’t considered this a risk to Sea Cadet…didn’t even enter my mind.

He had offered to let me drive his car as long as I needed after he was gone for free. No rush to sell it, etc. I was the one who decided that me just driving it at no cost was not fair to him, so came up with the $100 plan. (KBB value is between $500-700.)

Decisions, decisions, decisions – but I will be patient and make the right one!

And as far as insurance goes, I put this in the comments of that post, but will address it here…both the twins and their cars are on my insurance. I never dropped insurance on myself, just on the totaled car, so I am fully covered when I drive their cars, as are their cars.

What to Do

But I did read your comments with an open mind…and am now I am wavering. Not in my decision to NOT buy a car, I am still committed to that. But in my thoughts are keeping his car longer than we need too.

Since you all have thoughts on this help me…here are the facts:

  • I am doing fine without a car. I have access to my grandmother’s most any time I want. And History Buff can pick up the slack (getting Princess places) when he is available.
  • I will need a car much more often from August until October because Princess will play volleyball; otherwise, very little need.
  • Sea Cadet is leaving at the end of this month. His car will be here, sitting, after August 2nd. (He and History Buff are driving up to VA after school is out and he will leave to CA from there. History Buff will bring his car back.)
  • I will be removing him as a driver on our insurance policy while he is gone. We have confirmed he will be covered by Americorps, so there will be no gap in coverage which we know we have to avoid.
  • I will be covering the insurance on his car until it is sold and am listed as a driver on his car on our policy.
  • The car is titled in his name. He has given me the title.
  • Our plan (discussed and decided on together) was originally that History Buff would sell his car, and then drive Sea Cadet’s car while he was gone. The reasoning behind this is that History Buff’s car is in much worse shape.
  • Sea Cadet rethought this original plan after observing how History Buff fails to take care of his own car. And decided that he would just like to sell it and save the money for when he returns toward another car.
  • When I totaled our car, Sea Cadet offered to just let me keep and drive his car as long as I needed to after he left. And then sell it.
  • (This is an assumption on my part.) I believe Sea Cadet is second guessing his decision to sell based on conversations I have had with him recently on how good of shape his car is in and how much life it has in it.
  • I believe I could move forward with selling Sea Cadet’s car in August. And make it through my busy driving months with my Grandmother’s car without issue. Thus relieving him of the liability of me driving a car titled in his name.
  • I really don’t want the expense of owning another car while I am paying for Sea Cadet’s car until it sells. (And I do not want to purchase his car, lots of reasons for this financial and otherwise.)

A couple more thoughts…

  • My #1 goal on the car front side is to purchase Princess a reliable car to drive with CASH come next summer when she gets her license. She will be driving to school her senior year. I truly do not mind not having a car at this point. (And can rent from a local Enterprise when needed.)
  • When my boyfriend moves here from Florida, we have already decided that we would consolidate down to one car…just a know plan in the back of my head as I consider car stuff. (No firm timeline on this, but earliest would be this fall but could easily be longer.)


  • Reply Laura |

    When evaluating your needs,
    remember your daughter will be in a private school and will need transportation this year.

    I hope this relationship is a good one and works out for you. That said, I wouldn’t base any plans on when/if he moves. You just never know what will happen and need to assume you need to take care of all your needs, transportation and otherwise.

    • Reply Hope |

      There is a bus that runs…so transportation is covered for Princess school. And they even have an activity bus, which her current school did not have.

  • Reply Libby |

    So all the comments about why driving Sea Cadet’s car is a bad idea? They also apply to constantly borrowing your grandmother’s car. Borrowing once in a blue moon is very different from using her car as a way to not get your own, and places your grandmother in a bad position.

    • Reply Hope |

      I actually drive my grandmother around all the time per her request. She is not ready to give up her independence officially, but we all prefer she not drive. I was doing this even before my car was totaled. It’s not that I keep her car. But I can use it in the evenings when Princess has a game.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    Yesterday my daughter sold her car which her dad and I had to sign papers for the sale because our names were on the title. You better check before he leaves if the title is in his name will he have to sign if you decide to sell for whatever reason to sell.

  • Reply Ellen |

    Why are parents so set on buying their children cars these days? I knew my parents could not afford to buy me a car (you really can’t either). I saved up and bought my own car. Even if she finds something cheap, have her get a PT job and save up. She can easily find something reliable for $1000. All she would have to do is save up $50-100 a week and she would have a car in 5 months max. Have her get a work permit and find a job for the rest of the summer. It will give her a head start. Maybe skip volleyball this year so she can focus on working and saving.If you feel that you must help her, use the volleyball money.

    • Reply Hope |

      Because she is just 15 she has not been able to find a job…she has tried. She actually began trying at 14.
      She is going to try again after volleyball season is over. Her goal is to play volleyball in college and we are hopeful she will get a scholarship for volleyball, so her not playing is not something we are considering.
      I can’t answer for everyone…but for me, I guess buying the first car comes from how I was raised, etc. And it will not be new or fancy, but it will be reliable. Princess is the type of kid that would do it all herself and never asks for anything…but I want to enable her to focus on school and volleyball in preparation for college so taking this pressure off is what I can do.

      • Reply Cheryl |

        You say your daughter is quite bright and you want to send her to private school, wouldn’t you want her to get a scholarship to college on her grades and not volleyball?

      • Reply SMW |

        At her age, I was delivering newspapers, babysitting & petsitting. You mean to tell me she can’t find any lawns to mow, kids to watch, or pets to care for/dogs to walk this summer? How hard has she been trying?

        • Reply Libby |

          How is that girl supposed to find a job when she’s literally never home? Princess had to tell Hope not to waste money on a pool membership because she will never be home to use it. There’s camp, and then there’s the time they spend in Texas, and school here starts the first week of August.

          Plus, delivering newspapers has been a job for adults literally my entire life, and I’m not much younger than Hope. Same with yards, really. And so many parents today don’t trust teenagers, so babysitting is out. Princess would be a great pet sitter, but I don’t know how well the area they are in would support that, and she would be dependent on Hope for rides. And Hope doesn’t have a car. They live in a very, very rural area. She doesn’t have a nice suburban neighborhood to pull from.

    • Reply Jen |

      I’m going to preface this with the following things: 1) I do not believe that Hope buying her daughter a car when she herself has all this debt and no car is the right decision. 2) I have no idea what the employment prospects for a teenager in Hope’s town are.

      However, there are situations where the parents buying a kid a car (or at least doing “I buy, you pay me back”) situation make sense. I grew up in a rural town, and there were almost no jobs. The only place a teenager could work was the gas station, and there are only so many of those jobs to go around. Most kids had jobs in towns 20+ minutes away. My parents were in the position to purchase a safe and reliable, but old, car. They did so, because I would not have been able to get a job otherwise. I got a job, and paid all of my vehicle-related expenses.

      I was also able to ferry my sister around, saving my parents time and expense. I also went to a crap high school and used that car to pursue better educational opportunities. But I took classes at a community college, I didn’t go to a 11K/yr private school. I ended high school as a college sophomore, and because the community college offered a discounted rate to HS students, I ended up saving a lot of money on college tuition.

    • Reply Cheryl |

      I am not sure where you live but around here a $1000 car wouldn’t be worth driving and having a 16 year old drive a reliable car would be very important to me.

      • Reply Ellen |

        You would be surprised what you can find on FB Marketplace and craigslist these days. There are a lot of older cars that aren’t worth much to dealerships if you do a trade so people sell them online. My son’s first car cost him $900. He’s been driving it for 4 years now. No issues. He has also found several cheap cars on FB that have had minimal issues. He fixed them up himself and flipped them. Two he didn’t even bother putting in his name. Whatever it was that was wrong with them was an easy fix. He had them sold for $500 more than what he paid the next day.
        So it’s definitely possible.

        • Reply Cheryl |

          I’m going to talk with my husband about this. Our son is a slow mover and needs a car but lives 4 hours from us. Wonder if something like this could work. He really just needs a reliable car nothing fancy. Thanks

  • Reply Anne |

    I’m not sure of the legalities in your state regarding insuring a vehicle that is titled in your adult child’s name when that adult child is not living in your home. If you have not looked into this, you should. And while I question buying your daughter a car considering your financial situation, if that is your plan, why not buy Sea Cadet’s car now for $600 and drive it until Princess is 16. Then, if you’ve been able to save enough money or simply decide that you don’t need a car, you could give that car to her. Finally, we would all be able to be more helpful if you provided an updated budget.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    I am telling you this is love….seriously STOP. You just committed to a school you cannot afford and you are still planning to spend more money you don’t have yet on a car for her. I know you want that for her but, you need to tell yourself, and her, ‘No’. Want to go to this school? Awesome, you will be on the bus, cut back on sports, vacations will be cancelled etc because this is a priority and we support it but, the money has to come from somewhere. I love your optimism but, you need to balance it with reality. Just pretending the money will eventually work itself out is not helping anyone long term, I promise.
    As for borrowing Grandma’s car, I think that is very risky as she is the title holder and can be held financially responsible for your actions but, as adults if you are both ok with that, it’s between the two of you. Not a risk I would take.
    As a personal side note, I love how much you love your daughter but, I would challenge you to stop and put feelings aside. Are you spoiling her a bit because she is the baby, you’re about to be an empty nester, you miss her brother etc? Are you trying to keep up with the Jones’ you haven’t even met yet? All really valid reasons but, potentially clouding your decisions and leading you to financial ruin. Again, in love, you cannot afford to make huge financial mistakes at this age. And look from your other children’s point of view…they were practically homeless, how many ‘eat from the pantry’ type challenges etc did you have? Pretty sure one has had to pay his own medical bills for something beyond his control but, suddenly you’re pulling out all the stops for this child??? You better believe you are going to hear about it when they need money for more education, weddings, babies etc. I have literally seen decisions like this destroy family relationships, grandparents not allowed to see grandkids etc. so I pray that you really, really consider all of your children in these types of decisions. I know the last thing you are thinking of is yourself but, you really, really need to do so. Thing long term, what do YOU realistically want your life to look like in 5,10 years and how can you make that happen?

  • Reply Shanna |

    Since his car is so inexpensive, why don’t you just buy it from him and he is your “lender” at the $100/month. Change the title to yourself and pay him monthly for 8 months. When he comes back if he still wants the car he can buy it back from you the same way. Also, I would check again with your insurance company, as the titled owner of the car, he likely has to have insurance, even if he is not living at home. This would help in that regard as well if he doesn’t hold title.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    You have had a lot of large financial changes since your last budget. You are repaying your student loan again. You have had educational costs for History Buff and now Princess. I think I’ll hold off on advising until I have a better understanding of how you are going to make your $3850 budget work with all these changes.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    Are you now paying for health insurance and are you able to help with medical costs from your son’s hospitalization? I know mine and my son’s is close to $700 a month.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Seriously…just buy Sea Cadets car from him. If you could find cash to pay private school tuition, you can find cash to buy his car outright. Princess will need a car sooner than later. It’s a no brainer. Stop living month to month and start anticipating your needs in 6 months to a year!!!

    I’d love a budget update, debt update, housing update (is your landlord still selling your rental house??) and a recap of your travel spend.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Same here. I’d also like to see a savings update. The insurance company gave her $1800 for a car. If she buys Sea Cadet for $800 that should leave her with $1000 for her other needs like schooling for History Buff and Princess. That would leave her with $1100 to come up with in around 3 weeks.

      • Reply Kate |

        Yes – I would buy it outright from him. If he’s in agreement, then you can always decide to pay him at $100/month but transfer the title now for liability issues. One thing I don’t understand, though, is why your daughter can take the bus now but will need a car next year. If you buy your son’s car now, though, she could always use it next year (assuming you really don’t want/need your own then).

    • Reply Tango |

      I’d also like to see regular income statements. Have you had several really good months and that’s where the money to pay for school etc. is coming from? It’s really hard to give good advice when we’re missing half of the financial picture.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I would like to see a budget update with all of the changes that have gone on and will continue to go on for the next 6 months. I would like it to include how much of a hit “car savings” has taken with History Buff needing some of the money for schooling earlier, your new student loan repayment numbers, and your new commitment to private schooling. I’d also like an update on your emergency fund. It was at $1800 at one point which is less than half of a month worth of expenses for your household with a line item of $100 a month going towards its funding. Has it grown? Is it your intent to use it dip into this to pay for private school?

So, what do you think ?