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Newbie Needs Help

I was just talking to a young lady who is in the market for her first car. She was feeling pretty frustrated. She said her parents have made it clear that financially she is on her own. They are paying for her college education, keeping a roof over her head, clothes on her back, and feeding her. If rides from mom and dad are no longer sufficient, she needs to provide her own alternative.

I actually applaud the parents on that stand. They are providing the necessities. Acquiring her own luxuries should be up to the daughter, however, the parents also aren’t providing her with any guidance.

While I do agree that experience is the best teacher, for optimal educational results it is always best to have a facilitator. That’s why I directed the girl to take her potential car purchase to the mechanic her dad trusts and ask him to check it out before she buys it. I also turned her on to a great place to compare, contrast, and purchase auto insurance coverage.

The end result of this is that the young lady decided she needed to save a bit more money in order to by a better quality car. She was also quite startled to discover how high insurance costs are for brand new drivers — even college honor students. She thinks she’ll be getting a summer job and walking to work everyday so that by the time the weather turns cold she’ll be able to afford a car and insurance coverage.


  1. My daughter’s 4th Quarter Algebra II project was an even MORE eye opening event. The teacher told them they would each be ‘buying’ a NEW car. Their budget was $30,000, their loan would be 5%, no money down (financing the whole thing) and the loan repayment period 5 years. They had to do and show the math for how much the loan would cost them, what their monthly payment would be, and how much the car would be worth when they graduate from college (6 or seven years depending on the grade they’re in). It was hilarious to listen to my daughter rant and rave about how it was so unfair that the bank would charge INTEREST on a loan? Didn’t they REALIZE she is a person of integrity and would pay it back? I laughed out loud and explained time value of money and security interests…and then when she realized her monthly payment would be over $350 per month, I said, “now let’s talk about insurance and the price of gas and personal property tax in our county and tolls to get to and from the city if you’re going to work there ” an d. . . .

    Her conclusion for the project: “I do not need a car!”

  2. My parents bought me my first car; however, I paid for all of it’s maintence, gas, gave my parents money for the insurance…etc. I also paid for my college education.

  3. Girls should have a good car for safety purposes.
    They will be studying and staying out late so walking on the street and using buses are not good solutions. Cars are not a luxury anymore. They are necessities. Parents should help if they can. There are some nice used cars one can buy cheap and the insurance can be Moms or Dad’s with her as a second driver.

    1. Lady — some people actually think that if kids are given responsibility they will learn to be responsible. Her parents do not live her to walk at night. They pick her up and take her. Also we live on a very small, very close knit island.

  4. Those are rough times and rough lessons. We didn’t feel we could afford to have our kids learn them. Living out in the country where we do, it is at least (bare minimum) 13 miles to ANYTHING… I drove them to and from work for a long while… while they saved to buy cars that we thought they should save longer and buy “better” — but they’re hard headed. But when Krysti went to college, she HAD to have a car! Especially since the college she was going to was ALSO waaaaaaaaay out in the sticks! She wouldn’t have been able to have a job without a car. No PT up there! (none here either…) We bought the car & paid the insurance as long as she was in school. When she quit school — ahhhhhhh— then it was another story!

  5. .
    I didn’t have a car in college (the first time I went, after high school). Did you? 🙂

    My kids did though, but they worked and paid most of the expenses themselves. Except the baby. She had two wage earners to put her through.

  6. .
    Having said that, I do buy my grandkid’s textbooks and supplies. That helps them a lot. Books don’t cost $5 any more, they are $100 plus each.

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