Author Topic: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...  (Read 6889 times)

Andrew928

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Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« on: November 28, 2016, 07:55:32 AM »
Alright guys so my girlfriend wants to buy a new car because her old one is falling apart and she wants something to "show" for her work and the car she is looking at is a little over 30K. I brought up a used car but she dismissed the idea and I brought up how she is debt free and why she would want to take some on again and she said "because that's what everyone else is doing" I then pointed out that this is a fallacy and she really needs to think about it and if she is so set on getting a new car why not get one for 20K instead of 30K. At this point she grew irritated with me and I just told her that she is not my wife and can do as she please but to think really hard about it.

Any ideas?

Retire-Canada

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 08:08:10 AM »
Any ideas?

It's her life and her money let her figure it out. You've done your duty - discussed the issue with her as best you could.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 08:33:32 AM »
Any ideas?

It's her life and her money let her figure it out. You've done your duty - discussed the issue with her as best you could.

This. A new car is not a deadly sin - it's not ideal, but if she wants something to show for her work and feels that a new car is worth the offsets, there's not much more that needs to be said.

Fishindude

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 08:37:15 AM »
Is she going to borrow every dime for it, partial down payment, or pay cash?
 

doneby35

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 08:40:03 AM »
"because that's what everyone else is doing" is a childish excuse.

If she wants a nicer looking car, then maybe find her a used nicer looking car off of craigslist and be like "what do you think about this one".
How long have you been together, if it's less than 3-6 months, then make your suggestion and then let her do whatever she wants.
If you love each other/invested in each other, she should be listening to your thoughts without getting irritated and you need to continue and attempt to put her back on the right track.

Andrew928

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 08:43:18 AM »
Have been together for 2 years and she is 30 and I am 23, she has about 15K cash saved up that she was originally going to put as a DP on a house so i'm not sure how much down she would be doing.

omega13

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 08:49:15 AM »
What's to "show" about this car? Is she trying to prove to her co-workers that she can afford it? Does she think the same way about clothes, dining out, jewelry etc? You can't really keep up with the Jones'.

One thing I would do is to inform her that the value of the new car would drop by about 10-15% the moment she drives it off the lot. In addition, it'll cost her more than 20-30k because of lost opportunity cost long term. Even if she were to save 10k and put it towards her savings/retirements it would doubly benefit her. She gets a method of transportation and sets her retirement on track.

But then again, if she is focused more on the now, showing off etc. then she cares more about what others think rather than what's right or that she is making the salesman rich.

I would say, try to identify why she is putting so much meaning behind the purchase of this car if you want to continue to make her see some reason in your thinking.

But if she is making this decision emotionally, then logic and numbers might not sway her even if they make for a stronger case.


Andrew928

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 08:56:04 AM »
It is definitely emotional, she has two kids and have been living in rented housing her whole life and always wanted to be a home owner but has realized living in southern California that it is harder then ever and may not be a goal that she can reach anytime soon. I know she isn't doing this for other people but for herself so that she at least has something she can enjoy. I totally understand where she is coming from but just don't want her to regret it.

No Name Guy

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 12:57:13 PM »
It's So Cal.....car culture central.

Sucks, but meh.....par for that course.

Anecdote:  Some years ago, I had a multi year temp assignment there in the land of boob job and Botox billboards for work.  Looking to find an apartment, one of the criteria was looking at the cars in the parking lot.  Applying the filter of the cars in the lot being a proxy for the general economic condition of the occupants of said apartment complex, what did I discover about the complex I eventually chose?  As it turns out, the economic condition of the occupants was far lower that the "car test" led me to believe since I applied the "Seattle Standard" to this, not realizing that people in So Cal put a disproportionate (compared to Seattle) fraction of their total income toward their vehicles relative to all else.  In the end it worked out for me since if I had known the proper calibration for the "car test", I would have chosen a more expensive complex.  Live and learn.....


MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 01:26:08 PM »
It's a tough call. No one wants to be nagged especially when it's their own money. You said your piece, now drop it.

Reynolds531

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 01:59:36 PM »
You need to see this for what it is. A glimpse of the future.

MrsPete

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 06:59:55 PM »
Alright guys so my girlfriend wants to buy a new car because her old one is falling apart and she wants something to "show" for her work and the car she is looking at is a little over 30K. I brought up a used car but she dismissed the idea and I brought up how she is debt free and why she would want to take some on again and she said "because that's what everyone else is doing" I then pointed out that this is a fallacy and she really needs to think about it and if she is so set on getting a new car why not get one for 20K instead of 30K. At this point she grew irritated with me and I just told her that she is not my wife and can do as she please but to think really hard about it.

Any ideas?
Point out to her that you should never spend more on a car than you can afford to lose in an instant ... because it's quite possible to lose it in an instant -- and then what do you have to show off for all your hard work? 

Point out that buying a car to show off is definitely poor person behavior.  Why?  Because it's an achievable goal for someone who's working, even someone working at a modest salary.  Be sure she understands the difference between appreciating and depreciating assets.  Point out that better assets might include buying a house, saving for the kids' educations, and saving for your own retirement. 

Finally, I'm contemplating buying a new car ... but I have significant cash and investments, a paid-for house, and only one child left at home with two years of college left.  I can pay cash for the car I'm considering.  STILL, I wouldn't buy a 30K car. 

use2betrix

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 07:22:57 PM »
Lay out the all the math and financial situations and implementations of her buying the car.

Past that you can't force her to do anything, and if you can live with her decision then you can't constantly resent her for it either, as every relationship has an open door policy.

Emg03063

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 08:02:31 PM »
^This.  If you want to be a controlling dick about it, you can always play the "I care about you and was thinking we might have a long term future together one day, but I'm not interested in marrying into debt." card (not really recommended).

DailyGrindFree

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 08:05:58 PM »
You need to see this for what it is. A glimpse of the future.

+1. Well said.

Andrew928

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2016, 10:07:01 PM »
SUCCESS! She changed her mind...at least for now.

Dicey

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2016, 10:29:11 PM »
Whoa, just as I was about to comment, your response posted. Danger, Will Robinson! (Google it, I'm old, lolz.)

Thirty is a little old to be financially clueless. It's also a little old to only have 15k saved, IMO. Hopefully, she's started a retirement stache that you didn't mention.

This situation could prove to be a valuable insight into your future relationship. Can you two have a meaningful discussion about financial ́ssues? Can you learn about goal-setting and compromise together? You can either use this to expand your mutual financial goals and vocabulary or use it a canary in a coal mine. Yes, it is her money, but it's also your future.

ETA: Apparently I didn't hit "Post" before walking away from the computer. This was in response to #5, so now out of sequence.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 05:35:09 AM by Diane C »

Metric Mouse

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2016, 04:19:44 AM »
SUCCESS! She changed her mind...at least for now.

Great! I hope you are both happy with her decision. Resentment is not healthy for long-term relationships.

mwulff

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2016, 04:45:17 AM »
Take for a test drive in a Nissan Leaf or a VW e-golf. That might change her mind and there are great tax incentives for these cars.

chasesfish

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2016, 05:39:06 AM »
You're 23, presumably have a good job, and live in Southern California?

I'd choose to part with the girlfriend over this.  Maybe that's just my older self talking

Andrew928

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2016, 02:37:35 PM »
Thanks for all the insight guys.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2016, 02:42:23 PM »
You're 23, presumably have a good job, and live in Southern California?

I'd choose to part with the girlfriend over this.  Maybe that's just my older self talking

Especially 7 years your senior =D

ketchup

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2016, 02:58:39 PM »
Point out to her that you should never spend more on a car than you can afford to lose in an instant ... because it's quite possible to lose it in an instant -- and then what do you have to show off for all your hard work? 

Point out that buying a car to show off is definitely poor person behavior.  Why?  Because it's an achievable goal for someone who's working, even someone working at a modest salary.
My god, yes yes yes.  This is a great revelation for a person to have.  I've seen waaay too much of that attitude (zero or negative net worth and low income people driving new cars to "show off").  My GF snapped out of that particular "poor person mindset" (grew up very poor with a welfare queen mom) once we laid down the math together years ago and realized we were paying half as much to drive almost twice as much as many of our peers.

And after the fourth or fifth $400 car payment, it's not a nice new shiny toy to parade around anymore... it's just a car.

MrsPete

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2016, 06:37:34 AM »
And after the fourth or fifth $400 car payment, it's not a nice new shiny toy to parade around anymore... it's just a car.
This comment is spot-on.  A new car is wonderful fun!  A pleasure to drive, feels so luxurious, even enjoyable to wash and vacuum.  It's fun to show off to friends.  But that "new" wears off quickly.  Pretty soon it's just a car ... yet that high payment remains. 

What we're really talking about is not whether she needs a car -- she probably does -- but whether a person who's just starting out, a person on a moderate income, a person supporting a child on a single income ... should SPLUGE on a high-priced car. 

SeaEhm

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2016, 07:57:08 PM »
Weird, I must be really brainwashed because if one purchases the right car he/she can drive it for years and thoroughly enjoy it without the excitement wearing off.

Or... I am just a car person.

My suggestion is now trying to get your GF to look at the benefits of used car ownership.  So many people want to put a feather in their cap to say, "I bought it brand new" because they have an insecurity about buying a used car as they believe it implies one cannot afford it in a new version.   When coworkers asked, did you buy it new? The easiest reply is, "After looking at the features in the last couple of years, I noticed that they had very limited and underwhelming changes in terms of engine upgrades, technological software upgrades, as well as overall comfort features.  Therefore, I decided to buy the [insert model year] version with the extended warranty that saved me thousands of dollars while giving me a warranty that is longer than the OEM manufacturers one."

Looking at your location, you do seem to be living in an area that astronomically high car payments to income ratios are totally normal.  It's very easy to get sucked into believing that it is the norm to drive a BMW or Mercedes.  My friend had a house cleaner who drove a Land Rover!

Tjat

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2016, 08:03:15 PM »
Glad it seems to have worked out. For future reference there is a ton of risk in pushing her towards a used car if she doesn't want one.  Who's fault so you think every repair and rattle will be?


ETA due to autocorrect
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 06:14:21 AM by Tjat »

ender

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2016, 08:07:41 PM »
Alright guys so my girlfriend wants to buy a new car because her old one is falling apart and she wants something to "show" for her work and the car she is looking at is a little over 30K. I brought up a used car but she dismissed the idea and I brought up how she is debt free and why she would want to take some on again and she said "because that's what everyone else is doing" I then pointed out that this is a fallacy and she really needs to think about it and if she is so set on getting a new car why not get one for 20K instead of 30K. At this point she grew irritated with me and I just told her that she is not my wife and can do as she please but to think really hard about it.

Any ideas?

We just bought a new car because it was a lot cheaper per mile than the used models of the one we wanted.

Was it the optimal decision? Hard to say. But as we were pretty set on buying that type of car, it was a pretty dang good deal. I think we'd have to drive it 300k miles or something absurd before the price/mile of depreciation would be more than buying used.

You can mitigate this by buying different models, sometimes. Some new cars just have insane incentives on them, though, so it's hard to know.


Metric Mouse

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2016, 06:43:02 AM »
Alright guys so my girlfriend wants to buy a new car because her old one is falling apart and she wants something to "show" for her work and the car she is looking at is a little over 30K. I brought up a used car but she dismissed the idea and I brought up how she is debt free and why she would want to take some on again and she said "because that's what everyone else is doing" I then pointed out that this is a fallacy and she really needs to think about it and if she is so set on getting a new car why not get one for 20K instead of 30K. At this point she grew irritated with me and I just told her that she is not my wife and can do as she please but to think really hard about it.

Any ideas?

We just bought a new car because it was a lot cheaper per mile than the used models of the one we wanted.

Was it the optimal decision? Hard to say. But as we were pretty set on buying that type of car, it was a pretty dang good deal. I think we'd have to drive it 300k miles or something absurd before the price/mile of depreciation would be more than buying used.

You can mitigate this by buying different models, sometimes. Some new cars just have insane incentives on them, though, so it's hard to know.

I've found that the time and effort it takes to optimize some of these types of decisions far outweigh the marginal increase in savings (For me). Car shopping easily falls into this category. My process is often: "I want X. Can I afford X? Is there a way to make X more affordable? - buy/don't buy X."  I don't waste my time looking at different cars that I wouldn't want or shopping around for hundreds of hours to save a few hundred dollars; if I have to own a thing, I would easily pay slightly more to have a thing that brings me joy.

Kansas Terri

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2016, 07:26:55 AM »
double post
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 08:00:01 AM by Kansas Terri »

Kansas Terri

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2016, 07:28:49 AM »
My husband never regretted the new cars that he bought. He did take care of them and he got over 200,000 miles each out of them. They cost more up front, but because they were ell maintained they did better for us than the used cars we have bought. In the long run they cost less.

We are older now, and I have some health issues. I know I might not NEED a car that will last 12 years, as sooner or later I will be too old to drive,  so I decided not to buy a new one. I was able to find just what I  wanted in a Ford Ranger with 100,000 miles on it, and so that is what we bought. And, I must say it is easier to pay $8,000 instead 0f $30,000! my bank account thanks me! (Though, if I had been 30 I might have bought a new car, because I would know I had many, many years of driving in front of me.)

The upshot is, do not begrudge her spending the money she has earned. It may be wise financially, but it is not a good relationship move.

Believe it or not, salesmen often would refuse a woman's money because her husband was not with her. It has happened to me often enough! It makes us ladies ANGRY! And I am not making this up!

You have done very well in talking her into reconsidering this purchase. DH and I sometimes do each other this favor. The upshot is, it really does have to be her decision in the end, as she earned the money and is driving the vehicle.

Women are pretty good at talking about things, as long as they know their significant other is not trying for total control. For a woman to be told by a salesman or ANYYBODY else "I will not allow you to spend the money you earned" is far, FAR different from "you may want to reconsider". The first makes a woman angry, the second rarely does.

Frugalman19

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2016, 07:51:29 AM »
You need to see this for what it is. A glimpse of the future.

+1. Well said.

Seriously, run for the hills

Kansas Terri

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2016, 08:05:22 AM »
I disagree, because she is driving a beater even though she has money in the bank. Also because he has very possibly talked her out of it. She sounds reasonable.

My husbands strategy is to buy a new car that is rated pretty high in longevity, take care of it, and drive it forever (Or as long as he can keep it running). For him, this works. And in the long run he pays far less than most people for transportation.

In the case of the girlfriend, paying $30,000 for a new car will set back her plans for a house for YEARS, and I hope her mind stays changed and she buys a less expensive car, but that is something she will either figure out now or lean later.

redbird

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2016, 09:09:51 AM »
The $15k she has is still relatively nothing when it comes to downpayment (assuming she wants to avoid PMI - I hope she does) for a house in SoCal. So she has a ways to go still.

You can buy a great looking new-to-her used car for less than $15k. She could pay for it all in cash, using that downpayment money, still have a bit leftover for the house fund, and not be in debt. Yes, it'll set her house downpayment fund back, but if she's not paying for a car payment, she can quickly replace that money she took out to buy a car plus more. If she ends up bringing up cars again, I would try suggesting that to her.

Easye418

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Re: Girlfriend wants to buy a new car...
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2016, 09:50:24 AM »
You need to see this for what it is. A glimpse of the future.

+1. Well said.

Seriously, run for the hills

Smh.... MMM forums giving relationship advice.  Just because you wouldn't date/marry someone who doesn't know how to handle their money, doesn't mean the world works like this.  I think love goes deeper than trying to pinch every penny.  To that note, if they are serial spenders and neck deep in CC debt, then that's a different story. 

OP came to talk his GF out of buying a new car, not to find a frugal reason to drop his girl.  Stay on topic.

It takes time to convert someone over to a different ideology.  It took me a great deal of time to convert my wife, but now we are on our way to debt freedom (in time).
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 09:56:29 AM by Easye418 »