Author Topic: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...  (Read 9153 times)

ChairmanKaga

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So after several years of legal BS, my mom's immediate family is finally settling her mother's estate. I won't go into the ridiculousness, but the bottom line is she's taking about $250,000 to the bank.

She's retired, and thanks to some frugal/wise retirement savings she's actually banking more money each month now than she was while working. SHe's in a good situation for a 71-year-old retired teacher. Very good.

So this money. She contends she doesn't need much to live on and wants to give most of it to family. She wants to set up a trust for each of our daughters. Cool. She wants to put some in some sort of account for my brother and for me. Fine. She wants to take a month or two long trip to Europe. Do it. She deserves it. But she also wants to buy my brother and me new cars. You know, windfall, for fun!

So at the risk of offending folks, I think cars are the stupidest, worst, most financially irresponsible thing the majority of humans waste money on. There is almost no reason for the majority of people, regardless of income, to ever spend more than $8,000 on a car. And before you say , "Well if no one bought $40,000 new cars then there wouldn't be any 10-year old $8,000 cars," I'll just say yes there would because the manufacturers would start making $8,000 cars (again). And for the record, I love cars. Weird, huh?

I digress.

My mom sort of got more than just a little offended when I told her I had a car and wouldn't accept the gift of a brand new one. Mine is 9 years old and only has 60,000 miles. It's also a Honda. Yes, it's sort of stupid and uncomfortable and slow and I don't really like it (fine, I hate it, and until recently was trying to swap it for something more efficient, but just couldn't get the wife on board with the known-unknowns of taking on a more than slightly used car), but whatever, it should last another 12-15 years easily. If I'm lucky, careful, and responsible I could possibly retire without ever buying another one. But she says she REALLY wants to do this for me (my brother said yes with no hesitation) because she contends she won't live long enough to spend all of this money, anyway (I laughed - my grandmother lived to be 96 and my great-grandmother 99). I said if she really wants to give away money, then give me whatever she would have used to buy a car and I'll put it into a CD, index funds, or something long term, and save it until I actually need a car. But she wants to do something irresponsibly nice for me, no conditions, no discussion. Take the new car, you ungrateful brat.

I have no idea what to do, short of just saying No, absolutely not, I won't take the money for something so frivolous and irresponsible. She should donate the money to a charity if she wants to do something nice but responsible. I never thought I'd say this, but I don't want your money.

Any suggestions on how to handle this? I love my mom and don't want her to do something that could severely hinder her ability to provide for herself in retirement. And giving away more than 1/4 of her inheritance for stupid new cars for her sons would go a long way to ensuring she just might find herself in trouble down the road.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 03:35:26 PM by ChairmanKaga »

onlykelsey

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 03:33:44 PM »
So after several years of legal BS, my mom's immediate family is finally settling her mother's estate. I won't go into the ridiculousness, but the bottom line is she's taking about $200,000 to the bank.

She's retired, and thanks to some frugal/wise retirement savings she's actually banking more money each month now than she was while working. SHe's in a good situation for a 71-year-old retired teacher. Very good.

So this money. She contends she doesn't need much to live on and wants to give most of it to family. She wants to set up a trust for each of our daughters. Cool. She wants to put some in some sort of account for my brother and for me. Fine. She wants to take a month or two long trip to Europe. Do it. She deserves it. But she also wants to buy my brother and me new cars. You know, windfall, for fun!

So at the risk of offending folks, I think cars are the stupidest, worst, most financially irresponsible thing the majority of humans waste money on. There is almost no reason for the majority of people, regardless of income, to ever spend more than $8,000 on a car. And before you say , "Well if no one bought $40,000 new cars then there wouldn't be any 10-year old $8,000 cars," I'll just say yes there would because the manufacturers would start making $8,000 cars (again). And for the record, I love cars. Weird, huh?

I digress.

My mom sort of got more than just a little offended when I told her I had a car and wouldn't accept the gift of a brand new one. Mine is 9 years old and only has 60,000 miles. It's also a Honda. Yes, it's sort of stupid and uncomfortable and slow and I don't really like it (fine, I hate it, and until recently was trying to swap it for something more efficient, but just couldn't get the wife on board with the known-unknowns of taking on a more than slightly used car), but whatever, it should last another 12-15 years easily. If I'm lucky, careful, and responsible I could possibly retire without ever buying another one. But she says she REALLY wants to do this for me (my brother said yes with no hesitation) because she contends she won't live long enough to spend all of this money, anyway (I laughed - my grandmother lived to be 96 and my great-grandmother 99). I said if she really wants to give away money, then give me whatever she would have used to buy a car and I'll put it into a CD, index funds, or something long term, and save it until I actually need a car. But she wants to do something irresponsibly nice for me, no conditions, no discussion. Take the new car, you ungrateful brat.

I have no idea what to do, short of just saying No, absolutely not, I won't take the money for something so frivolous and irresponsible. She should donate the money to a charity if she wants to do something nice but responsible. I never thought I'd say this, but I don't want your money.

Any suggestions on how to handle this?

Hm.  If she wants to give you something fun and frivolous, I wonder if she could be convinced to instead take you with her somewhere for a week or two.  Maybe visit expensive cities you might not otherwise visit, go out to eat, buy souveneirs, etc.  Maybe that would meet her need to give you something fun and unnecessary, while also letting you guys spend time together while she's still mobile, etc.

trashmanz

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 03:47:39 PM »
Go to Europe together

slowsynapse

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 03:47:59 PM »
Nice cars are a frivolous waste of money and of course you don't need one.  But still, take the car if it makes her happy.  Use it as a reset of your "mileage calendar" and make it last for 30 years.  I would love to get a new car and not worry about parts replacements for a few years.  JMHO.  As an aside, there are some very nice hybrid or hybrid/electric options in the $40K range that you could really save gas with.  That is saving the world and making your mom happy :)

2Birds1Stone

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 03:50:27 PM »
I'll take it! A sweet twin turbo setup for my luxury sports car runs about $15-20k all in.

ChairmanKaga

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2016, 04:06:21 PM »
Guys, I just can't. I've owned one car that cost more than $10,000. It was a brand new 2005 Saab 92x Aero and I got it when GM was almost literally giving them away. I paid $18,500 OTD with exactly $12,000 of incentives due to the fact the dealers just couldn't sell a Saab that was identical to a WRX...

Whatever. I was much younger and dumber. Clean shavem if you will. I've never had a nice car. I've had cars that were reliable but old. Reliable but basic. Reliable but smelly. Reliable but slow. I don't think performance is a virtue when my commute is bumper to bumper in now the 4th worst traffic in the continental US. Comfort is relative, being that I have AC and a bluetooth equipped stereo. Fuel economy is OK. It is Car. It gets the job done. Besides I have an old project car that is my lone hobby. Like I said, I think spending money on expensive cars is dumb. Spending time (and a little money) on interesting, old cars is fine. Like I said, I'm weird.

Regardless, ideologically I stand firmly on the side of the fence that believes expensive, new cars are dumb and emblematic of much of what's wrong with humanity. I'd feel like a ridiculous hypocrite if I ever drove a car worth more money than I could afford to buy outright without worry. So I just CANNOT accept a new car as a gift. Can't. Won't.

I did tell her we should take a family trip to Europe next summer, though. I've already burned my PTO for this year, but will have saved up enough for a nice, extended trip in another year. I like that. She's still insanely spry and could handle the walking and hiking no problem. She does NOT want to do an "old lady tour" on a bus. She wants to see the off the beaten path spots in the highlands of Scotland, and sit on a lake off the Stelvio Pass in Switzerland and eat cheese, and drive a FIAT in Florence. She wants to do it right. And I'm down with that! Maybe it'll sway her from the car thing?

Retire-Canada

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 04:14:57 PM »
Take the new car, you ungrateful brat.

Take the car. Sell your old one and keep the new one a million years.

She's your mom. Make her happy. It's not like she's trying to get you to join a cult or anything.

opnfld

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 04:35:11 PM »
Uhhhh, can't you just ask for the money instead?

randymarsh

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 04:35:43 PM »
If you won't accept the car but are ok with her "blowing" the money on something else, I'd suggest something really exotic. You can rent a private plane for around $3K/hr.

Mr. Green

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 06:47:47 PM »
So she would enjoy buying you a new car, and expressly wants to do that with her money, and you hate your current car, but you won't take a new one? What's the logic for the refusal? Just 'cuz? Other than the standard depreciation hit of driving off the lot, it's not like it's the equivalent of setting every dollar on fire. A car has value that slowly erodes over time but there's still value there. I mean sure I'd try to convince my mom to do something with her money that I would enjoy more, while she still got to enjoy giving the gift but if she wouldn't budge I wouldn't refuse a car, and make her upset about it over principal. That doesn't seem like a battle worth fighting to me. If it was money she didn't have to blow that'd be a different story.

Josiecat

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2016, 07:05:24 PM »
She'd better hang onto that money.  What if she needs to go into assisted living or have a home health care provider or something?

chemistk

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2016, 07:51:58 PM »
When I read your dilemma, I tried to picture my mom doing the same, and I admit I can see where it can get challenging and frustrating.

You know that your mom is her own person and in her mind, this is what she thinks will make you, and by proxy, her happy. No matter how many times you protest, you're never going to get her to see your side of the story. She just wants do do something for her baby that she has never been able to do before.

Without knowing any other circumstances, I would allow her to buy you something new as long as it's your decision what you get. It's not an optimal situation at all, but would you rather run the risk of souring your relationship with your mom for an unknown amount of time over a car?

Choices

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2016, 11:51:11 PM »
Would she be willing to buy you a reasonable used car? You did say that you hate your car, so this seems like a nice compromise. You could even sell your current car and only have her pay the difference.

Case

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 05:23:59 AM »
Guys, I just can't. I've owned one car that cost more than $10,000. It was a brand new 2005 Saab 92x Aero and I got it when GM was almost literally giving them away. I paid $18,500 OTD with exactly $12,000 of incentives due to the fact the dealers just couldn't sell a Saab that was identical to a WRX...

Whatever. I was much younger and dumber. Clean shavem if you will. I've never had a nice car. I've had cars that were reliable but old. Reliable but basic. Reliable but smelly. Reliable but slow. I don't think performance is a virtue when my commute is bumper to bumper in now the 4th worst traffic in the continental US. Comfort is relative, being that I have AC and a bluetooth equipped stereo. Fuel economy is OK. It is Car. It gets the job done. Besides I have an old project car that is my lone hobby. Like I said, I think spending money on expensive cars is dumb. Spending time (and a little money) on interesting, old cars is fine. Like I said, I'm weird.

Regardless, ideologically I stand firmly on the side of the fence that believes expensive, new cars are dumb and emblematic of much of what's wrong with humanity. I'd feel like a ridiculous hypocrite if I ever drove a car worth more money than I could afford to buy outright without worry. So I just CANNOT accept a new car as a gift. Can't. Won't.

I did tell her we should take a family trip to Europe next summer, though. I've already burned my PTO for this year, but will have saved up enough for a nice, extended trip in another year. I like that. She's still insanely spry and could handle the walking and hiking no problem. She does NOT want to do an "old lady tour" on a bus. She wants to see the off the beaten path spots in the highlands of Scotland, and sit on a lake off the Stelvio Pass in Switzerland and eat cheese, and drive a FIAT in Florence. She wants to do it right. And I'm down with that! Maybe it'll sway her from the car thing?


I'll go on the record saying that I totally understand where you're coming from.  I love my 15 year old POS camry.  It's old, it's slow, it's squeaky, but it's in great shape for its age.  I could easily afford a new car and not significantly effect my FIRE date, but I want the old one anyways.  It has become part of my personality.  For me, I feel that having this period of my life where I drive a crappy car is important; important for me to legitimately earn my FIRE (despite having some advantages over people, like your potential windfall), and important for minimizing my contribution to global warming (CO2 impact of manufacturing).

So, I say stick to your gut.  Tell your Mom about something else you'd be willing to accept.  Let her choose what it is... but just not a car.

Now, on the other hand, your Mom likely wants to do this because it will give her joy to give you a gift.  As her son, it's good to let her do this.  If she is ok with donating to a charity, then fine, but likely she will not get the same satisfaction as if it were a gift that gives you joy.  It's better to find a win-win in this situation; she wants to give you a gift, you need to find a luxurious gift you'd like that doesn't conflict with your fundamental viewpoints.  Maybe it's a vacation with her, maybe it's a home-improvement project.

ltt

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 05:34:12 AM »
Uhhhh, can't you just ask for the money instead?

Yep, this...then invest it to your liking.  This would probably make your mom and you happy. :)

onlykelsey

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2016, 06:22:33 AM »
Uhhhh, can't you just ask for the money instead?

Yep, this...then invest it to your liking.  This would probably make your mom and you happy. :)

OP said above her mom was not interested in that. "I said if she really wants to give away money, then give me whatever she would have used to buy a car and I'll put it into a CD, index funds, or something long term, and save it until I actually need a car. But she wants to do something irresponsibly nice for me, no conditions, no discussion. "

ender

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2016, 06:26:05 AM »
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to put aside your own desires and preferences.

Only you can decide how strongly you want to hold to your beliefs to the point where you refuse your mother's gift. Ask yourself, when she passes, will you be glad you refused this out of principle or will you regret not allowing her to bless you and give you that car?

jwright

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2016, 06:51:05 AM »
Since you are already accepting other gifts from her, it seems a little ungrateful to refuse this one particular gift.  If you refused everything then you'd have more of a leg to stand on I think.  I think you should accept it to make her happy, drive sparingly and hope it has value in a few years and sell it then. Just a thought.

Make sure she is aware of gift tax implications on all of this as well.  Likely, she won't owe but she will have to file a return. 

FLBiker

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2016, 07:05:00 AM »
Personally, I'm totally fine with saying no to / not keeping gifts that don't align with my values.  For example, with DD, DW and I have taken a "no licensed characters" approach.  If we get a gift like this from someone we're close to (and have talked about this with) we might ask them to take it back / exchange it.  We might also just accept it, then consign it.  I don't believe you're obligated to keep something, just because someone else wants to give it to you.

MrsDinero

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2016, 07:40:21 AM »
From everything I've read on this post it seems that your old car is more of a status symbol than anything.  It is a way for you to publicly declare "I'm not like everyone else".  If she were to give you a new, fuel efficient car you would no longer be able to make a visible protest everywhere you drove, you would now look just like everyone else. 

I would say be careful about the reasons why you are really turning down the gift from your mother.

Fishindude

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2016, 07:45:05 AM »
Sometimes the right thing to do is just be gracious and accept a gift.
Pick out a car or truck that meets your needs, let her buy it, then drive it for a real long time.

Sell your old car and donate the money to charity if it makes you feel better about this.
This is your Mom, you only have one, don't be a hard headed jerk and offend her.

Most people would envy your situation.

Ftao93

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2016, 07:50:05 AM »
I guess it is weird to turn down a new car, but knowing the math on it...

Maybe tell her "I'm not quite ready for a car yet, but if you really want to put that money toward something, let's put it toward X"   X being something you could actually use. Extra money on the mortgage, tacos, etc.

neo von retorch

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2016, 07:51:30 AM »
Can you still make it mildly responsible (feeling)? i.e. do you have any say over what sort of car?

Can you get a Honda Fit Ex for $18k? A Nissan Leaf?

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2016, 08:04:26 AM »
Can you still make it mildly responsible (feeling)? i.e. do you have any say over what sort of car?

Can you get a Honda Fit Ex for $18k? A Nissan Leaf?

+1.  Sounds like a great compromise to me.  Makes her happy to give you a car, but you don't end up with a gas-guzzling ridiculous clown car.  Accept a reasonable new car to make her happy and then you get to enjoy having a reliable ride for the next 20 years. 

Is one of your concerns the increased costs that come with a new car (insurance, taxes, etc...)?  If so, talk to her about it and point out that her "gift" to you will cause you to incur greater ongoing costs.  Maybe she can give you the reasonable new car plus a cash gift to help cover the ongoing costs of the new ride.

rothwem

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2016, 08:05:20 AM »
From everything I've read on this post it seems that your old car is more of a status symbol than anything.  It is a way for you to publicly declare "I'm not like everyone else".  If she were to give you a new, fuel efficient car you would no longer be able to make a visible protest everywhere you drove, you would now look just like everyone else. 

I would say be careful about the reasons why you are really turning down the gift from your mother.

This is the vibe I'm getting too.  How the hell are people supposed to know that the OP is a badass mustaschian without an ugly car?

Perhaps they take the new car, park it under a pine tree (for maximum sap) and shoot BBs at the front bumper to replicate highway rock chips?

Dicey

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2016, 08:24:01 AM »
From everything I've read on this post it seems that your old car is more of a status symbol than anything.  It is a way for you to publicly declare "I'm not like everyone else".  If she were to give you a new, fuel efficient car you would no longer be able to make a visible protest everywhere you drove, you would now look just like everyone else. 

I would say be careful about the reasons why you are really turning down the gift from your mother.

You have argued the frugality of your position quite well, and I completely get where you're coming from. How about considering this from an environmental standpoint?  Buy something in the Prius/Leaf/Tesla spectrum, plan on keeping it forever and make your Mother and Mother Earth happy?

StarBright

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2016, 08:26:38 AM »
Posting to follow because I'm in a similar situation and was actually going to post about it today. What is it with parents and cars?

Am sort of surprised to see so many people saying "take it" but it is definitely food for thought.

charis

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2016, 08:54:07 AM »
Posting to follow because I'm in a similar situation and was actually going to post about it today. What is it with parents and cars?

Am sort of surprised to see so many people saying "take it" but it is definitely food for thought.

Maybe it's a tangible way for them to see the "sense" of safety and comfort that they can provide for their kids, like a home cooked meal.   

I think most people recommend taking it because we only have so much time left with an older or elderly parent (sorry to be cheesy), if it means so much to the giver, is it really necessary to dig your heels as a matter of principle when you could just compromise by selecting a eco-friendlier car? 

ChairmanKaga

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2016, 08:55:25 AM »
So maybe the older car IS sort of a status symbol, but really it's more of a reminder. I used to be one of those people who overspent on status objects. Cars were at the top of my list. When I was 20 and making 24,000 a year, I drove an Acura that literally consumed so much of my income that I couldn't afford a place to live. The second I got what I considered a good paying job I bought a brand new car, mentioned previously. It was a great deal from one perspective (specifically the incentives), but I truly could not afford it. It wasn't until I was out of work for almost a year, and had to sell that car to a friend at a loss, that the concept of living frugally hit home. Ever since then I've managed to stay true, rebuild the wealth I squandered, and begin to truly secure some solid financial footing.

So the crappy car that I hate is a reminder that for the most part irrational emotional attachments to things, and especially using those things to make statements about who I am and what I value, are generally destructive. The car that I don't really like is a reminder that I shouldn't covet junk at the expense of financial freedom. Now, I think it's slightly different with my old project car, since it's a passion project, a hobby, and barely consumes any financial resources. It also keeps me from playing golf. I'm also fine with that thing being something of a status symbol or representation of who I am, what I'm interested in, and how I enjoy spending my time. That car has made me a LOT of good friends. It's sort of like a cute dog, you know?

I'm beginning to think it's worth whatever momentary damage it'll do to say "Mom, get a grip. Save that money for yourself, you might need it because your entire family is ridiculously long-lived, you're in perfect health, and you still have so much you want to do with your life. If you want to buy me a gift, how about that vintage Matchbox Voltron from the Sears catalog that I wanted in 1985, but you and dad got me the crummy plastic one from the JC Penney catalog because I wasn't specific enough on my Christmas list that year?"

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2016, 09:37:17 AM »
I'm beginning to think it's worth whatever momentary damage it'll do to say "Mom, get a grip. Save that money for yourself, you might need it because your entire family is ridiculously long-lived, you're in perfect health, and you still have so much you want to do with your life.

This is fair. 

But consider that there may be good reasons why she does not want to keep it for herself.  How much do you know about her financial position?  The fact you said that she is in very good financial position and the fact she is discussing setting up trusts for grandchildren to deal with her wealth suggests to me that she may have a high enough net worth that she is taking these steps to avoid federal estate taxes and/or state inheritance taxes.  If this is the case, there is probably little chance she will ever "need" the money and she risks giving a portion of it to Uncle Sam if she holds on to it.  Even if she is not flirting with the estate tax exemption limit now, there's a good chance she will be if she lives to 99, continually receiving a teacher's pension and allowing her investments to grow. 

It seems like she (like you) does not want to spend lavishly on herself and instead wants to try to provide for her children and grandchildren.  This seems entirely reasonable to me.  If this is the case, you should try to work with her to help her accomplish this goal.  That may include humoring her by accepting a car you wouldn't purchase for yourself.  To me, telling her to keep money she might someday need is a good reason to refuse the gift but the old-car-as-a-reminder reason is not.  You can find other reminders of the importance of frugality. 

I think you should have a good conversation with your mom about WHY she wants to give you a new car.  Start with saying that you are grateful for the gesture but you are uncomfortable accepting the gift if there's a chance she will need the money in the future.  Ask her about her financial state.  If she is set and she is indeed engaging in advanced estate and tax planning, explain the reasons WHY you don't want a car but work with her to find ways you can be comfortable with her giving to you.  If there is a legitimate chance she will need the money in the future, go ahead and stand your ground on the car and suggest other less-expensive-but-still-meaningful gifts. 

« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 10:00:21 AM by AlwaysLearningToSave »

Jack

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2016, 09:41:52 AM »
You have argued the frugality of your position quite well, and I completely get where you're coming from. How about considering this from an environmental standpoint?  Buy something in the Prius/Leaf/Tesla spectrum, plan on keeping it forever and make your Mother and Mother Earth happy?

Mother Earth is almost always happier with keeping an existing older car on the road for another few years rather than manufacturing a new one, even if the new one is electric.



So maybe the older car IS sort of a status symbol, but really it's more of a reminder. I used to be one of those people who overspent on status objects. Cars were at the top of my list. When I was 20 and making 24,000 a year, I drove an Acura that literally consumed so much of my income that I couldn't afford a place to live. The second I got what I considered a good paying job I bought a brand new car, mentioned previously. It was a great deal from one perspective (specifically the incentives), but I truly could not afford it. It wasn't until I was out of work for almost a year, and had to sell that car to a friend at a loss, that the concept of living frugally hit home. Ever since then I've managed to stay true, rebuild the wealth I squandered, and begin to truly secure some solid financial footing.

Phrased that way, it sounds like you're a recovering car addict and your mom is trying to act as an "enabler." Framing your decision not to accept a new car from her like that (rather than as a rejection of her generosity) might help.

Also based on that, I was debating with myself whether it would be irresponsible to suggest that you compromise by letting your mom buy you a "classic" car (i.e., if that would also be enabling), but then I read this:

Now, I think it's slightly different with my old project car, since it's a passion project, a hobby, and barely consumes any financial resources.

Well, there's the answer! Ask your mom to pay for whatever parts/labor you need to finish building your project car.

dcozad999

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2016, 10:17:52 AM »
Personally, I'm totally fine with saying no to / not keeping gifts that don't align with my values.  For example, with DD, DW and I have taken a "no licensed characters" approach.  If we get a gift like this from someone we're close to (and have talked about this with) we might ask them to take it back / exchange it.  We might also just accept it, then consign it.  I don't believe you're obligated to keep something, just because someone else wants to give it to you.


Except if it's your mom. The gift certainly isn't going to hurt you, and apparently will make her insanely happy. Doesn't she deserve to be insanely happy?  If you can't sway her toward the vacation, just accept the gift.

iris lily

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2016, 10:36:27 AM »
Thats not much money to cover nursng home  costs, thats 2.5 years. The average stay is somethng like 6 years.

How is she planning ro cover costs of her advanced age? She may have enough income to cover much of nirsng hme costs, especially of she jas insurance. But, she may not.We dont know.

neo von retorch

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2016, 10:44:29 AM »
I don't think she wants you to "worry about her finances," and she does want to "take care of her baby boy." Framed that way, I'd emphasize your true concerns - honesty is almost always best, especially with family you care about.

"Mom - I know you want to take care of me; you want to see me in a nice, newer car that I like. But I'm worried - in the past, I've adapted to having a nice newer car, and it cost me a lot of money. I'm not sure that if you get me this, I won't feel like I have to have a nice newer car all the time, and I'll end up replacing this one, and the next, and losing a lot of money to cars. It's really important to me to remain comfortable with an older car without frills, because other things that are really important to me, like my own (early) retirement mean more to me. So to help take care of me, can we find some other way to use this money that won't lead to my own irresponsible spending down the road?"

Dezrah

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2016, 11:37:23 AM »
Honestly I'm a bit sick of all these "but she's FAAAAAMILY" responses. If you don't feel comfortable taking something, don't do it. You don't need to justify it to her or us. Tell her you appreciate her intentions but don't want it.

JoJo

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2016, 05:52:06 PM »
Ask for a boat.

Lski'stash

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2016, 07:31:49 PM »
You say, "Mom, thank you so much for thinking about me. Unfortunately, cars are just not my thing, but I'll take the cash equivalent in VSTAX, please!"

less4success

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2016, 10:10:27 PM »
Go to Europe together

This seems like the best option (and it would certainly be less expensive). I know you said you burned your PTO already. Maybe next year?

There are so just many reasons to not want a "free" car: higher taxes/insurance premiums, sentimental value in your old car, potential ecological impact of unnecessarily replacing your car, etc.

Ann

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2016, 11:34:10 PM »
I am also surprised by all the responses encouraging OP to just accept a gift car.  Cars seem like the worst to just give to an adult.  It's not a one time expense.  What car you have affects your gas bill, insurance and of course maintenance costs.  All those expenses would be on YOU, not your Mom.  It's not fair to emotionally strong arm a "loved" one into unwanted obligations just to fulfill a compulsion.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 07:57:21 AM by Ann »

gooki

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2016, 06:25:33 AM »
Do your research. Find a car that has good resale value and if your mom insists let her gift one to you and the sell it on. Sure you'll loose 10%, but you'll gain in back in a couple of years in investments. You can even put the money aside in a seperate account to help cover some of her bills later in life.

Slee_stack

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2016, 09:52:38 AM »
Do your research. Find a car that has good resale value and if your mom insists let her gift one to you and the sell it on. Sure you'll loose 10%, but you'll gain in back in a couple of years in investments. You can even put the money aside in a seperate account to help cover some of her bills later in life.
I'm sure that would go over well.    Not!

If the OP takes the car, undoubtedly the Mom will expect to see it or hear about it at some later date.  Responding with 'I just sold it' would probably cause a bigger dust up than not accepting it in the first place.  The only alternative would be a pack of lies about the car which would also build up this molehill pretty fast.

Hopefully there will be a compromise soon enough.

I like the suggestion for Mom to pay for Car Restoration parts the best so far.

Rural

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2016, 10:10:08 AM »
No one can force you to own any car; you have to sign the title. I'd definitely be pointing this out to. Mom before she wastes her money.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2016, 10:19:23 AM »
I'm so sorry you're in this position.  This is something that I consider really inconsiderate--expensive gifts given without consultation. The giver assumes that they understand the recipient's tastes/needs/wants, and ends up placing a burden on the recipient.

I was once in a similar situation, albeit on a much smaller scale.  When DW and I first got married, my mom gave us a Willow Tree nativity.  They're expensive (probably ~$100), but not to our taste, and we already had a nativity.  My Mom's love language is gifts, and I recognized that to her, this was a very thoughtful gift.  For us, though, as poor college students in a cramped 1-bedroom apartment, it seemed a tremendous waste.  We knew that we would never use it, but also knew that she would expect to see it on display if she ever came during the holidays. Ugh.

I'd go back and take another look at why Mom wants to buy her kids a car.  Why does she want to give that particular gift, rather than cash, or a vacation, or whatever else.  Perhaps she simply wants to splurge on her kids to the amount of $XX,000, and [bob_barker]"A NEW CAR!"[/bob_barker] is the first thing that comes to mind.

It's an awkward position, and you really don't have any good options.  You can:
1) accept the gift, and end up paying more to insure, plus the worry about keeping the new car pristine, and every time you see the car. You'll be bothered by the waste.
2) accept the gift, then sell it and use the money for something you *actually* want/need.  And when she sees you next, lots of awkwardness will ensue when the car isn't there.
3) try to divert the gift--suggest that you'd rather have the money to accelerate your FI date, or that you'd rather put it towards a vacation, or a kitchen renovation, or towards charity.  You'll likely offend Mom. (That's what happened in our case)

No one can force you to own any car; you have to sign the title. I'd definitely be pointing this out to. Mom before she wastes her money.
I wouldn't be surprised, though, if Mom wants to take the kids car shopping.  When giving gifts, half the fun is seeing the happy look on the recipient's face.

johndoe

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2016, 10:51:36 AM »
My mother also likes to give gifts to show love.  I feel like accepting big gifts makes me less independent and puts my parents in a worse financial condition.  They've been providing for me my entire youth; why should it continue into adulthood?  To me it doesn't matter if it's a car, phone, vacation, etc.  Not to threadjack, but does it really only bother you because it's a car?  Or am I crazy to not take big gifts from my parents?

Tjat

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #44 on: July 01, 2016, 11:34:01 AM »
I don't get these "but she's your mom and don't you want her to be happy responses." It's not like she's an elderly woman on her death bed asking for his promise he'll marry that sweet girl down the street that moved 10 years ago and has 3 children by now. What if she wanted to buy him a McMansion and him a live in housekeeper? The dude doesn't want the f'n car...why should his mom get to insist on something that will make him unhappy? He's a grown man and can expect his family to respect his position.

bop

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #45 on: July 01, 2016, 11:36:27 AM »
Is there room for compromise here?  Would say a 3-year-old car be okay with both you and your mom?

Dicey

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2016, 01:44:23 AM »
Mother thinks new car equals happines.
Son knows this not to be true.
Further heart-to-heart conversation is required.
Only then will there be understanding and compromise.

jennaw

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2016, 11:35:39 AM »
A couple of thoughts that I don't see reflected here yet:

Accept the new car. Sell the old car and put that money and any future savings on gas/repairs that come with the new car aside in a fund designated for your mom in case she ever needs the help.

Could you talk her into getting you a slightly used car? I hate new cars because of the new car smell that comes from all of the chemicals off-gassing. Maybe you could sell her on a used car on the basis that it would be better for your health?

horsepoor

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2016, 11:46:42 AM »
Can you still make it mildly responsible (feeling)? i.e. do you have any say over what sort of car?

Can you get a Honda Fit Ex for $18k? A Nissan Leaf?

That is my thinking.  Get a new Prius C and rock 57 mpg.  It will still be small and slow, so you won't miss that about your old car.  I think they run about 18K, so it won't take as big a bite as many other new cars, and you'll use less gas than your current ride.

FreeAsADragon

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Re: My mom wants to give me a lot of money and I don't want it...
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2016, 11:48:45 AM »
I would try any of the other approaches mentioned here, but definitely not the car. If I got the car, I would feel frustrated and enraged each time I saw it or got into it. Not good. Perhaps you could even tell your mother as much.