Author Topic: Want to buy my Dear Mother a brand new car. Am I being Anti-mustachian?Bad Idea?  (Read 15274 times)

sjl333

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Hi All,

Over the past year or so, I've been wanting to buy my DM (dear mother) a car, but have been waiting for the opportune time to do so (i.e. my financial affairs wasn't completely in order). After getting rid of all my CC debt, I feel that I have a bit more cash flow now to do something like this. However, I am still in major student loan debt from my undergraduate studies. To elaborate, I owe my father who spotted me the money to pay for my tuition, $60,000 (not a typo). Luckily, it is interest free, and I am currently paying him at a rate of $500/month at the moment, but will amp that up to anywhere between $1000/month or $1500/month, possibly even $2000/month (once I save up enough emergency funds).

Before I get lambasted for thinking such thoughts of buying my mother a brand new car while being so much in debt, I've spoken with my father and he is actually on board with me getting my mother a brand new car, even if that means paying him back might take a bit longer.

Also, to put into context of why I want to buy my mother a brand new car is for many reasons, but main points are:

1. She is driving a Toyota Tercel Model year somewhere in the early 90's. It is extremely dangerous for her to continue driving in that car since it does not have the safety features that cars nowadays have
2. Growing up, she went through a lot and sacrificed a lot for me while raising me. I saw her pain when I was growing up as a child (i.e. my father treated her horribly). I made a promise to myself I would make it in this world someday and buy her a nice car.

Since mother's day is coming up (05/10/15), the idea just conjured up in my head on how nice would it be to roll up to a nice restaurant with my family with a brand new car and give it to her. I am fairly confident she would be quite ecstatic.

The cars I have been looking into are mid-sized affordable family cars such as a Kia Optima, Passat, Accord, or a Camry, all model year 2015's. I would like to get her a Lexus IS350, but it is sort of out of my price range (I can still afford it, but I feel I would be overstretching and being anti-mustachian).

I do believe the mid-sized affordable cars would be suitable for my finances and perfect for my mother, unless anyone disagrees with my train of thought.

And with my finances, I have a cash flow of about $1800/month after all living expenses and monthly student load debt are paid for (room, food, gas, car insurance, $500 sent to my father for student debt). Obviously, I can raise the amount I pay to my father significantly, and I will, but I guess the main point I'm trying to get at is I have enough money to afford the monthly payments for the car.

Before I get lambasted again on why am I considering taking out a car loan, very anti-mustachian indeed! And why do I just  not wait and save up enough cash to buy the car?!?

The reason I do not want to wait and save up cash to buy the car is simply because my mother, who is 51, and turning 52 shortly, has waited long enough for something like this. I can wait like 2-3 years and save up the cash and get it for her, but I just feel in my heart that my mom, who has never had anything luxurious all of her life, deserves something like this, even if it means getting me to finance the car.

Anyhow, I guess the reason for this post is just to get the mustachian viewpoint of my train of thought and any guidance/constructive criticism with my approach on this dilemma.

Obviously, from a pure financial standpoint, it is very anti-mustachian, but when you mix in the emotional aspect of how much I love my DM, the answer to this dilemma gets a lot more hazy.

And one last thing: finance aside, what car would you get your mother? (Accord, Camry, Passat, Optima, or any other car you guys can think of?)

TL;DR - Love DM, want to finance a car for her? What Car is the best option? Am I being Anti-mustachian?

EDIT:

seems like everyone is totally against it, I guess emotions does cloud reasonable judgment.

I'll go with just buying her a nice dinner on mothers day. And with my finances, I will solely focus on just getting out of debt, and going from there.

Thanks again everyone for the sound advice and the "tough love".
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 10:57:08 PM by sjl333 »

RH

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Dude, there's nothing wrong with a 90's tercel. Safety is an expensive illusion.

Kwill

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I wouldn't do it while I had any debt left and probably not until I had some savings for financial security of my own. But if you really want to do something like that, maybe you could look for a good, reliable car from around 2010 in nice condition, low miles. That would probably be a lot less than a new car, but it would be a real step up from the 90s car.

Or I think better in your situation would be to look at your budget and figure out the nicest thing you could get your mother with cash. A bouquet of flowers? A special dinner? A new computer? A car wash and tune-up and full tank of gas? A trip to the theater? Why not save the new car for when you make it big?

JLee

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Dude, there's nothing wrong with a 90's tercel. Safety is an expensive illusion.
The evolution of automotive safety is not an illusion. It might be exaggerated, but certainly not an illusion.

Another Reader

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First, I would not surprise anyone with a car.  I would take them car shopping to see what they like and how it worked for them - comfort, driving position, visibility, fuel economy, etc.  No point in buying something expensive that really does not meet their needs.  Driving up in a new car may seem like a nice gesture, but to me it comes across as more about you than your mom's needs. 

Second, if you must buy new, there are a lot of deals on smaller, more fuel efficient models right now.  Where I live, you can buy a new 2015 Toyota Corolla LE at the dealer discounted price of $16,388 plus tax and license.  Plus you get zero percent dealer financing right now.  That Corolla is larger and better laid out than the mid-and late 80's Accords we owned back then.  It is especially well laid out for smaller drivers, although it might be a bit tight if your mom is 6' 6".  It also has a good chance of being as reliable as your mom's Tercel. 

Why not sit your mom down and tell her you want to help her find and pay for a car that will meet her needs for the next 10 years?  If she agrees to let you do that, then go out looking with her to see what she likes.

If you do this, acknowledge you are putting off debt repayment and FIRE for a number of years.  Your mom might be happier knowing her son was debt-free and on his way to financial independence than she would be with a new car he was financing.  It's something to discuss with her before you make a decision.

Catbert

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I'm kinda confused.  Are your parents still married?  How does it make sense to slow down on paying your father back for a loan so that you can buy your mother a car?  Does it just make you Big Man on Campus or what?  Why not take care of your debts first (pay your dad back) and let HIM buy her a car if that makes sense?










 

KungfuRabbit

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bad idea.

a) parents don't be parents to get money from their kids.  if you want to blow money, take her on a vacation

b) if you want her to have a safer car, there is no reason why you have to buy a new one.  you could still buy a car 10 years newer than hers for far far less
 
c) your parents likely want to retire as well, if you really really really really must give them ~$20,000 as a present, they'd be better off with the cash instead of a depreciating car

you obviously knew this was a bad idea before you even posted though.

sjl333

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Thanks for the speedy responses guys, new to this forum, glad I found it.

I wouldn't do it while I had any debt left and probably not until I had some savings for financial security of my own. But if you really want to do something like that, maybe you could look for a good, reliable car from around 2010 in nice condition, low miles. That would probably be a lot less than a new car, but it would be a real step up from the 90s car.

Or I think better in your situation would be to look at your budget and figure out the nicest thing you could get your mother with cash. A bouquet of flowers? A special dinner? A new computer? A car wash and tune-up and full tank of gas? A trip to the theater? Why not save the new car for when you make it big?

Thanks, I was also contemplating doing something like this, but for some reason my warped mind wants to buy my DM a brand new car. And yes, every mother's day, I take her out to a nice restaurant with a nice bouquet of flowers.

First, I would not surprise anyone with a car.  I would take them car shopping to see what they like and how it worked for them - comfort, driving position, visibility, fuel economy, etc.  No point in buying something expensive that really does not meet their needs.  Driving up in a new car may seem like a nice gesture, but to me it comes across as more about you than your mom's needs. 

Second, if you must buy new, there are a lot of deals on smaller, more fuel efficient models right now.  Where I live, you can buy a new 2015 Toyota Corolla LE at the dealer discounted price of $16,388 plus tax and license.  Plus you get zero percent dealer financing right now.  That Corolla is larger and better laid out than the mid-and late 80's Accords we owned back then.  It is especially well laid out for smaller drivers, although it might be a bit tight if your mom is 6' 6".  It also has a good chance of being as reliable as your mom's Tercel. 

Why not sit your mom down and tell her you want to help her find and pay for a car that will meet her needs for the next 10 years?  If she agrees to let you do that, then go out looking with her to see what she likes.

If you do this, acknowledge you are putting off debt repayment and FIRE for a number of years.  Your mom might be happier knowing her son was debt-free and on his way to financial independence than she would be with a new car he was financing.  It's something to discuss with her before you make a decision.

Okay thanks for the advice. I will do some research on the corolla, even though most of you guys are saying that this isn't something I should do. And yes I do understand this is postponing my FIRE date, something I am okay with. She does want me debt free and prefers me paying off my father before making such a purchase for her (she already knows I was contemplating on getting her a car). That being said, my emotions/feelings just wants to do something nice for her.

I'm kinda confused.  Are your parents still married?  How does it make sense to slow down on paying your father back for a loan so that you can buy your mother a car?  Does it just make you Big Man on Campus or what?  Why not take care of your debts first (pay your dad back) and let HIM buy her a car if that makes sense?

My parents are still married. My father told me he was going to buy her a car last year, but never came through. Not sure when and if he will ever come through on what he said. So instead of nagging him about it, I just wanted to step up too the plate. Does it make me big man on campus? I'm not doing this to show off in any way, I am doing this purely for my mother. So no, I'm not trying to be a big man on campus.


bad idea.

a) parents don't be parents to get money from their kids.  if you want to blow money, take her on a vacation

b) if you want her to have a safer car, there is no reason why you have to buy a new one.  you could still buy a car 10 years newer than hers for far far less
 
c) your parents likely want to retire as well, if you really really really really must give them ~$20,000 as a present, they'd be better off with the cash instead of a depreciating car

you obviously knew this was a bad idea before you even posted though.

Thanks, like i mentioned in the post, it was a personal goal of mine since a kid to be able to buy my DM a car, so I guess you could say my judgment is a bit clouded with emotions.  But ya thanks for your suggestions.

SaintM

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First, I would not surprise anyone with a car.  I would take them car shopping to see what they like and how it worked for them - comfort, driving position, visibility, fuel economy, etc.  No point in buying something expensive that really does not meet their needs.  Driving up in a new car may seem like a nice gesture, but to me it comes across as more about you than your mom's needs. 

^This^  A car is a very personal item.  She needs to test drive the thing to see if it fits her.  Plus, unless you are going to pay her insurance and gas, she needs to be comfortable with the expenses that you are also gifting her.

I'm kinda confused.  Are your parents still married?  How does it make sense to slow down on paying your father back for a loan so that you can buy your mother a car?  Does it just make you Big Man on Campus or what?  Why not take care of your debts first (pay your dad back) and let HIM buy her a car if that makes sense?

Irrelevant and rather condescending.

Dude, there's nothing wrong with a 90's tercel. Safety is an expensive illusion.
The evolution of automotive safety is not an illusion. It might be exaggerated, but certainly not an illusion.

A lot of the safety features are a bunch of needless shit, but a "90's Tercel" may not have basic modern safety features like an airbag.  A 3-5 year old car would have most everything, but without a huge depreciation hit.

kathrynd

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as a suggestion..don't buy new..but 2010 or newer is a good compromise.

Also allow your mother to pick it out.

After owing a Toyota Rav4, and then a Kia Sportage, I will never go back to driving a car.
I hate even riding in a car now.

LouLou

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This is more about you than her.

Why not ask her what she really wants? Sure, she may appreciate a nicer car (that you pick out for her without her input whatsoever), but what if she is secretly dreaming of seeing the Northern Lights, or going to a concert for her favorite band, or getting massages once a month, or a new couch, or an appointment with a personal stylist to change her wardrobe, or a million other things that she just hasn't mentioned because she doesn't think anyone cares. (Plus, all those things are cheaper than a new car.)

You say she's been waiting for something "like this" but you seem to have independently decided that the "this" is a brand new midsized sedan. That is oddly specific to me.

Another Reader

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I bought my 2013 Corolla LE new in December 2012 for $14,995 plus tax, license, and that silly doc fee.  Out the door it was around $16,600.  Two years, four months, and 22,000 miles later, Kelly Blue Book says I should get around $14,000 in a private party sale.  KBB says I should expect to pay around $15,700 from a dealer or $16,700 for a certified pre-owned one.  I'd say overall the depreciation has not been exactly bad. 

Today's price for the updated LE model would be around $18,200 out the door with tax, license and that doc fee.  Plus I would get zero percent financing.  For $1,500 more, I get a brand new car with 24k miles of service included and zero percent financing.  Folks, used cars are not cheap and the depreciation is not as high as you think.  My dad always said, when it comes to cars, buy the commodity product new.  You will get good service and it will be in demand when it's time to sell.  My experience says he was right.

The Beacon

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And one last thing: finance aside, what car would you get your mother? (Accord, Camry, Passat, Optima, or any other car you guys can think of?)
TL;DR - Love DM, want to finance a car for her? What Car is the best option? Am I being Anti-mustachian?

You do not have to get a brand new one.  a 2-3 year old off lease car is a good one. I disagree with other people saying that the Tercel is safe.  I would get a Camry or Accord for my Mom. She deserves it.


RH

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You have $60k in debt and you want to buy a new car just because its Mothers Day. Crazy. How many miles does she drive a year?

Cpa Cat

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I'm kinda confused.  Are your parents still married?  How does it make sense to slow down on paying your father back for a loan so that you can buy your mother a car?  Does it just make you Big Man on Campus or what?  Why not take care of your debts first (pay your dad back) and let HIM buy her a car if that makes sense?

Irrelevant and rather condescending.

It may have been condescending, but it's not really irrelevant. Maybe the reason the OP's father hasn't bought his mother a new car is because he's coming up $60,000 short somewhere.

The OP is separating his parents financially, in his mind, and has cast his mother as the poor, downtrodden, long-suffering pauper, who sacrificed everything for her children -  while his father is a meany who just happened to have $60,000 lying around for the OP's education. In truth, his parents are one financial entity, they - together - lent him $60,000. That $60,000 was saved through his mother's sacrifices, as well as his father's. They chose to save that money and then give it to him instead of spending it on themselves.

His father has agreed that this is a wonderfully touching idea and supports it. So now it's not really a car from the OP... it's a car financed through his father's generous lending terms.

There's way too much emotion in this idea and not enough logic for my tastes. So do what you want - but you should probably stop being angry with your father - at least over the financial relationship he has with your mother.

Argyle

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I agree -- it's really a car financed by the dad.

As it happens, I have a 1994 Toyota Tercel.  Good car.  It has a driver's side airbag but no passenger-side airbag, which was the way Tercels came back then.  So your mother has an airbag should she be in an accident.  If you're concerned about the airbag, having it checked out will be a whole lot cheaper than buying a new car.  And the insurance on a Tercel from the early '90s is pretty well priced.  I'm paying $13 a month.  I'd be seriously annoyed if my son gave me a new car that meant I had to pay a high insurance rate.

But basically you're consumed with the idea of the fun drama of giving your mother a new car.  But remember that your parents are a unit, meaning you owe them both $60,000.  And if she wanted a new car, sure sounds as if she could have had one by now.  So it's quite possible that she doesn't want one.  It's even more possible that what would benefit them both more than a new car is for you to pay back the $60,000 before too much more time passes.  You're looking at how much for a new car?  Maybe $25,000?  The problem isn't that it delays your FI rate the problem is that it delays paying back your parents $25,000 of that $60,000.

I'm a mother and I'm roughly the same age as your mother and I have a '90s Toyota Tercel.  You know what I'd like a helluva lot more than being bought a new car?  I'd like my son to figure out something that I love and to go do it with me.  Tickets to a show?  Daylong river trip?  A movie we both love?  Remember that doing things with people brings more joy than owning things.  This is someone like your mother speaking.  I predict your mom would say, "Don't give me an object, especially the kind of object that guys like but most women don't care so much about.  Spend some time with me doing something special that we'll both remember.  That would be doing what's meaningful for me, not what's meaningful for you."

sjl333

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I agree -- it's really a car financed by the dad.

As it happens, I have a 1994 Toyota Tercel.  Good car.  It has a driver's side airbag but no passenger-side airbag, which was the way Tercels came back then.  So your mother has an airbag should she be in an accident.  If you're concerned about the airbag, having it checked out will be a whole lot cheaper than buying a new car.  And the insurance on a Tercel from the early '90s is pretty well priced.  I'm paying $13 a month.  I'd be seriously annoyed if my son gave me a new car that meant I had to pay a high insurance rate.

But basically you're consumed with the idea of the fun drama of giving your mother a new car.  But remember that your parents are a unit, meaning you owe them both $60,000.  And if she wanted a new car, sure sounds as if she could have had one by now.  So it's quite possible that she doesn't want one.  It's even more possible that what would benefit them both more than a new car is for you to pay back the $60,000 before too much more time passes.  You're looking at how much for a new car?  Maybe $25,000?  The problem isn't that it delays your FI rate the problem is that it delays paying back your parents $25,000 of that $60,000.

I'm a mother and I'm roughly the same age as your mother and I have a '90s Toyota Tercel.  You know what I'd like a helluva lot more than being bought a new car?  I'd like my son to figure out something that I love and to go do it with me.  Tickets to a show?  Daylong river trip?  A movie we both love?  Remember that doing things with people brings more joy than owning things.  This is someone like your mother speaking.  I predict your mom would say, "Don't give me an object, especially the kind of object that guys like but most women don't care so much about.  Spend some time with me doing something special that we'll both remember.  That would be doing what's meaningful for me, not what's meaningful for you."

Your post is pretty much spot on. My dad does currently pay about $13/month for insurance on my mother's tercel. If I were to get her a new car, I was planning on covering her insurance premium. But that is a moot point now.
And you are right again, she actually loves the tercel and doesn't mind driving it. I told her I wanted to get her a new car and she specifically told me no and that I should pay off my father, and that she doesn't really care for a new car anyhow (she is not materialistic).
And most of you guys are right, maybe it really is about me. Unforutnately, I am/was/still am one of those millennials focused too much on materialistic things and "status" so to speak. I have been gradually trying to change that horrible mindset to a more humbler mindset, and trying to be more mustachian, but it is tough.  I guess I couldn't really stand my mom driving such a piece of junk, and too me, she just deserved better. I guess now I realized it may be a piece of junk to me, but not a piece of junk to her (sigh, I still got a lot of growing to do).

And ya I agree again, she would probably like it a lot more if I were to just spend more time with her and doing things she liked with her.

Thanks for the advice.

alsoknownasDean

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I bought my 2013 Corolla LE new in December 2012 for $14,995 plus tax, license, and that silly doc fee.  Out the door it was around $16,600.  Two years, four months, and 22,000 miles later, Kelly Blue Book says I should get around $14,000 in a private party sale.  KBB says I should expect to pay around $15,700 from a dealer or $16,700 for a certified pre-owned one.  I'd say overall the depreciation has not been exactly bad. 

Today's price for the updated LE model would be around $18,200 out the door with tax, license and that doc fee.  Plus I would get zero percent financing.  For $1,500 more, I get a brand new car with 24k miles of service included and zero percent financing.  Folks, used cars are not cheap and the depreciation is not as high as you think.  My dad always said, when it comes to cars, buy the commodity product new.  You will get good service and it will be in demand when it's time to sell.  My experience says he was right.

You forgot to add the opportunity cost of that money. How much would that $16,600 have earnt in investment income over the last two years?

Giro

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I'm in a similar situation but with my MIL.  My SIL keeps telling me and my DH how her van is falling apart and she needs a new one.  Everyone expects us to buy her a new one.  I love my MIL and I'm all for her having a nice van.  BUT, her van can't be more than 6-7 years old.  I suggested we take it in for service and have everything fixed.  They are complaining because of things constantly popping up needing repair.

My DH said no way.  He's not giving her $30K for a new van.  But, it's been weeks now and I know if we don't get the thing in for service, they are going to complain again and we'll end up forking over the money.

It's short-sited.  Cars are not disposable after a few years.

I'm glad she's happy with her Tercel.  It's a good reliable car.

hdatontodo

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No way

If you were on the Suzie Orman show, she'd shut down that idea with a big "DENIED"

DagobertDuck

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she actually loves the tercel and doesn't mind driving it. I told her I wanted to get her a new car and she specifically told me no and that I should pay off my father, and that she doesn't really care for a new car anyhow (she is not materialistic).

You just said it.
If you love your parents, spend quality time with them.
Save your money now, so you can FIRE or work parttime by the time you have kids, so your parents can see their grandchildren grow up.
Save your money now, so you have enough time to take care of your parents by the time they're old and needy



CommonCents

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I agree -- it's really a car financed by the dad.

As it happens, I have a 1994 Toyota Tercel.  Good car.  It has a driver's side airbag but no passenger-side airbag, which was the way Tercels came back then.  So your mother has an airbag should she be in an accident.  If you're concerned about the airbag, having it checked out will be a whole lot cheaper than buying a new car.  And the insurance on a Tercel from the early '90s is pretty well priced.  I'm paying $13 a month.  I'd be seriously annoyed if my son gave me a new car that meant I had to pay a high insurance rate.

But basically you're consumed with the idea of the fun drama of giving your mother a new car.  But remember that your parents are a unit, meaning you owe them both $60,000.  And if she wanted a new car, sure sounds as if she could have had one by now.  So it's quite possible that she doesn't want one.  It's even more possible that what would benefit them both more than a new car is for you to pay back the $60,000 before too much more time passes.  You're looking at how much for a new car?  Maybe $25,000?  The problem isn't that it delays your FI rate the problem is that it delays paying back your parents $25,000 of that $60,000.

I'm a mother and I'm roughly the same age as your mother and I have a '90s Toyota Tercel.  You know what I'd like a helluva lot more than being bought a new car?  I'd like my son to figure out something that I love and to go do it with me.  Tickets to a show?  Daylong river trip?  A movie we both love?  Remember that doing things with people brings more joy than owning things.  This is someone like your mother speaking.  I predict your mom would say, "Don't give me an object, especially the kind of object that guys like but most women don't care so much about.  Spend some time with me doing something special that we'll both remember.  That would be doing what's meaningful for me, not what's meaningful for you."

Your post is pretty much spot on. My dad does currently pay about $13/month for insurance on my mother's tercel. If I were to get her a new car, I was planning on covering her insurance premium. But that is a moot point now.
And you are right again, she actually loves the tercel and doesn't mind driving it. I told her I wanted to get her a new car and she specifically told me no and that I should pay off my father, and that she doesn't really care for a new car anyhow (she is not materialistic).
And most of you guys are right, maybe it really is about me. Unforutnately, I am/was/still am one of those millennials focused too much on materialistic things and "status" so to speak. I have been gradually trying to change that horrible mindset to a more humbler mindset, and trying to be more mustachian, but it is tough.  I guess I couldn't really stand my mom driving such a piece of junk, and too me, she just deserved better. I guess now I realized it may be a piece of junk to me, but not a piece of junk to her (sigh, I still got a lot of growing to do).

And ya I agree again, she would probably like it a lot more if I were to just spend more time with her and doing things she liked with her.

Thanks for the advice.

Yes, I think you're transforming your materialistic impulses by transferring them to your mother.  It's not materialistic after all, if its for someone else?  (Answer: Wrong.)

I agree that your folks are a unit, so you can't separate them out and think about it as paying your dad back v. buying your mom a car.  With the loan money back, they could do whatever they want with the money.  Maybe instead you can tell both of them that you are upping your payments to them.  That's a gift to them AND your future self.  Win win.

Kris

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Man, I am so glad that other people already commented and that you actually seemed to have listened.  Because this is one of the craziest things I have ever read.  It boggles my mind that it even entered your head.

Your second reason was that you wanted to somehow reward your mom for hard work once you've made it?  Son, you're $60,000 in debt to your dad.  You haven't made it yet.  That's the whole point.  And you're not likely to ever "make it" unless you cure yourself of thinking in these ways.  Including declaring a perfectly good 90s Tercel that runs fine a "piece of junk."

I'm really glad you recognize that you have a lot to learn.  Now go spend some time with your mom doing something that doesn't cost money. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 08:37:16 AM by Kris »

I'm a red panda

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First- yes, it is incredibly anti-mustachian.

But, is it a bad idea?
With a $60k loan to her spouse, yes, it's also a bad idea.  Pay them back the equivalent of the amount you'd spend on the car. They can decide if they want to buy a car with the money.


If she wasn't married to your father, I'd suggest a nice used car (maybe a 2005? Something to upgrade from the 90s.)  But since she is still married to the man you owe a ton of money- just give them their money back, and they can spend it how they wish.

SunshineGirl

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I think the sentiment is really nice, but do think you're considering doing the same thing it looks like your dad has done to your mom all these years - using money to express or deny affection.

You could say, "Hey, Dad, stop being an ass and letting your wife drive around in that car. The two of you should take some of the money I'm repaying you and use it on a new car for her."

(I'm just assuming your dad is driving a nicer car than your mom is.)

I'm a red panda

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Save your money now, so you can FIRE or work parttime by the time you have kids, so your parents can see their grandchildren grow up.
Save your money now, so you have enough time to take care of your parents by the time they're old and needy

Rather than "save your money" how about payback your parents their money so that THEY can do these things.

It amazes me the number of people who are being "mustachian" by making their parents do the spending instead.

Argyle

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And as the proud owner of my '90s Tercel, I'm what is the word? I'm trying not to use words like "offended" or "horrified" that it's considered a piece of junk.  Why?  Because it's not in the latest style?  (Carefully marketed by manufacturers so that we'll buy big expensive things we don't need even though our old ones work fine.)  What is it about having bought something recently that is more prestigious than having bought it some time ago?  That reasoning doesn't work with many things you wouldn't say, "Why is she living in that old housing from the 1990s when she could have a new 2015 house?" 

Are you thinking of buying your mother a new car because you are ashamed of her driving the car she does?  Do you look down on her for driving a frugal car?  Does it make you think less of her, or do you think others will think less of her?  Because she's a "Millionaire Next Door" type, is what she really is.

I bought my Tercel in 2000 for $1200 from a friend who was leaving the country.  It had 24,000 miles on it.  Because sometimes I drive too much when I could bike, fifteen years later it is now up to 70,000 miles.  Nevertheless I calculate that at this rate it will last me the rest of my life.  That's fine by me.  (Except for the defogger.  That is a little bit annoying.)  I look at people who buy new cars every five years and I calculate that I'm already $75,000+ richer than they are just by my car choice alone, not even mentioning insurance, and I think "Suckas!" with some satisfaction.

The fact is that a lot of us would rather have a good stash of money in the bank than a new car that replaces a perfectly good car.  For one thing, it means we can lend our sons $60,000.  But since we like having our good stash of money, having that $60,000 back would be nice.

The fact that you, OP, intended to pay your mother's car insurance (what?!) shows that you're oriented towards spending money as a sign of love.  But what a big waste of money that would be.  How long were you intending to pay for insurance?  For the life of the car?  Which will probably be 20 years, knowing your mother.  But not only is that crazy spendy on your part, it delays your paying back the $60,000, plus the most important thing your mother doesn't want it.

I'm sorry to pile on when you've already reflected thoughtfully on your impulse.  One of the most caring things any of us can do is to see people for who they are, not who we want them to be.  You could make your mom's day just by calling to say hi.

willkp23

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Oh goodness, give the OP a break!  He loves his mother!   I would recommend a few things:

1. Don't buy one (your broke financially) and try to spend more time with them.  I personally think a paid off Toyota car is a great car, I wouldn't ever use safety as a reason to purchase one.
2. Buy her a used car valued no more than 5k and pay cash for it.
3. Get your finances in order so in 10-15 years, you can take care of them when they really need you.

Never make a decision based on emotion, but you can turn that emotion into a desire to pay off the existing debt you have and getting enough cash to buy her something in the future.  Good luck to you, your mother is lucky to have a son like you.

I'm a red panda

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He loves his mother! 

But not his father? He owes his father 60k!  How can he buy his mother a 20-30k gift?

ENL

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If someone owed me $60,000 and they bought me a car I didn't want instead of paying me back I'd be super pissed.

Pigeon

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I think it's awesome that you love your mom a lot and think about doing things to make her happy.  Very sweet.

As others have said, a car is personal and best not to surprise her, but include her in any decision about what kind of car she drives.

In your financial position, spending this much money isn't a good idea.  If you were out of debt and still had a large excess cash flow, I don't think it's such a horrible idea if you were able to get zero percent financing. 

We buy new, relatively inexpensive cars and drive them for a very long time.  I know this is somewhat regional, but the last two times we were in the market for cars, there was no difference in price between a new base model Corolla and a slightly used Corolla.  There is a big dealer here who runs, for a better word, loss leader ads during certain times of the year.  They may only have one car at the advertised price, but we have been the ones to get that one car.  They don't take a huge depreciation hit right off the bat like a lot of cars do.

I also don't take as gospel that things don't give people as much pleasure as experiences. For me, experiences are nice while they are happening, and then they are gone, where as something like a reliable car is a daily pleasure for a very long time.

So, OP, pay off your debts, save your money, be nice to mom, tell her how much you love her and revisit this issue in a few years.

surfhb

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That's alot to pay to satisfy ones own guilt.    Have you considered therapy for this?   

I'm not being a dick but this horrible decision is based somewhere else.   It has to be since it's completely irrational and beyond the scope of normal behavior. 

Btw....I've made similar decision in the past and have also seek therapy for them ;)

sjl333

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That's alot to pay to satisfy ones own guilt.    Have you considered therapy for this?   

I'm not being a dick but this horrible decision is based somewhere else.   It has to be since it's completely irrational and beyond the scope of normal behavior. 

Btw....I've made similar decision in the past and have also seek therapy for them ;)

Sorry surhb,

I find your post a bit condescending and rude to be quite honest. I have a close friend of mine that also wanted to do the same for his mother, and he is worse off financially than me. He wanted to buy his mom a lexus when he still lives at home, has student loan debt, and doesn't even have a high paying job like myself. So I'm assuming he has issues to and he needs therapy? (I talked him out of it btw). 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of you guys are mostly from the older generation, and not a millennial like myself. So yes, our thought process is a bit different, but to say I need therapy and something is wrong with my head because I want to buy something nice for my mother whom I love dearly and means the world to me even if that sets me back financially? Maybe you do not fully understand that she means the world to me and i would really give up my life for her, so taking out a $20,000 car loan is really insignificant in the grand scheme of things (at least from my viewpoint). I understand its financially irresponsible, especially with someone with so much debt. At the same time, I do believe I am in a much better position than a lot of 25 year old's my age. I dont mean to brag here, but  I have a very stable job at a big corp aerospace engineering company as a lead engineer, make over 95K/year and have about 50K saved up in my company 401K, so to say something is wrong with my head to wanting to do something nice for my mother and that I need therapy?

I am 25, so my financial mindset is still immature, its obviously apparent that I am comfortable with taking on debt, which is the wrong mindset.  Yes , I have a huge debt pile I need to get rid of, and yes I understand I shouldn't be thinking of doing anything other than getting rid of this debt, and yes I made some really bad choices as an 18-year old who was extremely ignorant and thought going into 100K in debt for school is fine because I'll just pay it back once I graduate (very stupid thinking). So yes, I am one of those stupid millenials, we grew up in a different era where money seems to grow on trees (in our millenial minds at least). and that being in debt is the norm.  And yes, I've been trying to change this mindset, which is why I came to this board for some advice and help. But I never would have thought I would have been told by some of you that I need to get some therapy because something is wrong with my head.

sorry rant over.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 12:45:20 PM by sjl333 »

Argyle

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There are cranks in most threads, and anonymous people on the internet often err on the side of denouncing and criticizing.  I hope you can shake off the cranky comments.  I'd bet that the majority of people reading this see that you want to do something very sweet for your mother, and it was natural that you came around to the idea of a car.  But for the reasons that have been discussed, holding off on the car is probably a better idea, and you can think about your many options and choose between them.

I'll tell you what I wish I'd done.  My mother had always wanted to go up in a hot-air balloon.  She never made a big deal of it, but whenever we'd see a picture of one, she'd sigh and say, "I've always wanted to go up in one of those."

I know if I had arranged a ride on one of those services where you can go up in one, she would have been there like a shot.  But she thought it was too extravagant to do for herself, and who would go with her, and so on.  She's gone now, and I'm really wishing I had made that happen.

I wonder what your mother has been dreaming of doing, OP.  Maybe something to casually inquire about in a random conversation?  Boy would you be the son of the century if you could make that happen!

I'm a red panda

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I'm a millennial. I am not an older generation and I don't think money grows on trees. I also drive a new car, so I'm not totally mustachian about older cars. But I paid for it with cash, not a loan.

Taking out this loan is absurd when you consider all the rest of your debt.  Especially because it isn't even based on a need. If your mother had no car, getting her a used one might make a bit more sense.

Show your mother love in another way.

surfhb

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That's alot to pay to satisfy ones own guilt.    Have you considered therapy for this?   

I'm not being a dick but this horrible decision is based somewhere else.   It has to be since it's completely irrational and beyond the scope of normal behavior. 

Btw....I've made similar decision in the past and have also seek therapy for them ;)

Sorry surhb,

I find your post a bit condescending and rude to be quite honest. I have a close friend of mine that also wanted to do the same for his mother, and he is worse off financially than me. He wanted to buy his mom a lexus when he still lives at home, has student loan debt, and doesn't even have a high paying job like myself. So I'm assuming he has issues to and he needs therapy? (I talked him out of it btw). 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of you guys are mostly from the older generation, and not a millennial like myself. So yes, our thought process is a bit different, but to say I need therapy and something is wrong with my head because I want to buy something nice for my mother whom I love dearly and means the world to me even if that sets me back financially? Maybe you do not fully understand that she means the world to me and i would really give up my life for her, so taking out a $20,000 car loan is really insignificant in the grand scheme of things (at least from my viewpoint). I understand its financially irresponsible, especially with someone with so much debt. At the same time, I do believe I am in a much better position than a lot of 25 year old's my age. I dont mean to brag here, but  I have a very stable job at a big corp aerospace engineering company as a lead engineer, make over 95K/year and have about 50K saved up in my company 401K, so to say something is wrong with my head to wanting to do something nice for my mother and that I need therapy?

I am 25, so my financial mindset is still immature, its obviously apparent that I am comfortable with taking on debt, which is the wrong mindset.  Yes , I have a huge debt pile I need to get rid of, and yes I understand I shouldn't be thinking of doing anything other than getting rid of this debt, and yes I made some really bad choices as an 18-year old who was extremely ignorant and thought going into 100K in debt for school is fine because I'll just pay it back once I graduate (very stupid thinking). So yes, I am one of those stupid millenials, we grew up in a different era where money seems to grow on trees (in our millenial minds at least). and that being in debt is the norm.  And yes, I've been trying to change this mindset, which is why I came to this board for some advice and help. But I never would have thought I would have been told by some of you that I need to get some therapy because something is wrong with my head.

sorry rant over.

My apologies if this was incorrect.    Just an observation.....carry on

charis

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I am 25, so my financial mindset is still immature, its obviously apparent that I am comfortable with taking on debt, which is the wrong mindset.  Yes , I have a huge debt pile I need to get rid of, and yes I understand I shouldn't be thinking of doing anything other than getting rid of this debt, and yes I made some really bad choices as an 18-year old who was extremely ignorant and thought going into 100K in debt for school is fine because I'll just pay it back once I graduate (very stupid thinking). So yes, I am one of those stupid millenials, we grew up in a different era where money seems to grow on trees (in our millenial minds at least). and that being in debt is the norm.  And yes, I've been trying to change this mindset, which is why I came to this board for some advice and help. But I never would have thought I would have been told by some of you that I need to get some therapy because something is wrong with my head.

I am a "millennial" (that term is really starting to bug me as to seems to be an excuse for everything these days) and I find this offensive.   My father took out a loan to pay for my some of my undergrade tuition (I went to the school with the best financial offer because I know, even shockingly at 18, that money did not grow on trees).  After graduation, I worked two jobs to pay off the loan myself.

If you thought about buying your mother a Lexus when you are $60K in debt to her (yes, your father and mother are both out the money), then maybe you DO need therapy.  That does not add up and it couldn't hurt to talk to a therapist.  Arguing against this point by bragging that you are a well paid engineer who hasn't paid his daddy back the $60k yet doesn't help.




ENL

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of you guys are mostly from the older generation, and not a millennial like myself.

I think I'm also considered an millennial?  (Currently 30 year old.)

RH

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"2. Growing up, she went through a lot and sacrificed a lot for me while raising me. I saw her pain when I was growing up as a child (i.e. my father treated her horribly). I made a promise to myself I would make it in this world someday and buy her a nice car."

They also sacrificed a lot by giving you $60K for school instead of buying/investing it elsewhere. Pay them back before you take out more debt. Also...not to burst your bubble, but you haven't 'made it in the world' quite yet as it sounds like you have a negative net worth. You'll get there eventually....but you are not there yet. Save, invest, and do the opposite of all the other millennials :)



sjl333

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I am 25, so my financial mindset is still immature, its obviously apparent that I am comfortable with taking on debt, which is the wrong mindset.  Yes , I have a huge debt pile I need to get rid of, and yes I understand I shouldn't be thinking of doing anything other than getting rid of this debt, and yes I made some really bad choices as an 18-year old who was extremely ignorant and thought going into 100K in debt for school is fine because I'll just pay it back once I graduate (very stupid thinking). So yes, I am one of those stupid millenials, we grew up in a different era where money seems to grow on trees (in our millenial minds at least). and that being in debt is the norm.  And yes, I've been trying to change this mindset, which is why I came to this board for some advice and help. But I never would have thought I would have been told by some of you that I need to get some therapy because something is wrong with my head.

I am a "millennial" (that term is really starting to bug me as to seems to be an excuse for everything these days) and I find this offensive.   My father took out a loan to pay for my some of my undergrade tuition (I went to the school with the best financial offer because I know, even shockingly at 18, that money did not grow on trees).  After graduation, I worked two jobs to pay off the loan myself.

If you thought about buying your mother a Lexus when you are $60K in debt to her (yes, your father and mother are both out the money), then maybe you DO need therapy.  That does not add up and it couldn't hurt to talk to a therapist.  Arguing against this point by bragging that you are a well paid engineer who hasn't paid his daddy back the $60k yet doesn't help.

My apologies, didn't mean to offend you. When i stated millennials, it wasn't mean to generalize to everybody, I was mainly referring to my group of friends and people I know. (obviously I should maybe consider changing my group of friends or trying to hang out with more mustachian type people, in order to change my ways).

I didn't mean to brag and I'm not putting myself on a pedestal here thinking "I made it", I was just trying to say its something possible for me to do (even if its totally against the mustachian way).

Also, I just didn't realize people would be so judgmental, I was just asking for advice. Anyhow, I'll stop now before I offend any more people.

But thanks again everyone, I guess I need to feel a more sense of urgency to get rid of my 60K debt before embarking on any financial endeavors.



Frankies Girl

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There is nothing wrong with wanting to do something nice for someone you love. But I do agree that buying your mom a car - any car - right now is a bad idea for your situation.

Granted I have only skimmed the thread, so this might have been mentioned before, but in the event of an emergency, the instructions are always to make sure you are safe before helping others. Like in an airplane when they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before your seatmate/child? You're in a financial emergency - so you shouldn't be spending big money on others before digging yourself out first. Save yourself first, then do something "big" for your mom when you've actually made it. It will mean more then, to both of you too. 

And I'd also urge you to take a hard look at why you fixated on a luxury brand name (Lexus) as being "better" for your mom than other things (like Toyota). Lexus is just a fancy-pants Toyota (same maker, models, etc, with just the badges/logos and the like changing from Toyota to a Lexus). Brand names and badges are not an indicator of better... they are just a way for big business to cash in on the general population's lack of knowledge and propensity to think that buying a luxury/expensive brand is somehow making others see them as fancy-pants themselves (so it's a sort of showing off/look at me thing too). Don't be a slave to the idea that your self worth is somehow tied into what sort of car you drive, clothes you wear or brand name of your gadgets - that's a surefire way to lock yourself up into a cycle of buying ever-more expensive things in a bid to define who you are, and that is a loser's game. Fancy brand names and luxury items are only around to make you spend more money. Do the proper research on the most reliable, the most efficient, the best bang for your buck instead for all things (cars/clothes/computers/groceries even!), and dump the idea that luxury items are a "must have" now, and your future self will thank you for it.

And finally, the "I'm a whatever generation and you people just don't understand me" made me giggle. You do realize that's been said over and over again since time began, right? There's always a group of peeps in every generation that think debt is okay, and they'll always be a group of peeps that think it's horrible. You just have to put aside the noise, and decide for yourself how debt fits into your life plan, and if you found your way here, I'm assuming that you are starting to think that debt might not be a good thing... Getting advice from a diverse group is always better than listening to the same small sample group of your peers; they probably helped form your current outlook, so how are you going to change unless you get a different perspective?

Anyway, good luck! And do something nice (but not too expensive) for your mom for mother's day and keep hitting your debt hard! :)


Cpa Cat

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Going forward, just remember that everyone shows their love for others differently.

Your mother, in all likelihood, shows love by sacrificing so that others can have more. That doesn't mean she's unhappy or beleaguered - quite the opposite - she may only truly be satisfied if she's "giving up" something for the people she loves.

So before you ride in there to save her from her 90's Tercel, just take a moment to contemplate whether that's the kind of gift that would even make her happy. That's not to say that she wouldn't be touched by your grand gesture in the moment. But if she's the sort who displays love through sacrifice, she may begin to feel guilty about having a luxury item (new car) that cost you something substantial.

Taking from you is not how she shows her love for you.

CommonCents

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To add on what I've said earlier, have you heard of the expression "Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul"?  That's what I think about when reading your story here.  It seems to me that you are borrowing from your dad (which we can all agree includes your mother) to pay for a present for your mother.  This grand gesture of yours has true value and meaning when you are giving from *yourself* after you are financing solvent (e.g. no more loans!). 

I don't think, as you've suggested, that the student loans were a bad idea.  I just think this grand gesture is mistimed.  Show a different grand gesture to your mother - offer to cook her a weekly meal, clean her house top to bottom for her, do her dishes when you visit...whatever it might be that is truly yours (your effort/time) to offer back to her.  A grand gift isn't required to show how much you love and appreciate her (and if it is, consider the many people advising on this thread that the grand gift isn't the right one).

LouLou

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There are cranks in most threads, and anonymous people on the internet often err on the side of denouncing and criticizing.  I hope you can shake off the cranky comments.  I'd bet that the majority of people reading this see that you want to do something very sweet for your mother, and it was natural that you came around to the idea of a car.  But for the reasons that have been discussed, holding off on the car is probably a better idea, and you can think about your many options and choose between them.

I'll tell you what I wish I'd done.  My mother had always wanted to go up in a hot-air balloon.  She never made a big deal of it, but whenever we'd see a picture of one, she'd sigh and say, "I've always wanted to go up in one of those."

I know if I had arranged a ride on one of those services where you can go up in one, she would have been there like a shot.  But she thought it was too extravagant to do for herself, and who would go with her, and so on.  She's gone now, and I'm really wishing I had made that happen.

I wonder what your mother has been dreaming of doing, OP.  Maybe something to casually inquire about in a random conversation?  Boy would you be the son of the century if you could make that happen!

This. Exactly. A gift/gesture is meaningful when you get something that your mother actually wants. For my mom, it's just flowers.  She LOVES getting flowers.  So I get her flowers at random, and it makes her incredibly happy. Spending tons of money for something she doesn't want wouldn't be half as nice as spending a few dollars on flowers for her. That is how OP's thought process needs to change.

Based on OP's description of his mom, I bet upping the payments on the loan would make her happier than a new car. Especially since she says that she does not want the new car at all and you owe her tons of cash. And call/visit her more. Parents typically love that.

Also, I am a millennial as are many, many people on this thread. I don't think your thought process fits any stereotypes about our generation that I can think of.

RetiredAt63

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Since I am a bit older than your mother, I thought I would chime in.  Your time with her is much more to her than anything "your" money could buy. As others pointed out it is not really your money until you have paid off the student loan.  My DD has learned this, my birthday presents are her time - we go out or she comes over and helps me do things around the house that need 2 people.  Even when all her student loans are paid off and she has more money, this will be a better present.  I did the same thing for my dad and step-mom when they were older, I went and did all the heavy work for starting the garden each spring.  They told me what they wanted, so they got the garden that would please them.

I am not sure I agree with those who think spending that money is all about you, I think this may be differences in "love languages". The trick is to figure out what your mother's love language is and give her gifts in that language.  When you know what yours is, you will understand why some gifts to you seem so much better - it was that they were in your language, not that they were intrinsically better. And your language will be the one you use for gifts to others (like the idea of the car), until you figure out what language they use - then your gifts will mean more to them because they are appropriate for them.

cashstasherat23

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I am 25, so my financial mindset is still immature, its obviously apparent that I am comfortable with taking on debt, which is the wrong mindset.  Yes , I have a huge debt pile I need to get rid of, and yes I understand I shouldn't be thinking of doing anything other than getting rid of this debt, and yes I made some really bad choices as an 18-year old who was extremely ignorant and thought going into 100K in debt for school is fine because I'll just pay it back once I graduate (very stupid thinking). So yes, I am one of those stupid millenials, we grew up in a different era where money seems to grow on trees (in our millenial minds at least). and that being in debt is the norm.  And yes, I've been trying to change this mindset, which is why I came to this board for some advice and help. But I never would have thought I would have been told by some of you that I need to get some therapy because something is wrong with my head.

I am a "millennial" (that term is really starting to bug me as to seems to be an excuse for everything these days) and I find this offensive.   My father took out a loan to pay for my some of my undergrade tuition (I went to the school with the best financial offer because I know, even shockingly at 18, that money did not grow on trees).  After graduation, I worked two jobs to pay off the loan myself.

If you thought about buying your mother a Lexus when you are $60K in debt to her (yes, your father and mother are both out the money), then maybe you DO need therapy.  That does not add up and it couldn't hurt to talk to a therapist.  Arguing against this point by bragging that you are a well paid engineer who hasn't paid his daddy back the $60k yet doesn't help.

My apologies, didn't mean to offend you. When i stated millennials, it wasn't mean to generalize to everybody, I was mainly referring to my group of friends and people I know. (obviously I should maybe consider changing my group of friends or trying to hang out with more mustachian type people, in order to change my ways).

I didn't mean to brag and I'm not putting myself on a pedestal here thinking "I made it", I was just trying to say its something possible for me to do (even if its totally against the mustachian way).



lol-bragging is pretty much exactly what you did.  If you want to buy the car, by all means do it. It's no different from anyone else our age (yes, I'm a "millennial" too), who goes out and buys a baller car after graduation, and then complains about bills and debt owning their life. Just because it's for your mother doesn't make it justifiable.

 You just have to decide whether you want to be in debt forever, or if you want to be free. There is no right way, just the life you want to lead. If you are on this forum, I assume you'd like to be financially independent, and going out and buying a brand new Lexus when you are $60K in debt is not the way to do it. I refer you to this: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

Sounds like you are reconsidering your mindset, which is a good start. It's a journey, but glad to see you are at least considering what other people are saying.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 11:54:38 AM by cashstasherat23 »

partgypsy

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I agree, buying your Mom a car, while owing your Dad 60K and they are still married, doesn't make sense. Believe your Mom when she says she does NOT want this grand gesture, it will actually probably feel like "too much" to her and awkward, especially if they have always tried to be careful. Also agree you have not "made it".
Up the payments to Dad and they will have increased cash flow which is a gift in itself. If by the time you finish paying back your Dad and your Mom still has an old car, then consider it, but only if you can take her feelings into account. Don't just buy a new car and gift it to her because it may cause problems (this all could have been avoided if Millenials watch Seinfield).
It sounds like your mother is great and you really appreciate what she has done for you but those are the people who most do not feel comfortable with big showy presents that don't fit with the rest of the way they live their life. And unless there is something you haven't told us (dying of an illness) you still have plenty of time to do nice things for your mother. 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 11:18:48 AM by partgypsy »