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Friday, February 3, 2023
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GF WITH MASSIVE OUTSTANDING DEBTS INSIST ON BUYING A BIG CAR

Recently my girlfriend has become in need of a car. She got into an accident and it’s totaled.

She has been talking about getting a “new” car with more safety features and media system. She also talks a lot about wanting a unique color. She wants a 4WD/AWD SUV type car.

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The problem from my POV are finances. I just graduated from school myself so I’m building up my savings myself. I have a degree and make OK money, but not enough to help my girlfriend out yet.

My girlfriend is an artist. She doesn’t make a lot (like 30k a year) but she has five figures in the bank from saving and living at home with her mom until recently. I love her and I don’t mind being the majority breadwinner, but…

The problem is this car talk has caused tension. I grew up in a family that only bought used Hondas pretty much our entire lives. I was always taught to live within my means. My family and I are of the impression that Hondas and more recently Toyotas are the most reliable cars. Therefore I’ve been recommending to my girlfriend that she buy a used Honda or Toyota 2010-2015, and she could stretch her budget further with a sedan > SUV.

My girlfriend and her friends/family have been telling her they think I’m too controlling. That I should encourage her to get a new or newer (2017-2021) car. That she should even take a car loan out because she has a large “down payment” saved. That I am being controlling for telling her to get a Honda/Toyota ’10-’15 because that only gives her a few options.

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Admittedly that doesn’t give her an amazing number of options, but I keep reminding my girlfriend that she doesn’t make a lot and that she should try to live within her means. I know 2010-2015 isn’t very new but I drive a 2011 Honda Civic and it’s great for my budget.

I grew up middle class. My parents taught me a lot about fiscal responsibility. One important rule they told me is to never take out a loan, except unless absolutely necessary. To freak loans like the plague.

I don’t have a right to tell my girlfriend what to do with her own money, but now that we live together and I see a future for us, I am concerned about her finances. Since we’ve met I’ve helped her start putting some of her money into stock funds, I’ve helped her transfer her savings account to one with higher interest yield, and I helped her switch banks to avoid fees and to pay off her credit card debt and manage her credit cards better. Her mother is frankly not great with money.

During one of our fights, I told my girlfriend if she took out a car loan, despite having tens of thousands in the bank which could easily buy a used car outright and leave her with savings left over… then I would have to break up with her. I know it was a heat-of-the-moment thing but I really do feel that passionately about making smart financial moves.

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