Can’t convince spouse that new car is not the only way

Dear Dave,

I have a question about a car. We have a growing family and have been burned before by having an older car. My wife has been stranded on the side of the road twice with our kids because the car broke down on her. We are thinking about getting another car now and the only option my wife will even consider is a brand new car. And she doesn’t seem to be willing to bend on this issue. I know by listening to you that we should only consider buying cars that are two years old or older. How do I convince her that buying a brand new car is not the way to go? We just can’t seem to agree on this issue.


Abilene, TX

Dear John,

There are some things that are just wrong whether you believe they are or not. In my marriage, if I am living in some dream world about something, and my wife Sharon stands her ground on an issue, eventually I come around. And the same is true if she is the one making a decision based on bad information as well. I will stand my ground when I know the truth.

Your wife is living in a dream world if she thinks that buying a brand new car is the only way to go. This is a situation where you need to stand your ground. Not because you are smarter or all-powerful or something, but because she is basing her decision on incorrect information.

I drive a 1997 model car that is still in perfect condition. There are 10-year-old Hondas and Chevy Trucks out there that are still running perfectly fine. What I am saying is that the belief that a car automatically breaks down once it turns two-years-old is ridiculous.

I’m not trying to beat her up or anything like that, and I know that you don’t want your wife to be stranded on the side of the road. But for her to assume that will automatically happen if she doesn’t buy a brand new car is wrong. The difference here is that it would be a huge financial mistake. New cars go down in value like a rock, as you know.

I would advise you to continue to love your wife, but tell her that you are not getting a new car…period. You can be gentle about this and still stand your ground at the same time. On top of that, you need to do some research on the cars you are looking to buy. Find out the history of the vehicles and the track record for that particular model.

Be smart and make the right decision. Also, include your wife in all of that research and in making the final decision. You will be amazed at the results of having unity when making these decisions. And finally, don’t forget to PAY CASH!


Is it a problem to give a college kid an allowance

Dear Dave,

My daughter is a freshman in college. Do you think it is wrong for me to give her an allowance of $100 per month while she is in school? I want to help her with some of her expenses such as food or a bill or two. Do you think that is a bad thing for me to do?


Nashville, TN

Dear Deborah,

No, I don’t really have a problem with that. When we say we are sending our children to school, we can mean that we are paying for tuition, or tuition and books or even tuition, books and spending money. I wouldn’t give them an excuse to be lazy and sit on the couch and eat Doritos all day, but I don’t think $100 a month is going to do that to her.

A lot of that depends on the kid, too. If I feel that she is responsible and will keep up her grades and make good decisions, then I wouldn’t think twice about it, but if I’ve got a kid who I think is going to school to party and drink beer, then I would tell them to go get a job.

I don’t think it is a bad thing to give your daughter some spending money. Just don’t give her an excuse to do nothing. Encourage her to get involved in something. The first year of college is especially important for her. Give her the tools she needs to be successful.



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