Drive the Hoopty

Carrie and her husband paid off their last debt last week. The day she put the check in the mail, their car died. It isn't fixable, and Carrie doesn't know what to do now.

QUESTION: Carrie in Traverse City and her husband paid off their last debt last week. The day she put the check in the mail, their car died. It isn’t fixable, and Carrie doesn’t know what to do now. Someone gave them a vehicle to use, but she doesn’t know how long it will last. Dave tells Carrie they need to make do for now.

ANSWER: I guess this is an emergency. The car you’re using will work for a while until you save up for a car. You don’t take financial advice from broke people. It’s like taking dieting advice from fat people. “I just lost 40 pounds and there are people standing around me with bags of cookies.” No. Run from the cookies. Get thee behind me, Cookie Monster. No, no, no! No. You’ve just now turned the corner. I know it’s distressing, but listen, take a picture of that piece of crap car that somebody just gave you and blow it up and put it on the wall because that’s where this ends. This is where your family tree changes—this week with the decision you make to drive that car. I drove a car just like that 25 years ago. It’s what turned my life around. I drove it for 10 years one three-month period. That’s what it felt like, but I got out of debt and I stayed out of debt.

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