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Ask Dave

Just Agree To Disagree

Michael's dad is a car finance manager. Whenever Michael takes his truck into the shop to be repaired, his dad pitches borrowing money for a car. Michael asks Dave what he would do.

QUESTION: Michael in Georgia has a dad who is a car finance manager. Whenever Michael takes his truck into the shop to be repaired, his dad pitches borrowing money for a car. Neither of them will budge, and Michael asks Dave what he would do.

ANSWER: If he agrees with you, he has to quit his job unless he’s a hypocrite. You don’t want him to agree with you. All you want him to do is leave you alone. I don’t think you’re going to convince him; I don’t think he’s going to convince you—at least I hope he doesn’t convince you.

I’ve got a relative who, almost every single time no matter what, votes for a Democrat. I almost never do. I’m willing to, and I’m not totally against it one way or another. You know what? My relative and I really like each other. We love each other. But we just don’t talk about politics because it makes us both angry. We just talk about other stuff, because we’re not going to agree. He’s not going to change, and I’m sure not. Because we like each other, we just decided to stay away from that subject. You and your dad are going to have to come to that agreement.

How do you deal with all these recurring car problems? Either this car has reached the end of its life and you sell it for $1,000 and you scrape up $1,000 to put with it and get you a $2,000 car and double your car and still drive a beater while you finish some of your other financial goals... Or you keep feeding this thing a little while longer because it’s not as bad as it seems; it’s just always a drama when it breaks. One of the greatest joys of my life was to quit driving junk so it didn’t break all the time. It’s a total hassle. For me, when I was driving junk, it was the biggest motivator for me to not have to deal with that crap anymore.

The last thing a guy making $15,000 a year needs is a car payment. I’m sure your dad’s a nice guy, and I’m sure he doesn’t mean to be harmful, but what he’s offering to you is harmful. It’s just what he knows. He’s a finance manager. You can’t expect anything else from him, and I’m not going to run him down. He’s probably a good guy. The point is that’s who he is, and that’s what he does, but you’ve got to say you have to get your income up so that you don’t ever have to drive crap like this again and you can pay cash for whatever you move up in. We’re going to drive like no one else so later we can drive like no one else.