Welcome! Welcome! We have two teenage sons that have been driving a truck for a couple of years. They have expressed their desire for something a little more economical on several occasions. My husband and I have discussed the situation many times. How do we decide if it is a feasible financial choice, or if we keep on having them pour their money into the gas tank? They drive my car when they need to drive out of our little town for anything that requires more than a few dollars’ worth of gas. Is it time to get them a better, more fuel efficient car?
As I’ve mentioned before, one of our main financial goals is to get out of debt. So, when we sat down to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of getting our boys a more fuel efficient car, debt was at the top of the list of things to discuss. We got out the calculator and figured out how long it would take to make up for the difference in savings on gas. Based on our calculations they would cut their gas bill by more than half, which is substantial on a teenager budget. However, if they drive the car out of town every other week, in addition to their usual driving, it would take a little over three years to make it worth buying a $1000 fuel efficient car. We also have to factor in that there will be occasional repairs.
We decided that it would be better for our budget to have them continue to drive the truck. They will get help from their parents a little here and there with gas money when they need it. This will keep us on track to get out of debt. This will also teach our kids a couple of things. First, they need to learn to budget their own money so that it stretches a little further. They don’t have to hop in the truck every chance they get to run a little errand during school or on weekends. Second, it is also good for us to show them an example that it is not a good thing to be in debt. We really want our children to never get into debt. We plan to give our oldest my little car when he goes off to college. It is our hope that he will get off on the right foot without debt. When we get out of debt, we will revisit the topic of another car. Hopefully, they learn from our mistakes.
I hope this little decision of ours helps you in your quest for financial stability. Thanks for reading!