Dave Says

Rental Runaround (August 2016)

Do you think having cancer insurance is a good idea? (July 2015)

Setting up the kid's car insurance (February 2015)

Check cashing for the unbanked (September 2014)

Keep the lifestyle simple (May 2014)

Should she have skin in the game? (September 2013)

Time to pay it off! (September 2013)

Making It Through Medical Leave (July 2013)

Should We Ever Buy A House? (January 2013)

Be Tightfisted Until The Crisis Is Over (January 2013)

Paying the parents (December 2012)

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car (December 2012)

What’s the worst that can happen? (December 2012)

Letting them in on the secret (December 2012)

Not ready to combine finances (November 2012)

What The Law Will Allow (August 2012)

Making The Right Choice (August 2012)

Baby comes first! (August 2012)

Get the brother-in-law out! (August 2012)

Trust Broken After Cosigning (April 2012)

Review The Research (April 2012)

The Investing Makes Her Nervous (April 2012)

Lifestyle Changes (April 2012)

Do I Tithe On An Inheritance (March 2012)

No Credit Score, No Mortgage? (March 2012)

Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps? (March 2012)

Guilt and Cynicism (March 2012)

Where Does Debt Go When Filing Bankruptcy? (December 2011)

Where Does The Donation Go (December 2011)

Ready to Buy (December 2011)

Intensity Hurting The Marriage (December 2011)

Hobby Car? (November 2011)

Not Quite Dearly Departed… (November 2011)

Enough For Retirement? (November 2011)

It’s Just Another Gimmick (November 2011)

Will Paying Early Help? (November 2011)

Bargain Master! (November 2011)

Sisters Should Have Asked! (August 2011)

Buy Now Or Wait? (August 2011)

So, He Knows How To Manage Money? (August 2011)

Girlfriend’s Money Problems (August 2011)

Smaller Down Payment? (August 2011)

Why Can’t She Get Another Job? (August 2011)

Landlord Wants Protection (June 2011)

Prepping Kids For Healthy Habits (June 2011)

Switching To Company Debit Cards (June 2011)

Should I Reduce My Tithe? (June 2011)

Closing The Account (February 2011)

Dishonesty Is Not The Best Policy (February 2011)

Piles of Cash? (February 2011)

New Car In A Bad Situation (February 2011)

Drop Coverage? (November 2010)

Can't Pay For Her Wedding (November 2010)

Does Pride Keep Us In Debt? (November 2010)

Not Time For A Reunion (November 2010)

You're Being Hoodwinked! (November 2010)

Buying Used or New? (November 2010)

Is There A Recommended Vacation Percentage? (July 2010)

Don’t Do it for the Gas Mileage (July 2010)

Investing Strategy for Retirement (April 2010)

Insurance? (April 2010)

Triple Play Investing (February 2010)

How Do I Get Started in Real Estate (February 2010)

Published: February 2011
New Car In A Bad Situation  

Dear Dave,

My wife is divorcing me, and we just had our first baby boy. I feel it’s my responsibility to take care of her until the divorce is final, and to keep her in a safe vehicle. She’s driving a 1982 Honda Civic, and it’s so small any kind of wreck could be a disaster. I’m thinking about buying her a new car. What do you think?

Mike

Dear Mike,

I’m really sorry you guys are going through all this, especially with a brand new baby in the mix. I appreciate your nobility and attitude about the situation, but you need to realize that once you’re divorced, it’s no longer your responsibility to take care of her. Divorce carries a lot of emotional stress and worry for everyone involved, but I don’t think buying her a new car will solve anything. It may actually lead her to expect even more from you later on.

I’m going to take a wild guess that the truth of the matter is you’re worried about your child, and this whole thing is breaking your heart. That’s natural, Mike. It means you love your baby. But a “safe” car doesn’t have to mean a brand new car. You could put her in an old Suburban and she’d be safe, because those things are tanks!

If it were me, and the relationship couldn’t be salvaged, I’d find a large used car – one that either one of you can pay for with cash – and let her drive off into the sunset. But spend every second you can hugging and loving on your little boy, and make sure you’re a fixture in his life. He’s going to need someone like you.

—Dave

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