We make $80,000 a year but owe $120,000 in auto and student loans. Should we get a new car?

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are in our 20s, and together we make about $80,000 a year. Our first baby is due in early 2022, so being debt-free has become a top priority in my mind. Right now, we have two cars. The one I drive is paid off and has a lot of miles on it, but it’s in really good shape. We still owe $30,000 on the other one, and the rest of our debt is about $90,000 in student loans. My wife puts 40,000 miles a year on the other car traveling for work. I talked to her the other day about us moving down a little in car size, but she’s particular about what she drives. I even found out she has her eye on a newer vehicle that costs about $48,000. I don’t know what to do. Can you help?


Dear Zach,

Okay, let’s start slow. I’m glad you’ve seen the wisdom in getting control of your money and getting out of debt. That’s the first step toward financial peace.

Now, where the car thing is concerned, there’s not a chance in the world I’d do this. And honestly, I don’t give a crap about what your wife is particular about. You guys are broke! You’re up to your eyeballs in debt, and now she’s talking about buying a $48,000 car — when you still owe $30,000 on one — then putting 40,000 miles a year on it and destroying its value quicker than you can say “fast.”

This whole idea and attitude is dumber than a rock. Absolutely not! You may have seen the light where your finances are concerned, but it sounds like your wife is still in the dark and needs to grow up some. You two should have a long, serious talk about things, and get on the same page financially — especially with a baby on the way. Your family’s future depends on it.

I hope I wasn’t unclear.


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