I am a 30 year old who recently moved back home to get out of credit card debt. I have 3 credit cards that total over $40,000 in debt. I decided to move back home with my parents for a few years so that I could pay off these credit cards and buy a house someday.
The car I am driving is old and sucks. I work very hard and have nothing to show for it. Since I moved back home with my parents, my self esteem is at an all time low. Right now they are advertising the Lexus ES at a very affordable lease rate and so I went to the dealership to get one. Because my credit is so bad, they told me I need a cosigner. When I asked my parents to cosign, they totally freaked out. They are upset that instead of lowering my credit card debt I am charing the down payment ($2400). I don’t see what the big deal is. My payment was going to be around $400 a month. Now they want to start charging me $400 a month rent! I think they are just jealous that I would be driving a nicer care than they are. I am 30 years old and they need to stop controlling my life! what do I do?!!!
My Free Advice:
Well, congratulations on knowing that it’s important to get out of debt.
However, you need to take a step back and look at your sense of entitlement around your parents. They are not an ATM…. overhead, and probably food in the fridge, = cash, my friend. But you are also a victim of the phrase “low monthly payment”… a ‘gateway drug’ of sorts…
Let’s just look at this mathematically…
You can get your current car detailed, and tuned up, and possibly repaired for far less than $7200, which is what you are going to be spending on your RENTED LEXUS in the next 12 months. Yes, $4800 in payments plus your down. This is why your parents are offended. That is almost 20% of your total debt… in one year. Leasing really is for people with a lot of expendable income who are ok with not getting a lot of value. Assuming you got a 4 year lease, but it’s probably 5, you will be spending 26 – 31K on a car, give it back, and then come up with another down payment. There is a reason you need a co-signer. That is a lot of money. Driving a Lexus you can’t afford just keeps you in the mentality of living beyond your means. Respect your money, and by all means, respect your parents’ money. Put yourself on a debt reduction program… you’ll be there in no time if you could afford that lease payment!
As far as your parents are concerned, I recommend apologizing to them and explaining that you got caught up in the allure of the “low monthly payment” and realize that what you were asking was unreasonable and could be construed as ungrateful. Not everyone can move home to their parents at 30. Hopefully, in two years or so, you will qualify to lease or buy a Lexus you can truly afford… and they can be happy for you.
Paying them some rent is important for a couple reasons. One, it keeps you accountable, as an adult who doesn’t want to be told what to do by his parents. Two, it preserves your self respect. It sounds like you have an income, you can pay for a roof over your head. Depending on your exact situation, you might negotiate what you think is fair… $400 sounds like a deal these days. Clean up after yourself, contribute to the groceries, and behave like an adult if you want to be treated as one. This is huge for your self esteem. Sometimes we think our parents owe us something or that it’s ok to get a free ride with them and that is exactly what adds to our shame and lack of self-esteem. Follow through and keeping promises to ourselves… that is how we build it… one promise at a time…. not by driving a car we can’t afford.
If that were the case, everyone in LA would have incredible self-esteem.
Best of luck to you.
(reposted from a previous blog I am deleting)