Hobby car has to go

November 20, 2011 

Dear Dave,

My husband has a 1980 Camaro that's a real source of friction between us. He bought the car for $2,400. It needs $3,500 in repairs. Our household income is $29,000 a year, and this car is taking money away from our ability to save and pay off $39,000 in debt. We already have two decent cars, so what should I do?

- Katherine

Dear Katherine,

This isn't a matter of having a car that runs. It's a matter of someone having a maturity problem. Guys like shiny toys, especially cars. But these kinds of things are luxuries, and they should wait until the household and finances are in order. The family should always come first!

I'm not saying he has to sell the car today, but dumping money into it while you guys are struggling doesn't make sense. Sit down with the guy, explain how you feel and what this is doing to your finances and your marriage.

And you might even give him a little incentive. Let him know that once your debt is gone, and you've got some savings in place, he'll have the money to get that Camaro up and running in no time.

- Dave

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