Am I being practical or just a snobby brat?

Question by : Am I being practical or just a snobby brat?
So, I’m 17 years old and in my last year of High School. My family doesn’t have much money, it was just me, my little brother and my mother for 6 years. She makes about $ 56,000 a year. About 7 months ago my mother got back together with my biological father and he started living with us. He doesn’t help my mom pay anything, but he does pay for groceries occasionally and still pays $ 200 a month in child support until I turn 18. He makes $ 76,000 a year but has a $ 1000 a month Ford F-350 truck payment.

Anyways when I was taking my driving class to get my license, my mother asked me if I could loan her the $ 1100 I had saved up and in return she would get me a car. I said “Sure why not mom” so one day, we went car shopping at a used car lot. The first car we looked at was a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero with 79K miles on it. She asked if I liked it and I said yeah (The car was much nicer than what I had expected a $ 1000 car to be, but I didn’t know anything about cars, so I didn’t ask) in the end, she ended up leasing the Alero for $ 155 a month w/ a $ 500 down payment and 17% interest. When she got the car, I did not know this, I was only 16 and had no idea about anything financial, I assumed she bought the car. So anyways, I drive the car for about 3 months and when I turn 17, I got a part-time job because my mom could hardly afford to give me $ 20 a week, which wasn’t enough to go to and from school each day for a full week. When I got the job my dad said “Alright, now that you have a job, you can pay the car payment and for gas, we will pay the car insurance” I instantly had an issue with it, but being fearful of what my father would say, I didn’t say “No, I don’t want to do that” See, the issue for me is, I am lucky to get 50 hours a month and I only get paid minimum wage, so in the end, i’m lucky to get $ 400 a month after taxes are removed. $ 155 for the car payment + $ 100 a month for gas + $ 100 a month for lunch (Figure 3 dollars a day) leaves me with $ 45 a month. I’m not even guaranteed to keep my job because I was hired as “Seasonal” and I want to save up a good amount of money in the case that I do get let go. I can’t get a full time job, because in Washington State you cannot legally work full time while in High School. I am also fearful of being kicked out for some ridiculous reason and having no money in a situation like that.. In Washington State, your also REQUIRED to have liability insurance, so getting another vehicle is out of the question because with our policy it will cost another $ 175 a month to add another vehicle. So anyways, I feel that I am stuck with a $ 155 a month car payment, the car isn’t in my name, but if I don’t pay, my mother has to pay and she’s already in debt… Trading the car in isn’t an option, because it’s front bumper and passenger side fender have been damaged and even before that, the car was only worth $ 2500 to begin with.

My mom didn’t do it on purpose, she just didn’t really think about what she was getting into. My dad on the other hand is..well..a money nazi and because of it he’s a dick, and he’s turned me into a major money nazi as well.

The lease is in my mothers name. All my friends tell me to “Get outta that ****” and “You don’t want to be paying car payments when your 17” while my dad and my grandmother both say “Its not that bad, $ 155 is cheap” and my father always bring up how he had to pay for everything when he was my age, but at the same time he was allowed to have a full time job back in the day, it’s illegal while your in school at washington. He also tells me “You don’t need to go to college”….
I pay for my own gas no matter where I go, weather it’s school or a friends and I don’t have issue for that.

Best answer:

Answer by Jacob
That is a really hard situation you are in. If you don’t mind your credit score, you can always just not make the payment, and keep it until it gets repossessed, however like your friends say, you shouldn’t have to be making car payments at 17, and your mother probably knew what would happen but did it anyway, which was pretty poor judgement. Don’t give up college over this stuff either. If you try really hard in school, and get a full ride, you could be getting a good job, and not have to worry about all this crap with your family. Once you have a full time job, then you can lease/finance a car, rent an apartment, and live comfortably. Don’t just say f**k it all now. That’s just useless, stupid, and you’re selling yourself way short. Somehow lose your responsibility with the car, keep your job, but keep up with your schoolwork, and work to make your outcome good. You’re not being stuck up, and don’t think that you are.

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2 comments to Am I being practical or just a snobby brat?

  • Entidtil

    My answer will be the same as the first time you asked it:

    You sound and write very intelligently compared to most 17 year old kids. You may not want to hear this but in my opinion your Mother has made some foolish choices. IE: your car and your Father. You have little choice but to keep paying the $ 155. monthly. If I were you, I would try to move out just as soon as I was able. Sorry but I have no idea what a “money Nazi” is. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Can you explain?

    Good Luck

  • Ken G

    I disagree with the notion by the other two answers about your credit rating because the car seems to have been leased by your mother not by you.

    What you have is a financial obligation to your mother in exchange for her privilege to drive a car she is leasing for you.

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