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Cars, Fuel Prices, Insurance... Kids
Old 06-07-2008, 05:37 AM   #1
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Cars, Fuel Prices, Insurance... Kids

It is not uncommon for middle class parents to foot the bill for automobiles for children. In some cases several vehicles for multiple children.


Will the combined cost of vehicle, insurance, fuel, and upkeep begin to weigh on the household budget and reduce this practice. Especially if fuel goes to $7/gal


For example: What is the cost of paying for vehicles for 3 children and two parents... not to mention the cost of University.


It seems that parent now a days foot the bill for (University and living expenses) Vehicle, Cellphones, etc.

With a couple of kids, it would seem to me that the cost is very high.

This would seem to be burden for dual incomes earning above the median wage. It would even appear to put a strain on a higher household gross income... of say $125k.

Will that practice of buying cars for kids become limited to very high income families? Especially in a world where the parents have to provide for retirement on their own?
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:53 AM   #2
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Since we live overseas and the kids can't do part time jobs here, we do plan to get a car for each of them when we return or when they go to college. If we lived in the states, we may have donated some towards a car, but not all of it. Same goes for college costs...

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
It is not uncommon for middle class parents to foot the bill for automobiles for children. In some cases several vehicles for multiple children.


Will the combined cost of vehicle, insurance, fuel, and upkeep begin to weigh on the household budget and reduce this practice. Especially if fuel goes to $7/gal


For example: What is the cost of paying for vehicles for 3 children and two parents... not to mention the cost of University.


It seems that parent now a days foot the bill for (University and living expenses) Vehicle, Cellphones, etc.

With a couple of kids, it would seem to me that the cost is very high.

This would seem to be burden for dual incomes earning above the median wage. It would even appear to put a strain on a higher household gross income... of say $125k.

Will that practice of buying cars for kids become limited to very high income families? Especially in a world where the parents have to provide for retirement on their own?
Been there, done that.

However, when kids were in high school, had one car for the kids (3), which was to be used on a sharing and priority system. They had to work it out themselves. For real emergencies on weekends, Mom's car, or Dad's car could be used as back up.

They were not entitled to a car in college. Freshman year, the schools required them to live in dorms on campus anyway. Then as they progressed to higher years where nearby student apartments were available, walking was a good, healthy alternative. Their job was to get a degree, that was Dad and Mom's rule. I spent about $250K on their education, my youngest graduating 6 years ago.

Had everybody on my USAA car insurance since all of them began driving until they graduated from college. USAA is hands down, one of the best auto insurers I have ever had, and have been with em for more than 30 years. Paid about approx $800 every 6 months for insurance covering them as occasional drivers with 3, sometimes 4 cars. Remember this was 5 to 10 years ago.

Gas was never more than $1.50/gallon, so no worries. Now? Even with disposable income which is quite high, I worry about filling my ordinary Japanese sedans which are not gas guzzlers. This gas problem is going to ruin a lot of our past lifestyles. My kids could not have driven the way they did then, for sure. If I have grandkids, driving will be a luxury for them.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
It is not uncommon for middle class parents to foot the bill for automobiles for children. In some cases several vehicles for multiple children.


Will the combined cost of vehicle, insurance, fuel, and upkeep begin to weigh on the household budget and reduce this practice. Especially if fuel goes to $7/gal
You're right - - the sky is falling.

Or, parents could subsidize their kids' gas usage via an extra $20 or two per week which is not going to break the bank for the average middle class parent (who can turn up the thermostat at home or take some equivalent measure to save that much, if necessary). Contributing a fixed amount towards gas would have the additional positive outcome of teaching kids to keep their gas usage down.
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:53 AM   #5
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Will that practice of buying cars for kids become limited to very high income families? Especially in a world where the parents have to provide for retirement on their own?
It never ceases to amaze that the number of newer models cars parked at our high school student parking lots whenever I drop my younger daughter off when she misses the school bus. Parents nowadays must be either generous or "rich". My two brother-in-laws, though not rich by any standards, purchased two brand new cars (Mazda-3 and Honda Civic) for their son and daughter. I guess parents just want to spoil their kids. Luckily, our two daughters do not ask for cars. They either drive one of our two cars and get a ride from us. We do pay college tuition and living expenses of our older daughter. She is now back home for the summer and working as an intern for a local utility company. Anyway, I do remind them from time to time that they are very fortunate in comparison to my college days when I did not receive any financial assistance other than student loans and income from part-time jobs to pay for college and living expenses.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:10 AM   #6
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Will that practice of buying cars for kids become limited to very high income families? Especially in a world where the parents have to provide for retirement on their own?
I doubt it. If one wants to make it happen you find a way. I went to a 2-year community college driving a $50 car rescued from a junk yard. We put a transmisison, brakes, drive shaft and tires on it, repainted it with a brush and Rustoleum, and I drove the thing for three or four years. I earned the BS later on.

OK, it wasn't exactly a chick magnet. But it did get me to school.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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Kids may have to learn to manage without cars and cell phones etc. Our 2 kids are now 25 and 27 so it is not long ago we went through this. Cell phones were never on offer and neither decided they "needed" one. With cars we offered to buy one provided they paid for 50% of the insurance. DD did without a car including at college, DS got a part time job at 16 and at 17 we provided a 4 year old small car that he kept for 6 years all through college.

From age 12 onwards our kids had an allowance to buy clothes, school supplies etc so learned to know what they could and could not afford.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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I doubt it. If one wants to make it happen you find a way. I went to a 2-year community college driving a $50 car rescued from a junk yard. We put a transmisison, brakes, drive shaft and tires on it, repainted it with a brush and Rustoleum, and I drove the thing for three or four years. I earned the BS later on.

OK, it wasn't exactly a chick magnet. But it did get me to school.
C'mon on now. Any freshman or sophomore in college with a car is a chick magnet.
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