Last Tuesday was a milestone day in the Forstrom household as Bren purchased her first car!  She’s been saving her money for such a purchase for three years (since she was 12).

Two weeks ago she had asked if we could go out car shopping.  I was shocked to find out she had accumulated $1,500 in her checking account from babysitting and unused gift money.

We figured we’d better look for something less than $1,000 to leave margin for taxes, the title, the plates, and to leave some left for repairs.  So off we went to hunt for cars with three digit numbers on the windshield.

We found this gem at Hawkeye Auto in Marion waaaay in the back of the lot.  It’s not much to look at, but hey, it’s the inside that counts, right!  Actually, the car is in great shape and has less miles than either of our other two vehicles.  (We may be paying her for mileage on our next trip to New Jersey!)  And she’s excited about having a painting party (yes, using Rustoleum) before her 16th birthday next week.   There’s no risk there–it can only improve the looks!

I’m guessing that most parents are a bit more generous when it comes to their kids and new cars.  And that’s great.  But our philosophy–which we communicated to the girls long ago–is that when the day came that they’d want their own car, they’d need to purchase it themselves.  (Our theory is that they’ll be more aware of their car’s value and therefore more prone to be careful with it.)

For those curious, when she gets her license next week we’re paying to add her to our insurance for our two cars.  But she’s paying for everything pertaining to hers.


[Follow up to this post.  That little car lasted her 4 years (the last two were spent driving back and forth to college in Missouri) after which, she ended up giving it away to a carless kid since her grandparents had a VW Beetle for sale–a deal she couldn’t pass up!]