You know, at some point you’ve got to stop trying to help people save themselves and instead just sit back and watch the tremendous destruction.
The Washington Post runs an advice column for people trying to save money. This weekend a distressed wife of a soon-to-be 3L had her question answered. It appears that her husband is determined to pursue a destructive and financially ruinous path, and there’s nothing she can do to make him think reasonably.
Well step aside, 3L wife; like the pull yourself together scene in Airplane, I think we can organize a line of people on the internet willing to slap some sense into this joker…
Like I said, sometimes when I see law students behaving like this I want to help them. But occasionally their self-destructiveness reaches such heights that I just want to sit back and watch the show. From the Washington Post:
My husband will be starting his third year of law school next year, and although he did have a large sum in scholarship money, we still took out some loans. We will need to start paying those loans six months after he graduates next May. My husband wants to sell one of our two perfectly fine cars and get a new much fancier car, which we would need to get a loan for. Can you please help me get him to see that a new car loan is a terrible idea? Our only other debt is our underwater mortgage.
You can read the somewhat exasperated advice from columnist Michelle Singletary here.
Obviously, we don’t know if this 3L has a job lined up for after graduation. I’m going to assume that he does, and here’s why: If he doesn’t have a job lined up but is about to take out more loan money for the fancy car, then he’s a complete and utter moron who is not worth the time it takes to type out “you’re a freaking idiot.” His wife should divorce him and he should be required by law to get a “Kick Me” sign tattooed on his forehead. Idiots like that should have to wear a thrifty jacket while Suze Orman nails them with a strap on.
If he does have a job, it’s still a really bad call, but at least it’s a discussion. If he does have a high-paying job waiting for him at the end of 2013, you can see the thought process that leads him to want to live the good life in 2012. Why delay his gratification if he can borrow it a year early?
It’s still a terrible idea, though. First of all, he should talk to people in the classes of 2008 and 2009 who thought they had jobs waiting for them after graduation only to see those opportunities deferred or disappeared entirely. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched, plucked, roasted, and being consumed as leftovers in a tasty chicken sandwich. With one debt already in the tank (the mortgage) and another debt on the way (law school loans), there’s no reason to take out a third debt. None whatsoever. Start work, start payments on the things you already owe, and then decide if the car is really worth it to you.
And while we’re here, there’s also something to be said for the delay of gratification. Things are just sweeter when you’ve earned them as opposed to when you’ve borrowed them. Straight Cash Homey.
Again, this is all predicated on the assumption that he has a post-graduate job offer in hand. If he doesn’t and he’s speculating that a new vehicle will some how help him “look the part” as he tries to hustle clients or something, he is likely beyond all hope of intelligent decision making. If he doesn’t have a job and still wants the car, I’d have a couple of questions for his wife:
Is this really the idiot you want to spend the rest of your life with?
If so, can’t you just be in charge of the money and give him a monthly allowance? Or would he feel “emasculated” because it’s his God-given right as a man to act like a dick?
If so, please reconsider your answer to question one.
Giving savings the ol’ college try [Washington Post]