In 2016, our daughter got her first internship at Rockwell Collins as a freshman. It was quite a shock to her AND us, and it also meant she needed transportation. The plan for both daughters, once you enter your junior year of college, you’d get a car. Well, she was ENDING her freshman year, and getting my wife’s car.


The car was a 2010 Nissan Altima with a fairly nice package of goodies. It was a favorite of my wife, but we knew this would happen at some point. Our daughter got her car, my wife got a newer (to her) car, and all worked out.


Fast forward to last month, our daughter texts: “Dad, I went out to start my car, and someone had slid into it. They left their information, but do I need to call our insurance agent?” Yes, yes you do.


So, we started the whole insurance process and were shocked that the other insurance company wanted to total the car out. Apparently, with it being a 10 years old car with lots of miles, and the fact that the back quarter panel wraps up to the back window, it would take too much to repair. Fine. My daughter actually asked the company to review the pictures to make sure what they were talking about was actually true. In the company’s mind, it certainly made sense. Again, fine.


So, she started looking for cars. She’s her father’s daughter in that she had a journal AND a spreadsheet of information about each car.


But she found one. She called us Thursday night, looking for information for a loan application because my wife was going to be a co-signer. Then she drops this:

Oh, the dealership needs you to there with me. Can you come to Burnsville on Saturday?


For those who aren’t from the Midwest, Burnsville is in Minnesota, about a three hour drive from us. It is about the same distance as it would be to drive to Des Moines (about 30 minutes from Ames) where we thought we’d be going. However, Burnsville is about a three hour drive from Ames, so we were scratching our heads, wondering why. Well, our daughter spotted a car on AutoTrader, and it was going to be hers, period.

The problem, it’s an expensive car, a newer car, so we did our best to talk her out of that purchase. She is getting a pretty good down payment from the insurance company for her car, but it was going to be a good chunk of money to be borrowing. Right now, she works in the cafeteria 10 hours a week, so not a huge income. So, we tried the “but I found this for you online” and “this one is x dollars less expensive” to no avail. She’d found her car and she was going to buy it, period.

To my daughter’s credit, she didn’t back down. She stood her ground on this car with us as parents. She’d done her research, she’d done her leg work, and when push came to shove, she negotiated a $300 discount off the car when the salesman said they wouldn’t budget. Not much, but I was proud of her! We went out of a late lunch and as we drove off, she was in her car, with her boyfriend, pairing her phone and getting ready to play with the new tech stuff! We, of course, had to take pictures, so here she with her new car, a 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport.


On our way home, my wife was still fuming, but I reminded her, we were able to help our daughter do something she’d not be able to otherwise. She’ll graduate in December with a software engineering degree, no college debt, so this little chunk will only help her with future borrowing. She’s got a long term loan, so lower payments right now, and when she gets that first job, paying this off will be fairly simple for her. Our influence is slowly waning because she continues to grow into a lovely, confident young woman.

But on this day, she needed her mom and she felt comfortable asking her mom for help.

And her mom was there for her.

That’s why we do this. β™₯️