Thursday, August 30, 2012

Financial Poker Face

I recently ran into my former assistant out and about.  This is a sweet woman, single mom, about my age.  Because we worked closely for a few years, I have general knowledge of her financial status.

Anyways we were catching up on respective news and she proudly announced that she had a new car.  She goes on to tell me its the same brand as my car, one model level down from mine.  Of course I had to ask, new or used?  New, she tells me.  And this is where I fail, I make a face of disapproval.

When we were working together she had a late model small SUV, nothing that needed replacement in my mind.  But, I have no idea as to what happened to it, maybe she got in a car accident or maybe it required an expensive repair.  So, I start calculating how much the car cost and then I move on to calculating the cost of  a 5 year loan, and what she would have probably have gotten for her trade in . . .  and I come up with probably at least a $450 payment per month.  And, I make that face of disapproval.

And she knows me well enough to know I'm one that hates debt and that I am much more structured and conservative when it comes to our personal finances.  So she knows what I'm thinking when I make that face.

Frankly, I shouldn't be so judgmental.  Buying a new car may not be for me, but for most people it is an event to be proud of and to be excited about.  Our financial path and plan is not appropriate for most people so I need to get over it when I hear people making financial choices that are different from ours.  I shouldn't share my opinion (even non-verbally) unless someone asks for my advice.

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