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I have recently decided to trade in my car for a leased car. So far no issues. The problem is that I usually pass through anything I want to purchase with my dad. I am 30 and admittedly this may have been slightly rebellious, but the car purchase was well researched before hand. I am still living at home but looking to move out within the next year. My dad went off on a business trip and he won’t be back for a week.

The issue is trying to break the news to him when he gets home in a way that can be a civil mature discussion. I am afraid of the worst as we usually have some really horrible fights and I want to avoid that. I want him to understand that I’m not going to run every financial purchase I want to make through him for his approval. I am capable of understanding budgeting, I make more than enough that it doesn’t threaten my future plans, and I want to be seen as an adult, not a child.

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    Is there a question? Btw, as you hinted at, the unusual relationship with your father for your age suggests that there is more to the story that could be important. Perhaps explaining your environment and situation in general a bit better could help you get more helpful and taylored answers. So why do you need your father's blessing? Also, to what degree would your father usually be involved? I know people your age that finance cars through their parents, but this seems to go beyond that – Raditz_35 Sep 17 '18 at 23:45
  • @Raditz_35 i pretty much provided all the relevant info you need. As far as the question goes it is explained in the second paragraph, but to explicitly state it. I am trying to figure out the best way to have a convo with my dad about my purchase. Yes, my parents have always needed their blessing for me to do anything. Why I don’t know but that’s how it’s always been. – ggiaquin16 Sep 18 '18 at 0:16
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    I'm afraid that if you're 30 and you consider taking a (to most of us) basic economical decision yourself "rebellious", Raditz is right, your situation is special and won't get an appropriate answer until it's clear how other interactions between you and your father take place and why you have never felt the need to emancipate yourself. I only know of one person that's in a similar situation and her reasons are quite unique as well. – DonFusili Sep 18 '18 at 8:46
  • In which country/culture does this happen? I know some cultures (Korea for example) where children ask their parents' opinion for all important decisions, even when relatively old and financially independent. – Taladris Sep 25 '18 at 9:55
  • I have it marked as United states which tends to lean more on the independence side, however my family heritage is 100% Italian with old school Italian family principles. – ggiaquin16 Sep 26 '18 at 17:48
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You need to stop this conversation before it begins.

There is nothing wrong with telling your father about your decision to lease this vehicle. In fact, you should! It's always nice for parents to hear what you're up to in regard to medium/large decisions.

However...

You do not want to justify your decision to him. There's nothing wrong with explaining why you made a decision, but you are under no obligation to do so because this decision does not affect your father.

More importantly, you've described your father as someone who takes great care in other peoples' decisions. This is a good reason for you to not justify it at all, because...

When you list justifications for a decision, you are opening up opportunities for an argument.

How to prevent the argument

Firstly, you need to start the conversation as if you are telling them your decision. Do not make it seem like you are explaining, justifying, or confessing.

Something like:

Hey Dad, guess what? I leased a new car!

Or let's say your parents ask you what you've been into lately, you can say "I recently leased a car for my commute".

You've indicated that at this point your dad will be upset. Perhaps he will try to argue.

Do NOT engage!

Here's a few sample conversations you can use to shut down a brewing argument:

Dad: Why would you do that?

You: I wanted to.

Dad: So you think that makes it a good decision?

You: Yup!

Your dad may insult you, be angry, complain, etc, but at this point, he has nothing to argue with.

Hopefully at this point, he leaves it alone and the subject changes. But let's say he presses on:

Dad: Well, how much is the lease?

You: I'd prefer not to talk about finances.

Dad: You are making a horrible financial decision.

You: Well I'm finished talk about it. [Insert something that changes the subject].

If he keeps pressing, just leave.

Remember, it takes 2 people to fight.

Unfortunately, you cannot control another person's emotional reactions. He may be angry, bad mood, etc, but at least you can avoid a fight.

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    Clay thank you for taking the time to answer at face value and not try to get a life history. Your answer is on point to my concerns and provides valid ways of handling them in a generic way that can also help others who stop by. I am honestly still really scared about telling him Saturday but I am tired of being financially controlled. Yes i am staying home due to financial issues i had in the past, but most of that is paid off now and I am looking to buy a condo here in the near future. I pay for all of my expenses but groceries/rent. – ggiaquin16 Sep 18 '18 at 18:08
  • @ggiaquin16 I hope it helps. Keep in mind that, ultimately, your father decides whether or not you can live there. If he can't let you live there without controlling you, well then that's the price you have to pay. If you ask me, that's way too high of a price, but it's not my opinion that matters. Congratulations on getting back on track and I hope everything goes well! :) – Clay07g Sep 18 '18 at 18:16
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    I am taking into account that i could likely be told to move out. I am prepared for it, i do have furniture in storage from before (had an ex run up the bills on me which is why i am back home). The only issue would be a down payment but other than that, I feel comfortable in saying I would be okay if i need to move out, just less prepared than the target move out. – ggiaquin16 Sep 18 '18 at 18:21
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If you want to be seen as an adult then act like one. You are 30 year's old and you have made a decision how to spend your money. You don't need to run that by your parents.

I would advise to disengage any attempt for confrontation from your parents because as soon as you start explaining your choices you are on the defensive and will be seen as that you NEED to explain your choices and that is definitely not the case.

Because you live with your parents they will definitely notice the new purchase so when your father says something like

Oh you got a new car.

Don't start justifying the purchase by explaining how good of a deal it was and so on. Just reply something like:

Yeah, isn't it cool? Do you want to take it for a spin?

or if he asks:

Why did you get a new car?

Just go for the plain and simple:

I wanted one.

For pretty much anything else he can point out as a concern just tell him not to worry and that you have it covered. No way for the discussion to be uncivil if there is no discussion. If he got a new car he wouldn't start explaining himself to you. Treat him as an equal if you want him to do the same.

I used this approach a few years ago when I made a bit of a reckless decision to go through paragliding training and spend about 33% of my yearly income on paragliding equipment. My father wanted to have a sit down and discuss it and I did exactly what I am suggesting to you. Just refuse to have a discussion. All of his concerns about, price and safety were rebuted with a simple "This is what I want to do" repeated about 10 times or so but it worked. As soon as you start defending yourself you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

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You don't say much about your dad's personality, but I'm sure you must love him to care so much about his feelings. However the fact that as a 30 year old adult you are worried that he will react badly to a financial decision you made for yourself and you might get into a "horrible fight" does suggest to me that he has a tendency to react badly. If that is the case, there might be no interpersonal solution that can avoid confrontation. The best you can hope for is to handle the confrontation in a calm, benign way that may win him over and set a precedent for any future disputes.

I also use a lease car, and while I acknowledge it isn't the right choice for everybody, when I did the maths it seemed a good financial decision for me. I don't know what the deal is where you live, but for me the monthly payment to lease a brand new vehicle is comparable to a monthly loan repayment on a 4-year old vehicle, yet it also includes breakdown cover, servicing and sometimes other car-related expenses too. I don't think my parents feel it is a good decision either though - they come from a generation where you bought something and the important thing was that it was yours, you owned it, and you had something to show for your money. It is an older way of thinking, not necessarily wrong, just a little inflexible. Perhaps your dad thinks a similar way?

You may not win him over on the financial argument if he is not willing to change. But you could try something like:

I wasn't sure about a lease car to begin with, but I did the maths and it worked out really well for me. The cost is very reasonable, I get a brand new car and I don't have to worry about the maintenance.

If he isn't convinced but you think he is open to reasonable discussion you could give further information on the financial aspect. Adjusting for whatever your deal includes, you could say something like:

I know some people don't think it is good because you don't own a vehicle at the end of the lease, but brand new cars lose most of their value in the first 3 years anyway. If you want to drive a new car you lose much more money in depreciation than you do from leasing it. The cheaper option is to drive older cars, but then you pay a lot more on maintenance.

Personally though, if your arguments with your dad are as "horrible" as you say, it will likely be a case of the more fuel you give the argument the longer it will burn. It might be best to clip it short and not discuss any "details". Don't attack his point of view, just focus on the fact that this choice is yours and what you consider best for you. Perhaps say:

I'm sorry you feel that way. I don't think it is worth arguing about. I put lots of thought into my decision, and it is working out well for me.

  • Thanks astral for your reply. That’s exactly why i went with the lease. I drive a ton for work. My cars need more frequent maintenance than others. It’s all covered now by the dealership. Also the payments are really affordable and i have a vehicle that makes rush hour bearable. As far as my dad goes, he is really controlling. Pretty much any decision made that isn’t his way he gets really mad about. He is this way with everyone. – ggiaquin16 Sep 18 '18 at 13:59

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