Giving Your Spouse a Car is a Really Bad Gift

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buying a new car

Just recently I was browsing Facebook when I came across an interesting picture of an acquaintance of mine. She was standing in front of a brand new white Lexus, which in all honesty, was absolutely gorgeous. (Hey, if you can afford it, more power to you, right? 😉 )

The issue I had with the picture wasn’t the brand of the car or even the fact that she was showing it off to the world, as people on Facebook are apt to do.

My problem was the caption on the photo, which read, “My husband is amazing! He surprised me with a new car! Thank you honey for the amazing anniversary present!”

Now, I know this couple. They both have decent jobs, but if I’m being frank, they are not the type of people to pay for a vehicle in cash. So, I’m pretty sure this “amazing” present that was a “surprise” was in fact a gift of a car note for the next few years. Of course, I don’t know this for sure, but based on my experience knowing them the past few years, I’d be willing to bet on it.

Here’s why giving your spouse a car sends a bad message to the world at large:

1. Giving Your Spouse a Car is Showy


Again, I have absolutely no issue with people driving nice, expensive cars especially if they can afford it. There are a lot of ways to show off your possessions to the world if you must, but we all know that posting something to Facebook like this will inspire envy. I was surprised that every comment on the photo was some form of “Awwww” or “You’re so lucky!”


No one thought buying a car as a surprise for your spouse was a bad idea?

2. It Encourages a Lack of Communication


Buying a car is a major financial investment. Perhaps this couple did discuss the purchase of a new vehicle. At least I hope they did. Maybe it just looked more romantic to call it a surprise anniversary present, and in that case, then you know they were just milking it for Facebook.

Either way, a purchase as large as a car should definitely be something that both members of a relationship agree on and discuss ahead of time. Heck, at this point in my family, we ask each other about a purchase above $50, so the thought of giving my spouse a car or my husband going to get a new car and bringing it home to me as a surprise just boggles the mind.

3. It Equates Love With Possessions


We’ve talked a lot this month about consumerism and how our society equates showing love with giving gifts. Pictures like this on Facebook reinforce this message. Instead of just wishing her husband a happy anniversary on her status like normal people, this acquaintance of mine said her husband was amazing because he bought her a new car.

I mean, my husband is amazing because he helps me zip up my boots when I’m too pregnant to do it myself, but you won’t catch me posting that as my next Facebook status. 😉


So, am I being too hard on this couple or am I over-thinking it? Maybe there’s more to the story that I don’t know, and I should give them the benefit of the doubt. What do you think?


Photo courtesy of: Moto@Club4AG

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.