SD15 will be 16 in a few months. Making sure that she has a car when she is legally able to drive would mean that she could get herself to and from activities, help get her sister to things--more opportunities for SD14--and in general, it would make it possible for them to do things that they can no longer do since we moved and can't provide transport like we used to.
Up til now, it just hasn't been something we could afford to do. And BM is very adamantly opposed to the kids working in any capacity so there's no opportunity for SD to save up money to buy her own. BUT...DH is getting ready to take a post that will greatly increase his income and mentioned a few days ago that with some of this extra money, he'd like to put 3500 towards a car for SD15 with BM chipping in the same. That way, SD can have a safe, older vehicle to get around in. DH discussed it with BM and she's in agreement.
I think this sounds reasonable. But I seriously doubt that BM will chip in. She never has in the past even when she said she would. I can think of several situations where BM approached us about going in halves on a gift or an activity or whatever only for her to bail out once the money had been spent. And while this isn't the biggest issue, it's been frustrating because she still takes credit for these gifts. She does the same thing with things her Mom buys the kids.
Anyway...even with the extra income, 3500 is a lot for us. My fear is that this will end up like the other big purchases and we'll end up funding the whole thing. Has anyone come up with a good way to share large expenses that doesn't involve one party footing the whole bill and waiting to be paid? Is there some sort of escrow account that can be used for things like this? Something where if BM doesn't put in her portion, we can get our portion back?
Because of where the kids live, having something that is road worthy enough to go 70mph safely on the interstate is important so we can't just buy a junker. It has to be something with air bags and some reasonable safety features. For 6-7k, I think we can find that. But not for 3500. I am totally on board with the idea of helping buy a car. I just would like to protect ourselves from putting our own finances on the line and having BM back out.