Teaching my wife to drive a manual transmission car

14 thoughts on “Teaching my wife to drive a manual transmission car”

  1. I can testify to the similarities of driving a manual transmission car and personal finance. I learned manual maybe 5 years ago when my parents bought one. But since now I only drive it a few times a year when I go back home, every time I take it out I kill it at least 5 times. It’s awful! It’s because I haven’t made it a regular habit. Just like personal finance, making it part of your routine and normal regular activities helps.

    Best of luck this weekend learning manual!

    1. Thanks Green Swan. Lessons are going super well. She’s getting the hang of driving a manual transmission pretty darn fast. Now, only practice remains.

  2. Lol, I grew up with manual only. Even today when you go to Europe you’ll have to specifically request an automatic (and pay for it). I mastered the manual but when I moved to the States and ended up in San Francisco, driving manual took on a whole new meaning. Scary to say the least.

    I like the analogy to personal finance. I would take it a step further. Just like some people never seem to get driving manual, the same goes for personal finance. Good thing there are those auto(matic) deduction to help you on your way

    1. Hey Maarten – yeah, I’ve heard that automatics are actually more expensive to rent overseas. I’d want a manual transmission anyway, regardless of price – just an added benefit that the manuals are also less expensive. 🙂

  3. I’ll throw in another connection between the manual transmission and personal finance: it’s a huge money-saver when traveling outside North America.

    We rented a car last week in Tirana, the capital of Albania, and the clerk joked with me, “You’re the only American who can drive a stick shift!” Good thing, because they only had one car on the lot. When we traveled to Ireland last December and rented a car for two weeks, getting an automatic would have cost almost 500 Euros more than what we paid. Ouch!

    Good luck with the lesson! I’m sure Courtney will pick it up in no time.

    1. Good point, Matt – manuals are cheaper to rent, which helps the bottom line. It’s sad that they don’t see very many Americans overseas who actually know how to drive a manual!

  4. Like others, I learned to drive a manual before I learned how to drive an automatic.

    For some, personal finance is like that too. Learning those personal finance skills early on from your family can be a huge help early in life. But where we start out doesn’t determine where we end up.

    Practice definitely helps, and there’s always something new. Some new technique, some new technology…always something new to learn. New ways to save, or new ways to invest.

    It’s a life-long process…

    1. Excellent take, Mr. Tako. It’s true, personal finance – like anything else – is a life-long process. We’re never truly done, either, until we’re “done”.

  5. I’ve only ever driven manual cars and have been told automatic is a lot easier so well done to your wife on the switch and all the best with getting the gear changes smooth – it just takes practice!

    I reckon when I’m a lot older, I’ll probably switch to automatic – clutch control in busy traffic when you’re on an incline is not the best and is a killer on your left calf muscle due to continuing to press down on the clutch.

  6. This is a great comparison to personal finance. I think a lot of people are too scared to try, or they let failure deter them from continuing to learn. Managing money well is pretty much a lifelong process, but people think they’re either born with that skill or not.

    I drive an automatic car just because it’s easier, but in a pinch I could drive a manual, never know when it could come in handy!

    1. Thanks Matt! Another nice thing about manual vehicles…they are less easily stolen because stupid criminals don’t know how to drive them! Hehe.

  7. My father owned a car wash so I became adept at the manual transmissions. However, as someone who is pathologically afraid of heights, no way am I driving any vehicle with one. I’d rather be waterboarded than found stuck at the top of a hill and in danger of rolling backwards.

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