Dave Says—

*Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored fie New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digital outlets. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

(Dating and the budget)

Dear Dave,
I’ve been following your plan, and I’ve finally gotten out of debt and feel I have
control of my finances. I’m also single, and I was wondering if you have any tips
for how to gracefully mention financial topics and budgeting when you’re on a date.

—Paula

Dear Paula,
Well, I don’t recommend bringing it up on a first date. If I’m a guy on the initial date
with a girl and the first thing out of her mouth is about finances and handling money,
that’s going to be pretty strange.

Now, if the first date turns into another and another and another, then you might
start talking about the deeper things in life and where you both stand. As you start
talking about more serious subjects, you’ll begin to learn if there’s enough of a basis
for a real relationship.

But the first date is just sort of an introduction, right? You’re both seeing if there’s any initial, mutual compatibility. Asking someone how much they make, or where they are
on their debt snowball in this scenario is officially weird-even by my standards. In other words, use manners and tact. They may be old fashioned words these days, but in
most cases they work well.
-Dave

(More of a long-term spending thing)

Dear Dave,
I’ve started my four-year-old on an allowance structure and a chore chart. I also have a mini-envelope system with spending and saving set up, but I’m having trouble helping him distinguish between the two. How can I solve this?
Monica

Dear Monica,
At that age, any type of saving is going to be more of a glorified, long-term spending plan. The point is to teach them to delay gratification when you’re first starting out. And when you’re only four, two weeks is long term. The contents of the spending envelope should be kind of spontaneous. Let him take it on trips to the store, and if he wants a pack of gum or whatever, he can get it. The saving envelope, though, stays at home. Then, as he grows and his mind and reasoning develops a little more, you can really start teaching him about long-term goals and how to get there-including giving.

Don’t try to force a four-year-old to think five or 10 years into the future. We’re just trying to teach lessons here, and it doesn’t have to be done perfectly. Just be intentional, and try to find teachable moments as you go along.

(Don’t tithe with credit cards)


Dear Dave,
What is your opinion of churches encouraging members to do e-giving with credit
cards and debit cards?

—Melissa

Dear Melissa,
I’m against debt, so I’m not particularly fond of churches asking people to use a debt vehicle to pay their tithes. I realize that few businesses and organizations distinguish between debit cards and credit cards when accepting payment. However, this practice bothers me a lot when it comes to churches. The Bible mentions debt several times in Scripture, and every time it does, it’s always in a negative light. It’s not a salvation
issue or anything like that, but the Bible basically says debt is a foolish thing.Now, I think e-giving in itself is fine. But if I were the pastor or on the leadership board, and we had an e-giving process, I would strongly encourage people to use debit cards and not credit cards. There’s nothing wrong with a draft or an ACH kind of thing. A lot of people do that and like the ability to give online.

But I don’t want a giving situation to your church turn into debt to you. And it does just that when it’s a credit card!
– Dave

(Don’t insure cell phones)

Dear Dave,
I just bought a new smartphone, and the company I’m with offers insurance for
the device. Do you think it would be wise or foolish to do this?

—Lisa

Dear Lisa,
The purpose of insurance is to transfer a risk that you can’t afford to take. When it comes to things like cars or houses, I absolutely recommend that people have insurance. Most folks couldn’t just write a check for another car if the one they drive were totaled. It’s the same with a house. If your home is destroyed, the insurance takes care of things instead of putting you in the position of having to pull tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for a new home-also something most people can’t do.

No, I don’t insure inexpensive things like smartphones. And if a smartphone is an expensive item to you, then you probably shouldn’t have that phone. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a cell phone if you can afford it. But if you tear up a phone or it breaks down and you can’t afford to replace it out of your own pocket, then you’ve got too much phone!
– Dave

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