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Dave Says Archives for 2021-03

It'll Work Out Better In the Long Run

 

Dear Dave,

 

My wife and I are having a financial disagreement. I would like to go ahead and fully fund our Roth IRAs, even though we have about $10,000 in car loan debt. She, on the other hand, thinks we should pay off the debt first. We can probably have either one completed by the end of the year. What do you think we should do?

 

Mark

 

 

Dear Mark,

 

I’ve got to go along with your wife on this one. I’m glad you two are having money discussions, and working toward making decisions together, but you’ll never get control of your finances until you rid yourself of the mindset that debt is okay. Once you lose that idea, you’ll begin to understand missing a year of funding your Roth IRAs isn’t going to kill you. It’s also not going to prevent you from becoming wealthy and living like no one else when it’s time to start thinking about retirement.

 

If you stay in the mindset that having debt is okay, or that you’re going to let it hang around, eventually it will really mess you up financially. Winning with money is more about behavior than math. Don’t get me wrong, you need to crunch the numbers and be mindful of them, but all the mathematical components are nothing but theory if the behavior doesn’t kick in.

 

So yeah, I’m siding with your wife on this one. Just follow the Baby Steps plan. Have all your debt paid off, except for your home, and an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses saved and set aside before you start any long-term investing. A lot of folks will tell you my way isn’t mathematically correct, but it will work better in the long run—for your money, your marriage, and in other areas of your life!

 

—Dave

 

 

* Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.

 


Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

 

Dear Dave,

 

I owe $17,000 on my car, and it is my largest and only debt. I think I can have it paid off in two years, because I bring home about $2,800 a month and my monthly expenses are $2,100. I also just got a $2,000 tax refund. Should I pay it off as fast as possible, or sell the car?

 

Justice

 

 

Dear Justice,

 

If you think you can have the car paid off in two years or less, that’s what I’d do. The question is this: Are you willing to do what it’ll take to make that happen? It’s going to mean lots of discipline and hard work on your part, in addition to living on a really strict budget. But in return, you’ll have that car loan off your back for good.

 

You don’t want the debt on all your vehicles to be more than half of your annual income. If that’s the case, it means you have too much money tied up in things that are going down in value. If you bring home $2,800 a month, you probably make around $40,000 a year. Technically, your car loan is under half in this scenario, but it’s still pretty expensive. I’d get serious about getting out of debt, and pay the thing off!

 

—Dave

 

 

* Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.

 


You May Already Have Some

 

Dear Dave,

 

I started listening to your radio show recently, and I heard you say people should have 10 to 12 times their yearly income in life insurance. I’m single, with no plans to get married. Plus, I don’t have any children. Do I still need a big life insurance policy like that?

 

Kris

 

 

Dear Kris,

 

I do recommend most people, if they work outside the home and are married—especially if they have kids—have 10 to 12 times their annual income in a good, level term life insurance policy. You only need life insurance to take care of things you leave behind when you die. So, when it comes to this kind of coverage, just think about anyone who might be left in a bad financial situation if you died. Your family could never replace you, but in most cases, they would need to replace your income.

 

Someone in your shoes might not need a traditional life insurance policy, especially if you’ve been smart with your money and saved up a pile of cash. A simple, inexpensive burial policy might work. There’s also a good chance you already have a small amount of life insurance coverage built into an existing health insurance policy or bank account.

 

Good question, Kris. I’m glad you’re looking for answers!

 

—Dave

 

 

* Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.


It's Just Not Worth It

 

Dear Dave,

 

Do you think I should get a new hybrid car to save money on gas? A lot of my friends have done this, and with the rise in gas and oil prices lately, they’re telling me I should, too. According to them, I’ll save a ton of money, especially since I have a bigger car and a longer drive to work. What are your thoughts?

 

Daneen

 

 

Dear Daneen,

 

I get lots of questions about these kinds of scenarios, and how it plays into people’s budgets. Many folks wonder if it would be better to go out and get a new vehicle with better gas mileage. Well, do you really want to lose more money?

 

Let's say you currently drive a vehicle worth $10,000 that gets 15 miles per gallon. There's a $25,000 hybrid you're thinking about buying that gets 25 miles per gallon. That's a $15,000 price difference just to get 10 more miles a gallon. If you drive 100 miles a week, that's about a $10 difference a week. That would be about $40 extra you're spending a month in gas if you stuck with the current car. A monthly car payment is a whole lot more than that! In short, the math doesn’t work. You'd have to drive to the moon and back to make it worthwhile.

 

There are a lot smarter things you can do to cut down on your fuel bill. Have you thought about trading for something smaller? If you’re driving a gas guzzler, trade it in on another car worth no more than your current car's selling price. This means better fuel efficiency without a car payment. Carpooling is an option, too, even if you split the driving just a few days a week.

 

If you want to get a little more radical with the money-saving ideas, you could think about moving closer to work. Spend some time doing the calculations and looking at the specifics to see if it makes sense in your case. Finally, and this may be a last ditch effort, you could consider changing jobs. No one’s forcing you to work where you do, especially if you’re spending a lot of time and money on the road just getting to and from your job. If you’re really spending a ridiculous amount on gas each month, it might even be time to look into ideas you may have once had to start your own business.

 

But don't use better gas mileage, or bad advice from your friends, as a rationalization for buying a new car. It’s just not worth it!

 

—Dave

 

 

* Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.


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