Ask Dave: My friend and I are roommates, and we’ve always had an agreement that we split each of the bills fifty-fifty. We both work and have decent jobs, but for the last couple of months she’s been really late in paying her half of the bills. She says she’s broke. I don’t want to be mean, but how can I approach her about this situation?
Ask Dave: My wife and I are debt-free, plus she has a business giving music lessons. We formed an LLC last year when she had several students and was making over $3,000 a month, but that all changed when our first baby arrived. Now, she has only a few students, and they bring in around $700 per month. Should we dissolve the LLC?
Ask Dave: My husband and I are trying to follow your plan. We’ve paid off all of our credit cards, but he still doesn’t want to close the accounts and cut up the cards. Instead, he wants to keep them in a drawer and use them as an emergency fund. He grew up really poor, and I think he’s afraid of being poor again. We both know that’s not what you recommend, so what can I do to convince him to follow your advice?
Ask Dave: We just started following your plan, and we have $39,000 in debt. We make $55,000 a year, and two of our smaller debts — one car and a credit card — are both $7,500. The credit card has a higher interest rate, so my wife thinks we should pay it off first. I look at the car as a necessity, and for that reason I think we should pay it off first. Who’s right?
Ask Dave: I’m 38 years old, and I’ve got $12,000 in student loans still hanging over my head. It’s the only debt I have. I make $30,000 a year, and I’ve managed to save $12,000, but I’m also driving a junky, old car that will have to be replaced soon. Should I split the money I’ve saved and buy a $6,000 car while paying off $6,000 of the student loan?
Ask Dave: We have three preschool grandchildren, and they get tons of stuff for Christmas every year. We’re in really good shape financially and would like to do something for their future this year instead of giving a toy that might get thrown in the corner. Do you have any suggestions?
Ask Dave: I’ve been out of college for a few years, and I have no debt. I’d like to start investing, so I’m thinking about buying a triplex, living in one of the apartments, and renting the other two. Should I get an interest-only loan for this?
Ask Dave: I work for a small company that just won a cruise trip for all the employees. The prize covers just the cruise tickets, and we have to pay for everything else. The problem is that my wife and I currently have more than $50,000 in debt, not counting our home, and about $10,000 of that is in collections. We’re trying to fix our finances and start saving money, but we just don’t feel like we should take a trip right now. How do I tell my boss?
Ask Dave: I’m about to turn in my two-week notice after 17 years with my company. It’s a small business, and everyone is like family, but the last raise I received was 50 cents and that was 10 years ago. I’ve always worked hard and done my job well, but I need to move on to a better-paying position I’ve found. Do you have any advice on how to handle this situation?
Ask Dave: My wife and I are on Baby Step 2 of your plan, and I’m in graduate school while working full-time. We’re trying to cash flow my education from this point forward after previously taking out student loans. Our household income is $90,000 a year, and we have a car payment. Are we taking the correct approach to handle all this responsibly?
Ask Dave: I make $2,100 a month after taxes, and I have accumulated $46,000 in credit card debt. My husband makes more than I do, but he won’t help me. He says I got myself into this mess, so it’s my job to stop being irresponsible and fix it on my own. Do you have any advice?
Ask Dave: My wife and I recently sat through a timeshare pitch at my mom and dad’s community as a favor to them. We’re trying to get out of debt and take control of our money, so when the salesman said we could put the whole thing on a credit card, I told him about you and your plan.
Ask Dave: I’m 19 years old, and I just got kicked out of the house after wrecking my dad’s truck. I’ve got a job making $12 an hour working about 40 hours a week, and I’m currently living with a friend at his apartment. I have a goal of going to college, and I’d like to get out of my friend’s place as soon as possible. Do you have any advice some someone just starting out?
Ask Dave: My wife and I make $100,000 a year combined, and we have about $12,000 in credit card debt. We also owe another $80,000 in student loans, and our kids’ private school education costs $1,000 a month. Is it okay for me to take a loan against my 401(k), which is invested in mutual funds, to clean up the credit card bills?
Ask Dave: Our three kids are enrolled in a private Christian school. It’s a great place, and we truly believe our kids are getting a wonderful, faith-based education, but the tuition is pretty expensive. We’ve already had to start digging into our savings to make this happen, and the kids are only in elementary school. Should we keep them enrolled, or should we transfer them to public school?
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of four New York Times bestsellers. His life's work is teaching others how to be financially responsible, so they can acquire enough wealth to take care of loved ones, live prosperously into old age, and give generously to others. You can listen and watch his show online at DaveRamsey.com.