Work first, play later | advice
Dear Dave: I brought about $ 15,000 in student loan debt to our marriage. I’m 26, my wife 27, and we’ve been married for just over a year. During this time, our parents sometimes helped us with financial donations. Whenever this happens, my wife and I argue. She likes to use the money they give us for fun, but I think we should use it to pay off our debts and get our finances in order. What is your opinion? – Kent
Dear Kent: If your parents haven’t specified what the money is used for, then it’s up to you guys to decide together how it will be used. In my mind, the fun has to be put aside for a while.
You told me you had at least $ 15,000 in debt. If there is more debt in the picture, I would advise you to list all your debts and start eliminating them from smallest to largest using the debt snowball system. Debt is a risk, and it eats away at your greatest wealth building tool – your income.
I am sure your wife is a good and intelligent lady. But it’s about time she started to be a little more mature in financial matters. Let her know how important it is to you and why it is so important to your future as a couple. You should work together and get your finances in order as a team.
I recommend treating your parents’ money like a paycheck. That means including it in a written monthly budget and taking care of the health care bills, debts, and whatever other financial responsibilities you have first. Believe me, you’ll have plenty of time to have fun later. The amount of student debt you have isn’t astronomical, but it needs to be cleaned up as quickly as possible.
With that sorted out, you can really focus on saving and investing – and yes, having fun along the way! -Dave
– Dave Ramsey provides financial advice as the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, “The Dave Ramsey Show”. Locally, his show can be broadcast from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays on TALK 104.1-FM WKCT. To learn more, visit www.daveramsey.com.