Friday, 08 February 2013 15:06

Financial Responsibility

Written by  Dave Ramsey
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Q.  My husband doesn’t like dealing with money. For years, I’ve handled everything from paying the bills to making the decisions, and he just does whatever I tell him. This makes things really hard on me, but he says financial issues cause him stress. Do you have any suggestions?

 

 

A.  The plain truth is you need your husband to step up and be a man. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but it’s unfair for you alone to carry the weight of all financial and household decisions. It would be unfair, too, if he were the one carrying it all. This isn’t a gender issue.

My wife and I are involved in all the decisions in our home, and that’s especially true when it comes to money. We do a budget, and we decide together where the money’s going. It’s not a situation where she’s a little girl, and her daddy named Dave takes care of her and everything else. That’s the kind of thing you’ve got going on now. You feel like his mom rather than his wife, and that’s not what a healthy marriage is about.

You need to sit down with him and explain why this is so important to you and how it makes you feel. You’re not asking him to be a number cruncher, but he has to grow up and become part of the team. You can play the role of CFO and write all the checks. But you and he together are the board of directors. You just need 15 to 20 minutes of his time each week, so you guys can discuss what’s going on and how to handle things—together!

 

Q.  My husband and I are on Baby Step 2 of your plan. We move every two or three years due to our jobs, so would it ever make sense in our situation to buy a house?

 

A.  In most cases like this it doesn’t make sense to buy a house, especially if the real estate market in your area is lethargic. Some markets have bounced back and are doing very well, while some are worse than slow. It all depends on where you’re moving.

Here’s the big question: Can you get the place sold quickly the next time you have to move? Another thing to consider is whether or not you can sell it for more than it cost when the time comes. If not, you’ll be writing a check for home ownership, and that’s not a good plan.

As a general rule, a two- to three-year window is not enough time to own a home. There are rare exceptions to this rule, places where you have a hot, escalating price market. But if you’re not careful you’ll end up leaving behind a rental property and playing landlord, whether you want to or not!

 

Q.  I have one bill left from an emergency room visit earlier this year, and I’m trying to settle with a collections agency. They’re willing to accept half of the $930 owed, but they want me to pay online or by phone, and I don’t feel safe doing that. What should I do?

 

A.  If they’re willing to lower the bill by half, then you need to get that in writing. If you don’t have it in writing, you don’t have a deal. And whatever you do, don’t give them any form of electronic access to your money. I’ve seen too many collectors lie to people about “agreements,” then go in and raid their accounts.

Just tell them to send you, by email or regular letter, a statement saying that $465 will be accepted as payment in full for the debt. Also, tell them you’ll turn around the day you receive this letter and send them a cashier’s check for that amount. Until then, they can go jump in the lake!

 

Last modified on Monday, 18 February 2013 18:41
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