Take your time with this one…

Dear Dave,

Myboyfriend has alot of debt. The othe r day a credi tor called, and he wo uldn’t answer th e phone . The n, he tol d me it would be ea sier for him to pay of f his deb ts if we were mar - ried becauseIcould actashis ac cou ntabili ty partn er. I don’t want to be the money cop, and I wonder if he would tr uly be more motivated. What do you think?

Janine Dear Janine,

S ome on e who isn’t ma ki ng an y head way in ge ttin g out of debt while the y’re single prob - ably isn’t going to do a complete t ur na rou nd jus t bec au se t he y get ma rried. You can act as his accountab ilit ypartne rif yo u wa nt, but you don’t have to get ma rrie d to help him. In fact, dating is probably a bet ter way to do this, bec ause you can deter mine whe ther he ’s real ly cha nging or if he’s just tr y ing to get you on boa rd to help pay the bills!

Don’t misunderstand, Janine. Debt, in itself, doesn’t keep some - one from being marriage mate - rial. But you’re definitely not marriage material if you don’t work , you’re irrespon sible, you haven’t taken cont rol of your life, have no ch aracter or ca n’t ma nage your own beh av iors . The se kinds of people ar e going to stay in debt and not be able to pay their bills for the rest of thei r lives.

I’d say date this guy a litt le longer, just to see if he’s serious abo ut cha ngi ng. But don’t ge t engage d ye t, and don’t pay one penny of his bills for him!

—Dave

Leave the 401( k) alone

Dear Dave,

My husband has been tran sfe r re d aga in in hi s job. Righ t now, we have three hou ses and about $60,000 in other debts. He just found out that he can borrow against his 401 (k) without hardship at the beginning of the year. Is this a good idea?

Yvonne Dear Yvonne,

Thre e houses? Do you buy a new house every time you move? Youguysneed tostop doing that. The “other de bt” isn’t the proble m. It ’s those house s that are killi ng you!

I would never recommend that som eone borro w again st t heir 401( k) just to pay bi lls. It might be a different story if you wer e fac ing fo reclosure or ab ou t to file bankruptc y, but th at do esn’t sound like the ca se here. I think you’ve just made some really bad dec isions, and these decisions are follow ing you around and messing up ever yt hing else.

Most of the time in situations li ke this I have to say: “Sell the car!” In you r ca se, it ’s: “Sell the house s!” I know the ma rket isn’t gre at in some are as, but th es e things are eating you guys alive. You’ve got to put some effor t into get ting rid of them. Then, sta rt living on a really tight budget and clean up the other debt!

—Dave

For more financial advice, visit daveramsey.com.


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