I made a huge mistake and allowed my sister to use my credit card. She said she’d pay back what she charged, but now she won’t pay the bill. The total was $5,500. Do you have any advice?
Marie Dear Marie,
I’m afraid I don’t have anything to give you that will make your sister grow some integrity and character. I used to tell my kids when they were younger not to bust the trust, because that kind of thing is very hard to put back together.
I’d be pretty upset about this too. Still, obsessing over it isn’t going to solve anything. And really, when it comes right down to it, you opened the door for this to happen. You really have no one to blame but yourself.
If it were me, I’d do whatever it took to pay this off quickly. Put in additional hours at your job or find some part-time work at night and on weekends for a few months. Somewhere along the line I’d also leave my sister a message saying I know she’s not going to pay this, but that everything is forgiven.
I call something like this “paying your stupid tax,” and it’s something that all of us have had to pay at one time or another. Learn from the experience, Marie. Loaning money to family or friends can damage the relationship. Keep in mind, too, that she’s probably going to come back around wanting money at some point again. But I’m guessing you won’t make the same mistake twice, will you? The First National Bank of Marie is closed!
I’ve been unemployed for three months, but recently I received two job offers. One is a state job that would pay $50,000 a year. The other is a one-year contract for a position in Afghanistan that pays $200,000. I know I’d like both jobs, so which would be the smartest choice?
Nick Dear Nick,
If it were me, I’d take the state job. I know that any kind of situation with six figures attached to it looks and sounds wonderful, but in my mind we’re talking about a career choice versus risk. Plus, I’m a firm believer in the idea that people make better decisions when they think in terms of 10 years from now rather than 10 or 12 months down the road.
In addition to the risk factor, the biggest problem with the offer in Afghanistan is that once it’s over, it’s over. Then you’re right back where you are now. You may have money in your bank account, but you’re unemployed all over again.
You know, one of the things I’ve noticed over the years is when wealthy people assess a financial opportunity, they almost always think in five-, 10- and 20-year blocks of time. We’re talking long term here. There’s not a whiff of living paycheck to paycheck or “Thank God, it’s Friday. Oh, God, it’s Monday!” on them.
Take the state job and fashion a good, long-lasting career for yourself. Don’t go chasing money on the short term!
Dave Ramsey is a trusted voice on money and business. He’s a best-selling author and his radio show is on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.