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Dave Says 02-25-15

Savings
It shouldn’t take a year

Dear Dave,
I’m 30 and debt-free. Do you think I should stop making contributions to my 401(k) account for a year in order to save up an emergency fund?
Beth

Dear Beth,
Yes, I do. But it shouldn’t take you a year to set aside an emergency fund if you’re debt-free and making decent money at your job. Just make it part of your monthly budget plan, grit your teeth and do it!

 

Dave Says 01-28-15

Trying to help a friend

Dear Dave,
I have a friend who is experiencing financial problems. She is between real jobs at the moment and only bringing in about $600 a month. But even when she’s working regularly, she doesn’t budget or manage her money wisely, and she’s always looking for more money. On top of all this, she’s holding out hope for her dream job out of state. She interviewed several months ago, and hasn’t heard anything from the company. What can I do to help her?
Gina

 

Umbrella policy

Umbrella policy

Dear Dave,
I follow you on Twitter, and I was wondering if you recommend buying an umbrella policy. If so, how much?
Dean

 

Dave Says 01-14-15

Dear Dave,
My son works, but he’s 19 and lives at home. He’s on my auto insurance and cell phone accounts, because we both get discounts on the plans. He’s supposed to pay his share of these bills, but lots of times he’ll say he doesn’t have the money. He’s a good kid, but what should I do to make an impression and teach him to be more responsible?
Steve


 

Helping him stay on track

Dear Dave,
My brother and I recently received an inheritance after our mom died. He’s never been very good with money, so I was proud of him when he used his portion to pay off his debts. But then he went out and financed a van that I know he still can’t afford. I’m afraid he’s falling right back into the same old money problems, but I don’t know how to talk to him about it.
Diana

Dear Diana,
I’ve learned, after years of writing books, doing a radio show and trying to educate folks about their finances, you can’t make people listen to you. Even with what I do for a living I don’t throw my opinion around unless someone asks.
I think you’re smart for realizing there are some boundaries here. But there’s no reason you can’t create a situation where he can ask your opinion. You might begin with talking about some of the mistakes you’ve made in the past. This could help him connect with you, and feel more comfortable opening up about his own situation. Once he realizes you haven’t repeated the same mistakes, and have a better life for it, he might just ask how you did it. Then, the door is open!
But you can’t become preachy every time someone does something dumb. That will only hurt their feelings and cause them to tune you out completely.
—Dave

 

Dave Says 12-10-14

A properly budgeted Christmas

Dear Dave,
My wife and I are still paying off debt, so we didn’t budget anything for Christmas. How much do you think we should spend on close friends and family members?
Dan

   

Dave Says 11-26-14

Protecting her
from herself

Dear Dave,
My mother-in-law is in poor health and doesn’t have a lot of money. She has been giving us a lot of her earnings over the last couple of years as a kind of early inheritance, because she’s afraid she’ll spend it all. We’re setting it aside in a savings account in case she needs it, but I still feel strange about the situation. What do you recommend we do?
Andrew

   

Dave Says 11-19-14

Not so fast!

Dear Dave,
We’ve got our starter emergency fund in place, and we’ve paid off the last of our debt. Currently, we rent an apartment but my wife really wants us to buy a house now. She also wants us to use a 30-year, 100 percent financing plan, and says this wouldn’t cost any more than we’re paying in rent. I disagree with her idea, and she’s upset with me. How can I make her see this is a bad plan?
Alan

   

Dave Says 11-12-14

Teach her first, then comes responsibility

Dear Dave,
My daughter is a freshman in college, but I didn’t save for her education. My parents said it was my job to pay for my college, and that’s what I’ve told her. She’s going to have about $12,000 in student loan debt after her first year, but how do I talk to her about not ending up with $50,000 in debt when she’s through?
Paul

   

Dave Says 11-05-14

Extra savings takes away volatility

Dear Dave,
I’m a 26-year-old journalist making $26,000 annually, and the only debt I have is $31,000 in student loans. I’m following your plan, so I also have $1,000 in my starter emergency fund and am working side jobs to make extra money. Since my job field is volatile, I’ve lost and found a couple of jobs in the last few years and have an older car. Should I beef up my emergency fund in case I go through another job loss or I have problems with my vehicle?
Sarah

   

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