Wife should deliver financial message

By Dave Ramsey, Syndicated Writer
Published on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey


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?


Dear Andrew,

This is an odd scenario. It’s like taking donations from poor people because they refuse to address their own issues.

My recommendation is pretty simple. She needs to learn how to properly handle her own money. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to say that to your mother-in-law, so your wife should be the one who attempts to lovingly and carefully deliver the message. The conversation still may not be pleasant, but there’s a better chance she’ll listen to a daughter than to you.

I appreciate the fact that you and your wife aren’t being greedy or opportunistic about this situation. Setting the money aside and earmarking it for your mother-in-law later on is an honorable thing. If your wife can’t convince her mom to start taking care of her own finances, at least you can protect her from herself.

You’d still be treating the symptom instead of the problem, but if she won’t listen it may be the best you can do.


Wedding bells times three

Dear Dave,

We have three daughters under the age of 5, so we may be spending quite a bit on things like weddings in the years to come. Is there a Baby Step for weddings? If not, during which Baby Step do you recommend setting aside money for this?


Dear Carrie,

I don’t have a Baby Step for weddings, but in my mind it would come after Baby Step 5, which is putting aside a college fund for your children. Once you have education savings, retirement and extra house payments underway, then you could start putting aside a little extra for weddings.

This may not make me popular with some young ladies or their moms, but an education is more important than a wedding. Maybe this is the dad in me coming out, but if I had to choose between paying for college educations and paying for big weddings, I’m going to pay for school. In my mind, anyone who disagrees with that is kind of a twit.

Weddings are wonderful, and you should mark these kinds of milestones with celebration. But a wedding is only a one-day event. Plus, there’s absolutely no statistical correlation between the size and expense of the wedding and the success of the marriage.


• Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.




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