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Dave Says - Dave Ramsey

Motorcycle won’t make a big dent in your debt

Dear Dave,

My husband and I aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a motorcycle. The bike was my dad’s, and I got it 4 years ago when he passed away. I’d like to keep it, because I grew up riding it with him, and I still ride it today. My husband thinks we should sell it to pay off debt. We make about $60,000 a year, and – except for our home – we have about $36,000 to go before we’re debt-free. The bike is worth about $2,300. What do you think?

– Amanda

Dear Amanda,

There’s no way I’d sell that bike. If it were just a miscellaneous motorcycle, I’d sell the thing in about 20 seconds. But this bike is unique and special because it was your dad’s. There’s only one of those in the world. 

It’s like a lady in the same scenario saying she has a $2,300 diamond on her hand that’s her wedding ring. Would I tell her to sell it? No way. This bike is very much woven into the fabric of your life and your fondest memories. As a rule, you just don’t sell things like that.

Now, there could be extreme cases sometimes where a person might have to consider selling something of that magnitude. If you were in a truly awful situation – making $10,000 a year and the ring is worth $200,000 while you’re $100,000 in debt – you’d have to give it some thought.

But there’s no way I’d sell that bike in your case.

– Dave

Fiancé’s food for thoughtlessness

Dear Dave,

My fiancé told me the other day he’s going to buy a failing restaurant with his mom, sister, and a family friend. None of them have any food service or business experience, and he has never said anything about wanting to own a restaurant. When I questioned him about it, he said it was his mother’s idea. I don’t want to be part of this, and it wouldn’t be his first big surprise decision, so I told him I would walk away from the marriage if he pursues this. I feel bad about it, because he didn’t really do anything wrong. Do you think I’m making a wise decision?

– Carla

Dear Carla,

Yes, he did do something wrong. He put his controlling mommy ahead of his bride-to-be, and it sounds like it’s not the first time he’s made big decisions without consulting you. Any man who doesn’t consider the feelings of his wife or fiancée in an important decision-making process is not marriage material. I think your decision was heartbreaking, but wise.

Going into a partnership with family like this is unwise. There’s a lot of messed-up stuff in his family dynamic. And it’s not like you won’t support your man and his dreams and decisions, but those dreams need to contain wisdom and consideration for you. Otherwise, any dream will fast become a nightmare.

I know it hurts, Carla, but this was not the right guy for you. Money problems are one of the biggest causes of divorce in America today. Trouble with in-laws is another, and you almost signed up for both. I’m sorry you had to make such a tough call. 

If you want to salvage this, you could explain to him that he needs to make better decisions to win your hand again. In this case, making better decisions means involving you in the process, and giving your thoughts, feelings, and opinions the respect they deserve.

– Dave

Follow Dave on Twitter (@DaveRamsey), or go to daveramsey.com. 

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