Dave Says

Rental Runaround (August 2016)

Do you think having cancer insurance is a good idea? (July 2015)

Setting up the kid's car insurance (February 2015)

Check cashing for the unbanked (September 2014)

Keep the lifestyle simple (May 2014)

Should she have skin in the game? (September 2013)

Time to pay it off! (September 2013)

Making It Through Medical Leave (July 2013)

Should We Ever Buy A House? (January 2013)

Be Tightfisted Until The Crisis Is Over (January 2013)

Paying the parents (December 2012)

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car (December 2012)

What’s the worst that can happen? (December 2012)

Letting them in on the secret (December 2012)

Not ready to combine finances (November 2012)

What The Law Will Allow (August 2012)

Making The Right Choice (August 2012)

Baby comes first! (August 2012)

Get the brother-in-law out! (August 2012)

Trust Broken After Cosigning (April 2012)

Review The Research (April 2012)

The Investing Makes Her Nervous (April 2012)

Lifestyle Changes (April 2012)

Do I Tithe On An Inheritance (March 2012)

No Credit Score, No Mortgage? (March 2012)

Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps? (March 2012)

Guilt and Cynicism (March 2012)

Where Does Debt Go When Filing Bankruptcy? (December 2011)

Where Does The Donation Go (December 2011)

Ready to Buy (December 2011)

Intensity Hurting The Marriage (December 2011)

Hobby Car? (November 2011)

Not Quite Dearly Departed… (November 2011)

Enough For Retirement? (November 2011)

It’s Just Another Gimmick (November 2011)

Will Paying Early Help? (November 2011)

Bargain Master! (November 2011)

Sisters Should Have Asked! (August 2011)

Buy Now Or Wait? (August 2011)

So, He Knows How To Manage Money? (August 2011)

Girlfriend’s Money Problems (August 2011)

Smaller Down Payment? (August 2011)

Why Can’t She Get Another Job? (August 2011)

Landlord Wants Protection (June 2011)

Prepping Kids For Healthy Habits (June 2011)

Switching To Company Debit Cards (June 2011)

Should I Reduce My Tithe? (June 2011)

Closing The Account (February 2011)

Dishonesty Is Not The Best Policy (February 2011)

Piles of Cash? (February 2011)

New Car In A Bad Situation (February 2011)

Drop Coverage? (November 2010)

Can't Pay For Her Wedding (November 2010)

Does Pride Keep Us In Debt? (November 2010)

Not Time For A Reunion (November 2010)

You're Being Hoodwinked! (November 2010)

Buying Used or New? (November 2010)

Is There A Recommended Vacation Percentage? (July 2010)

Don’t Do it for the Gas Mileage (July 2010)

Investing Strategy for Retirement (April 2010)

Insurance? (April 2010)

Triple Play Investing (February 2010)

How Do I Get Started in Real Estate (February 2010)

Published: August 2011
Girlfriend’s Money Problems  

Dear Dave,

I’m fairly responsible with finances, but my girlfriend is in a terrible financial situation with a lot of credit card debt, an expensive car payment, and a big, fancy apartment. Plus, she just quit her job because she didn’t like it anymore. Now, she’s thinking about filing bankruptcy and thinks us moving in together will help solve her problems. If she can’t handle her finances on her own, what’s going to happen if we get together? Can you help?

Dino

Dear Dino,

This is someone to keep dating, not marry right now or move in with, and see if she changes her spending habits. You’d have a very tough life being married to this woman, unless she makes some real attitude adjustments where her money is concerned.

I can’t say if she’s technically bankrupt, but she definitely needs to move into a cheaper apartment and sell the car for starters. Still, bankruptcy’s not going to solve anything if she’s got a heart problem. By this, I mean if she buys stuff to try and make her happy and lives beyond her means in the process.

Lots of people have the idea that they are what they drive, or they are where they live. Those are heart problems, and that’s the way I was many years ago until I had some sense knocked into me by going broke. Then, I realized I had to stop and make some changes.

This doesn’t mean that she isn’t worthy of your love or she’s a terrible person, but it does mean that the girl has got some growing up to do. Money matters aside, you don’t quit your job without a plan unless you’re being sexually harassed or abused, or there’s some matter of principle at stake. Leaving one job for another is okay. But the idea of deciding you just don’t like something, and walking away from it when you’ve got a bunch of bills, is just plain irresponsible.

She’s probably not bankrupt, but there are some definite character issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully, you two can work through this together.

—Dave

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