Dave Says

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 1:43am

Dear Dave,

My wife and I have gone from not having two pennies to rub together to making about $90,000 in the last few years.

The problem is that I can’t get her interested in saving money. What’s worse, her father is the preacher at our church and he has convinced her that he knows the Lord is coming back in our lifetime.

Thinking this, she says there’s no reason to save because it will all be gone anyway. What can I do?

— Brian

Dear Brian,

I’m all for people living their lives according to God’s word. But the Bible says that no man knows when the Lord will return. So I get pretty leery when a guy — especially a preacher — tells me he knows when it’s going to happen.

But the Bible does tell us very clearly that it is wise to save. The Bible does not contradict itself! So basically, if you don’t save you are being foolish. Still, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for you to run and tell your wife that financially she’s behaving like a fool.

This is a touchy situation in other areas, too. Right now her dad’s theology is ruling your marriage, and that’s not good. Husbands and wives should grow in their faith together.

I think you guys should sit down with a good marriage counselor and, for the good of your family, come to an agreement on a new place of worship. I mean, even if her dad is right about this – and if he turns out to be right, I’m pretty sure it’s not because he has inside information – there’s some stuff going on here where he’s interwoven his own ideas and spiritual authority in with your household authority.

And that kind of thing could cause more problems down the road!

— Dave

Dear Dave,

My wife and are both 23, and we’re hoping to buy our first home sometime this year. Combined, we bring home about $4,000 a month, we have no debt and we’re trying to save for a 20 percent down payment.

Is there a way to calculate how much house you can actually afford?

— Chad

Dear Chad,

I’m so glad you guys are thinking and planning ahead! If you keep on working like this, you’re going to have a great life together.

Most banks will let you qualify for 50 to 100 percent more than you should actually buy. I recommend that your monthly house payment never be more than one-fourth of your take home pay. That way, it’s a lot easier to save up for other things you’ll need, like an emergency fund, retirement and even a college fund for any kids that may come along down the road.

Based on that advice, you’d be looking at a house payment of around $1,000 a month. Then, if you calculate that on a 15-year fixed rate loan at 6.5 percent, you’re looking at qualifying for a loan of about $115,000.

You can get a great first home for that kind of money, Chad. Plus, you’d own your home outright while both of you were still in your thirties!

— Dave

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By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"The problem is that I can’t get her interested in saving money. What’s worse, her father is the preacher at our church and he has convinced her that he knows the Lord is coming back in our lifetime."See, this is why I don't understand WHY people get married. Okay, just live together. That way you are not legally tied to another person financially. What is yours stays yours and what is hers stays hers. When it's time to say goodbye and have a nice life, there's no legal drama. She can just pack up her things and GET OUT.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Not to mention you might get stuck with a nutty holy roller who begins to verge on mental illness, listening to the crazy rants of her preacher.

By: tiphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Poor Brain...I hope your wife wises up.

By: mccullochd on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Has anyone seen the Dave Ramsey snooze fest every night on Fox Business? I don't think a show can get any more boring.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I would not worry about saving money if the Lord is coming back in your lifetime. He is probably coming back to end mankind and not to for a coming home party.