Dave Says

Friday, June 13, 2008 at 3:33am

Dear Dave,

My husband recently had his commissions cut in half at work. This has reduced our annual income from $100,000 to $50,000.

Just before this happened, we bought a new car for $18,000 because he’s on the road a lot and needs something dependable. Before this we were debt-free except for our house.

How can we get back there and keep him safe?

— Donna

Dear Donna,

Are you trying to tell me the cheapest dependable car out there costs $18,000? I don’t think so.

I’ll agree that he needs a reliable car — every road warrior does. With the miles he’s racking up that $18,000 car is going to turn into a $4,000 car before you know it!

But I wouldn’t recommend he wear out an $18,000 car, even if you guys had a million dollars in the bank. I’d suggest he wear out a $7,000 car. And there are lots of solid cars with plenty of life left in them in this price range.

You’re not looking for a vehicle to make a statement, Donna. You’re looking for dependable transportation — period.

If I were you guys, I’d sell that $18,000 machine. Take out a small loan to cover the difference and buy a good get-around car.

Then, pay the loan off as quickly as possible so that you can refocus on knocking out your house and becoming debt-free!

— Dave

Dear Dave,

My husband and I have made a commitment to get out of debt. We’re living on a budget, and we’ve both taken part-time jobs.

This is my second marriage, and I have two kids. Unfortunately, my ex-husband has stopped paying child support. It’s always been an on-again, off-again thing with him.

Do you think we should take him to court over this?

— Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

It’s your ex’s job to take care of his kids. If there’s a pattern of irresponsibility at work when it comes to that duty, then you need to thump him!

Now, it’s not his responsibility to take care of YOUR stuff. Keep this in mind. There’s a reason they call it child support. But a stand-up guy is going to take care of his kids if he’s got the money.

Sometimes bad things happen to decent people, and anyone can have trouble financially from time to time. But if those kids were under his roof, they’d eat before he paid bills — assuming he’s a stand-up guy.

In this kind of situation, child support should be the first thing you do as a dad. And if he’s just not paying, then you need to get a judge to help him re-prioritize his life!

— Dave

Dear Dave,

My dad has been reading a book, and the author says the stock market is about to crash. He’s scared my dad to death, and now he wants to pull out all the money from his 401(k) and other investments and buy gold overseas.

What can I say to talk some sense into him?


Dear Amanda,

I’ve seen books like this every year since I was old enough to read. This is ridiculous!

COULD the stock market crash? Sure, but there is absolutely no realistic indication of that happening. In order for the stock market to crash all the giant companies like Microsoft, Ford, GM and GE would have to blink out of existence.

I’m not talking about lower earnings and economic slow downs, I’m talking about closing their doors and going out of business completely. Can you honestly imagine this happening?

Our stock market and banking systems are structured and operate much differently than they did before the Great Depression. There are many more safeguards in place.

When President Nixon resigned the stock market dropped almost the same exact percentage it did back in 1929. There was no depression. Fifty-six days after the attacks on 9/11 the market was back up to the level it was on Sept. 10.

Did it drop for a while? Of course, it did. But the people who run around spouting this end of the world kind of stuff are doomsayers trying to make a buck off people’s fear.

I don’t own any gold, and I’m not buying any gold. The returns are horrible — only about four percent over the last 50 years — and the volatility is all over the place.

Next to gold, the stock market looks like a cake walk.

— Dave

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Filed under: City Business
By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

These theoretical situations are always so laughable to me. Donna, since your husband's salary is commission in its entirety, and he's the only one who works (the only way for that $100k to $50k to make any sense), maybe you should GET A JOB?And maybe if he was ever valuable enough for $100k, he should get a new job since his current one screwed him over?And if he was never worth $100k in the first (ie he has no chance of getting another job that pays that much and IS stuck with $50k permanently), maybe you should have realized how volatile that income was and never treated it as long term income in the first place?

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

My opinion is that petty remarks like that one above, and others are not necessary or helpful. If you cannot help, then keep quiet.