Dave Says

Friday, August 15, 2008 at 2:38am

Dear Dave,

My little brother is getting married soon. Together, he and his wife will make about $35,000 a year.

The other day he told me he’s working on a deal to buy a $70,000 trailer, and has already put $500 toward the purchase. The deal isn’t final yet, so what can I do to convince him this is a bad idea?

— Doug

Dear Doug,

Go knock him in the head and stop him!

Seriously, take this kid on a ride around town and let him have a good look at the trailers people bought in the last few years. You can practically see the money draining out of them.

A trailer is just about the largest purchase you can make that will go down in value. It’s like a car you sleep in! If you bought a $70,000 trailer three years ago, it would be worth about $30,000 now. That’s not what I call a wise investment.

If it was my little brother and I had the money, I’d pay him $500 just to walk away from the deal. He’s looking at the trailer like it’s a dinky little house, but here’s the difference. If he buys a small $70,000 home, at least the thing is going to go up in value.

I’m not badmouthing people who live in trailers here, Doug. I’m badmouthing trailers. Call them trailers, mobile homes — whatever. They’re a bad place to stick your money!

— Dave

Dear Dave,

I lost my job a few months ago. My wife works, but she doesn’t make much money, and we also have three kids. I’m still trying to keep up my credit card payments, but next month I know I’ll be late and they’ll start adding fees.

In all, I have about $60,000 in debt and that includes payments on a $20,000 car. I don’t know how to handle the situation anymore.

— Geraldo

Dear Geraldo,

The first thing you need to do is sell that car. You can’t afford a $20,000 car when you’re $60,000 in debt. And really, the credit cards are the least of your worries.

What you need is an overall game plan. You don’t have a debt crisis as much as you have a career crisis.

You need to be delivering pizzas or throwing boxes at UPS tonight! You’ve got to do something to get some money going, even if it’s not on the level of what you were doing before. A thousand or $1,200 a month doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’ll go a long way in keeping the wolf away from the door.

And when you’re not working, you need to be pounding the pavement looking for a real job. With a wife and family, you’ve got some big responsibilities, man. There are good jobs out there, but you’ve got to get out and make it happen.

What you’ve been doing is honorable, but right now the credit card companies can wait. They’ll fuss and threaten, but your family needs to come first. Take care of the basics before anything else — food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities.

Then, you can take care of the credit sharks with whatever is left!

— Dave

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Filed under: City Business
By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You need to be delivering pizzas or throwing boxes at UPS tonight! Dave, that's easy said than done. I know many people that work at UPS and IT'S EXTREMELY HARD TO GET ON UPS, even if you are only throwing boxes at night. Even if UPS is hiring, it takes several weeks after you apply before you are contacted for an interview. It then takes another couple of weeks before you are hired. If you are lucky enough to get hired, you are only working a few hours each night, basically part-time, and that can go on for several years. Several people that I know that works for UPS have told me they worked part-time "throwing boxes at night" for as long as 8 years before thet were able to get a full time position with UPS. Maybe in YOUR WORLD, DAVE RAMSEY, he can go to work at UPS TONIGHT, but in the REAL WORLD, it may be 3 or 4 weeks before he can start at UPS, even if he applied for a job there TODAY!!!!

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

jwk,No job is hired in an instant. What Dave is saying is GET a job to help pay off bills! Sell newspapers/deliver them, deliver pizza's, or work at Wal-Mart, I doube any of those are hired any quicker, but the income is needed to help with the wife's income. Sorry it takes so long to move up at UPS, but such is the life of moving up the ladder. Since you are lam-blasting Dave's suggestion, what do you suggest as a quick job?

By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think the DAVE RAMSEY and his STAFF OF FLUNKIES should do a little research before they make up these generic letters with Dave's generic advise. He stated that the letter writer should be "Throwing Boxes at UPS tonight!!!" with an exclamation mark after tonight, which suggest he would be able to get a job at UPS just by showing up at the UPS office that afternoon and UPS would put him to work on the spot. I'm just suggesting that Dave and his flunkies do a little research about the REAL WORLD before they make up these letters.That what got him kicked out of all the Gannett, Scrip-Howard newspapers, etc. in the first place!!