Ask Dave

Ask Dave


  • Ditch the Separation Pay

    Jul 8, 2014 | 5 min
    Gretchen's husband is going to receive military separation pay. If he goes into the National Guard, they will need to repay it. Dave advises Gretchen to check into whether or not they can decline separation pay.
  • More of a Mortgage

    Jul 7, 2014 | 4 min
    Lindsey and her husband's mortgage payment is more than 25% of their take-home pay. They're trying to decide if they should be placing the full 15% of their income toward retirement or pay down the mortgage.
  • Repair Now or Buy Later?

    Jul 6, 2014 | 3 min
    Dave is driving a 10-year-old car with 195,000 miles on it. It needs $1,500 in repairs and is worth $4,000 or $5,000. Should he put $2,000 in the car to keep it running or buy something else?
  • Using the Mortgage to Consolidate

    Jul 5, 2014 | 3 min
    Leslie is about to get remarried and has $34,000 in debt. Should she take that $34,000 debt and put it on her mortgage to consolidate it?
  • Freezing Your Credit Report

    Jul 4, 2014 | 4 min
    Eric wants to know if Dave recommends a credit freeze in order to protect against identity theft.
  • Settling With Sallie Mae

    Jul 3, 2014 | 2 min
    James asks if it's possible to settle on a student loan.
  • A Big Choice

    Jul 2, 2014 | 3 min
    Gus is 50 years old with $500,000 in retirement accounts. He owes $144,000 on his house and makes about $140,000 a year. Should he stop putting money in retirement in order to pay off his house?
  • No Dogs Allowed

    Jul 1, 2014 | 4 min
    Jim has been spending money on remodeling rental houses because he allows pets. Should he begin refusing tenants with pets?
  • The Wrong Half of the Month

    Jun 30, 2014 | 5 min
    Kathy is the Nerd, and she's trying to reconcile the on-paper budget with what's going on in their bank account. Dave reminds Kathy that the budget is supposed to tell her what to do.
  • The Target Date Fund

    Jun 29, 2014 | 6 min
    Matthew started a Roth IRA and used a target date fund. Would Dave move out of the target date fund into a growth stock mutual fund?
  • Finding 12%

    Jun 28, 2014 | 1 min
    Jason asks where to find mutual funds with a 12% rate of return.
  • Sell the Rental and Reinvest?

    Jun 27, 2014 | 3 min
    Barbara and her husband have a rental property. The rental property has a $150,000 mortgage, but everything else is paid for. Should they sell the rental and reinvest in the stock market?
  • Paying the Insurance Penalty

    Jun 26, 2014 | 3 min
    Brian and his wife have whole life insurance. If they cash them out, there's a 7% penalty. If they wait a few years, they won't have to pay into the premiums anymore. Should they cash out the policies anyway?
  • Upside Down and Selling

    Jun 25, 2014 | 2 min
    Jay wants to know how to get rid of a car when he is upside down on it and it is worth less than what he owes.
  • Can't Fix the Roof

    Jun 24, 2014 | 4 min
    Brittany says a roofer recently came out to inspect the roof, and it's going to cost $25,000 to repair the home. Brittany and her husband don't have the money to fix it right now. What do they do?
  • UTMA Means Taxes

    Jun 23, 2014 | 3 min
    Sam asks why Dave recommends the ESA and the 529. Are they like an UTMA? Dave explains the differences.
  • Leaving Something for Her

    Jun 22, 2014 | 2 min
    Lynn's 90-year-old father wants to leave something for her one-year-old daughter for college. He'd like to do it now in case he passes and it isn't done. Dave gives Lynn some options.
  • Will the Government Take It?

    Jun 21, 2014 | 4 min
    Barry has a five-year-old daughter and wants to start a 529 for her. However, he is concerned that the government might seize the 529 assets in order to pay off debts and give people treasury bonds instead.
  • A Dangerous Thing at That Age

    Jun 20, 2014 | 4 min
    Suzanne and her husband are considering moving into a retirement community, but they will need a mortgage in order to do so. Dave encourages Suzanne to search for other options that don't include debt.
  • Baby Step Reboot

    Jun 19, 2014 | 1 min
    Justin's only debt is the mortgage on his house. When he goes through Financial Peace University, should he restart the Baby Steps in order to establish the intensity?
  • Leftover Education Trust

    Jun 18, 2014 | 2 min
    Renee says her husband has a Michigan Education Trust. Renee's husband didn't go to college, so they can either divide it between their two kids or cash it in. What would Dave do?
  • Invest Your Money Elsewhere

    Jun 17, 2014 | 3 min
    Waylon took out an insurance policy on his son. The mom doesn't know her family medical history, so Waylon took out the policy to make sure his son can have insurance later. Dave tells Waylon to drop the policy.
  • Finding a Good Money Market Account

    Jun 16, 2014 | 2 min
    Vincent asks how to find a good money market account.
  • Two Free Spirits

    Jun 15, 2014 | 2 min
    Steve wants to know what his wife and he should do if they're both free spirits with money.
  • Tithing and Giving While Getting (Out of Debt)

    Jun 14, 2014 | 2 min
    Sarah wants to know if she should continue tithing and giving while getting out of debt.
  • Playing With House Money

    Jun 13, 2014 | 3 min
    Andrew and his wife are debt-free and saving for their first home. They have $75,000 in savings. Where should they place this money so that it's working for them while they save?
  • Still Doesn't Want to Budget

    Jun 12, 2014 | 5 min
    Jennifer can't get her husband to sit down and do a budget even after taking Dave's class. Dave thinks Jennifer's husband is acting selfishly and doesn't listen to her.
  • You Aren't Double Dead

    Jun 10, 2014 | 2 min
    Alaina says her credit union offers free accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Should she take it?
  • Tithing Feels Like a Tax?

    Jun 9, 2014 | 6 min
    Ben wants to get his wife on board with tithing. Ben's wife sees tithing as a tax rather than giving. Dave explains that this is more of a spiritual discussion than a financial one.
  • 100% Mortality Rate

    Jun 8, 2014 | 2 min
    Cam asks if it's unreasonable to ask her 76-year-old husband to make a will. His rationale of why he doesn't want to do it gets Dave laughing out loud.
  • Get Out of the Politic Mess

    Jun 7, 2014 | 6 min
    Dustin and his wife need a new roof for their condo. They have an emergency fund, but his neighbors are all broke. How can they take care of this without the condo owing them money?
  • A Grad Student's Budget

    Jun 6, 2014 | 6 min
    Ilya is a graduate student. He receives $1,640 a month as a fellowship stipend. Ilya is struggling to complete the first Baby Step. Does Dave have any suggestions?
  • Dave Interviews Mark Cuban: Part Two

    Jun 5, 2014 | 10 min
    Dave continues his conversation about debt and business with Mark Cuban.
  • Dave Interviews Mark Cuban: Part One

    Jun 5, 2014 | 8 min
    Dave welcomes businessman and investor Mark Cuban to the show.
  • Buy the Dream Car

    Jun 5, 2014 | 3 min
    Rick wants to buy a collectible car. However, Rick is in college and paying cash for school. He has about $2 million in investments. The car is $10,000. Dave tells Rick to buy it.
  • Finding Money for Dental School

    Jun 5, 2014 | 6 min
    Tom's son has applied to dental school, and the first year will be about $77,000. Tom wants his son to graduate with no debt and plans to help him. How do you approach this kind of graduate school?
  • Look At Life As a Filmstrip

    Jun 5, 2014 | 10 min
    Dave rants about working hard and getting ahead despite life obstacles.
  • Housing Includes Taxes and Insurance

    Jun 5, 2014 | 1 min
    Ryan asks if the recommended 25% of income for housing should include taxes and insurance.
  • Client Out of Bounds

    Jun 4, 2014 | 4 min
    David and his wife own a small business. They only accept cash or check as payment. A client suggested that they accept credit cards, and David wants to know Dave's take on the situation.
  • Admiring and Inspiring

    Jun 3, 2014 | 5 min
    Sarah has some ideas to update a book, but it isn't her content. The book isn't in the public domain. What is the best way to approach the author about using this material and modernizing it?
  • Extra Savings Takes Away Volatility

    Jun 2, 2014 | 5 min
    Sarah is making $26,000 a year. Sarah has $1,000 in her emergency fund and is working extra jobs to earn extra money. Should she beef up her emergency fund in case she goes through another job loss?
  • In Honor of Mike

    Jun 1, 2014 | 10 min
    Lauren is debt-free! She paid off $55,000 in about five years. Lauren's husband passed away in 2011 due to leukemia, and his goal was to do this debt-free scream together.
  • Doing Nothing Doesn't Work

    May 31, 2014 | 4 min
    Jim is 56 years old and has $44,000 in a 401(k). His wife has ongoing medical expenses. Is it too late for Jim to start planning for old age?
  • Contentment Is a State of Being

    May 30, 2014 | 4 min
    Marie says her husband has a great job, and Marie works as a substitute teacher. Her husband would like her to take a more full-time position to build more wealth. Dave has a philosophical answer for Marie.
  • Time to Beg for Mercy

    May 29, 2014 | 5 min
    Chris and his wife have an SUV they're $28,000 upside down on. They need $48,000 to pay the SUV off. Dave explains that it is time to have a conversation with the bank that provided this loan.
  • More of a Long-Term Spending Jar

    May 28, 2014 | 2 min
    Monica has started her 4-year-old on a chore chart. She has his envelope system set up but has trouble helping him distinguish between saving and spending. How can she do that?
  • Skip the Keystone Trust

    May 27, 2014 | 2 min
    Terry asks Dave what he knows about keystone trusts. Dave explains what they are used for and the shadiness that can be attached to them.
  • Work Ethic for Less

    May 26, 2014 | 7 min
    Erin has three daughters, and one of them is in 4-H. The cost of the animals is expensive. Should Erin have her daughter help pay for this hobby somehow?
  • Always Take the Roth

    May 25, 2014 | 2 min
    Jennifer says her job offers a regular 401(k) and a Roth 401(k). Which should she take?
  • Ugly and Reliable

    May 24, 2014 | 2 min
    Earl asks if he should pay $1,500 in repairs on a car worth $2,500. Is it time to get another vehicle?
  • No Treating Student Loans Like a Mortgage

    May 23, 2014 | 2 min
    Jade asks where very large school loans would go in the Baby Steps.
  • Brian and Ashlee Overcame Disaster

    May 22, 2014 | 6 min
    Brian and Ashlee are debt-free! They're celebrating after paying off $40,000 in 10 months.
  • Let Go of the Timeshares

    May 21, 2014 | 4 min
    Joe says his mom passed away and left behind timeshares. Joe inherited those, and they are all paid for. He isn't sure what to do with them now as the executor of the estate. Dave explains how to handle it.
  • Jeremy and Sandy Did It!

    May 20, 2014 | 5 min
    Jeremy and Sandy are debt-free! They paid off $9,500 in six months.
  • Avoid Revocable Trusts

    May 19, 2014 | 4 min
    Ann wants to know when to create a revocable trust, especially if you own real estate. Dave doesn't believe Ann needs one even though it does provide some liability protection.
  • Debt Forgiveness Is Taxable Income

    May 18, 2014 | 4 min
    Chris asks when you get issued a 1099-C for cancelled debt, do you still owe the debt?
  • Where Does This Money Go?

    May 17, 2014 | 2 min
    Walt asks if you should pay extra on a mortgage that will be paid off in the next couple of years or invest that money over and above Dave's recommended 15% for retirement once you are on Baby Step 6.
  • A Little Lot Loan

    May 16, 2014 | 5 min
    Jim and his wife found a property that they want to build their dream house on, but they are putting all their money on paying off the mortgage. Is it all right to take out a small lot loan for $69,000?
  • What to Do With Restricted Stock

    May 15, 2014 | 2 min
    Patty says her husband receives restricted stock bonuses with his company. She isn't sure how long they're restricted. Are they allowed to sell these options?
  • Tim and Tiffany Are Debt-Free!

    May 14, 2014 | 5 min
    Tim and Tiffany are debt-free! They paid off $96,000 in 40 months.
  • Don't Leave an Estate With Life Insurance

    May 13, 2014 | 6 min
    Steve's mom is 71 and debt-free. She's investing $600 a month in a universal life insurance policy worth $250,000. What could she invest that money in instead of this life insurance to leave an estate?
  • Find a Reputable Dealer

    May 12, 2014 | 5 min
    Lisa discovered an art and coin collection her father owned. She isn't sure what to do with this collection. Does Dave have any ideas?
  • Mutual Fund Researching

    May 11, 2014 | 2 min
    Seth asks where he should research mutual funds to prepare for investing.
  • Bankruptcy Aftershocks

    May 10, 2014 | 2 min
    Brittany asks what the long-term effects of declaring bankruptcy are.
  • Chapter 7 Vs. Chapter 13

    May 9, 2014 | 3 min
    Claudia wants to know the difference between a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • Dan and Trudy Paid Off the House

    May 8, 2014 | 6 min
    Dan and Trudy are debt-free! They're from Wyoming and celebrating after paying off $108,000 in five years and nine months.
  • Income Is the Problem

    May 7, 2014 | 5 min
    Stephanie says some of her and her husband's bills went into collection, and she refused to give them her checking account information. Dave says Stephanie is doing the right thing.
  • Roll the Money

    May 6, 2014 | 2 min
    Tracy asks how to handle a 401(k) when moving from one job to another.
  • Life Isn't a Snapshot

    May 5, 2014 | 8 min
    Marcell is a single dad and wants to know how to get out of debt and continue to pay his bills. Dave thinks it's time for Marcell to start considering a new career to bring up his income.
  • Warning, Warning, Warning!

    May 5, 2014 | 7 min
    Sandra and her fianc? make $90,000 a year. They want to start a family after they're married, but Sandra's fianc? wants to buy a boat soon after they're married. Dave gives Sandra some tough love.
  • Always Get It in Writing

    May 5, 2014 | 2 min
    Ashley asks what the best way is to handle collectors who are hounding her about old medical bills. Dave has a simple answer.
  • No Credit Score Required

    May 5, 2014 | 1 min
    Matt asks how to get a mortgage without a credit score. Dave says it's all about manual underwriting.
  • Do I Bail Her Out?

    May 5, 2014 | 3 min
    Cindy's youngest child is asking to be bailed out of a situation. Cindy isn't sure if she should give her a loan or just give her the money and give the two other children the same amount.
  • Middle of the Storm

    May 5, 2014 | 5 min
    Susan and her husband have $6,000 in debt and some savings. They had a baby with some serious birth defects. Susan is unable to return to work. Dave recommends hanging on to the savings for the time being.
  • Needing Big Repairs

    May 4, 2014 | 5 min
    Amber can't afford to repair her home, and she is considering just walking away. Dave advises Amber to get with a good real estate agent to dump this house.
  • Does Dave Say Sell?

    May 3, 2014 | 3 min
    Tramaul brings home $2,700 a month and has $2,000 in payments. His $15,000 car is his largest debt. Tramaul believes he can pay it off within two years. Does Dave think he should sell it?
  • Be Very Kind and Very Grateful

    May 2, 2014 | 3 min
    Laura says her parents took out a whole life insurance policy for Laura when she was born. Laura wants to cash it out and apply it to the debt snowball, but she's worried she'll offend her parents.
  • When Am I Self-Insured?

    May 1, 2014 | 4 min
    Justin is married with four kids. At what point will he become self-insured? Dave has a quick answer and a thorough explanation.
  • Keeping Motivation Up

    Apr 30, 2014 | 7 min
    Brandon has $55,000 in debt, including $15,000 on a car loan. He has a part-time job and is working up to 70 hours some weeks. Brandon wants to know what Dave recommends for staying motivated through this process.
  • Transferring Risk With Life Insurance

    Apr 29, 2014 | 4 min
    Jensen asks if he can cash in a term policy at the end of 20 years, or did he pay all of those years for nothing?
  • Withhold the Right Amount

    Apr 28, 2014 | 1 min
    Brandon wants to know if it's better to withhold the maximum from his paycheck and get a big refund or withhold less.
  • Getting a Trademark

    Apr 27, 2014 | 6 min
    Angela wants to know how to trademark words or phrases. Dave explains how the process works.
  • Paying the Right Amount for a House

    Apr 26, 2014 | 2 min
    Kayla asks if taxes and insurance should be factored into the 25% of income that is acceptable for housing.
  • Starting From Small

    Apr 25, 2014 | 3 min
    Kayley has no debt except the house and eight months' worth of expenses in her emergency fund. She'd like to start a small business. How can she do that without the extra money to fund it?
  • In What Order Should We Pay?

    Apr 24, 2014 | 4 min
    Erik and his wife have $36,000 in debt. They make $90,000 a year. Most of it is medical bills, and they have a $5,000 student loan. The medical bills are accruing interest. Should they still pay those last?
  • More Than the Four Walls

    Apr 23, 2014 | 1 min
    Rachel asks how to determine expenses in order to save for the emergency fund.
  • More Than One Life Insurance Policy?

    Apr 21, 2014 | 2 min
    Chad asks if you can have more than one life insurance policy. Is there ever a reason to do this?
  • School's on the Horizon

    Apr 20, 2014 | 2 min
    Erin's husband is leaving his full-time job in a year so that he can attend school full time. Once they complete Baby Step 3, should they move to Baby Step 4 or continue saving?
  • Helping Her the Right Way

    Apr 19, 2014 | 6 min
    Mike and his wife have a friend they met through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She recently asked for money from Mike and his wife. They don't approve of how she's spending money, but she needs help.
  • Life Insurance Transfers Risk

    Apr 18, 2014 | 2 min
    Angie asks what happens to the money she gives each month to a 30-year term life insurance policy. Is she throwing her money away?
  • Not Getting the Match

    Apr 17, 2014 | 3 min
    Bethany isn't sure if she should contribute to her 401(k) or a Roth IRA instead. It is a discretionary 401(k), and Bethany isn't sure she'll receive a match at the end of the year. What would Dave do?
  • Time for Baby Birds?

    Apr 16, 2014 | 3 min
    Joel says his wife really wants to be a mom and would like to start planning for that. Joel wants to wait a little longer and build up their emergency fund before taking that step. Who's right?
  • Child Support Battle

    Apr 16, 2014 | 4 min
    Tina says she and her husband are battling the state over owed child support. Tina isn't sure where that debt falls in Baby Step 2. Dave tells Tina how she needs to handle this.
  • Funding Fun After College

    Apr 15, 2014 | 5 min
    Jonathan is finishing his last semester of college and landed his first job. He's revising his budget, and he has $15,000 in student loans. Jonathan wants to know if he should put some fun money into this budget.
  • The IRS Bill

    Apr 14, 2014 | 1 min
    Jared owes the IRS $6,000 and is paying them monthly. Should he add a personal loan to this debt or continue the debt snowball until the IRS debt makes it to the top of the list?
  • Biweekly Mortgage Okay With No Fees

    Apr 13, 2014 | 2 min
    Jeremiah asks what Dave thinks about a biweekly mortgage payment.
  • Cashing Out Not a Good Plan

    Apr 12, 2014 | 3 min
    Cody is transitioning jobs. He's 23 and has $11,000 in a 401(k). He has $15,000 in debt. Should he cash out the 401(k) to pay down the debt?
  • Is Refinancing Good Here?

    Apr 11, 2014 | 4 min
    Lisa and her husband are on Baby Step 2. All of their debt is student loans. They're considering a refinance of the loans. Is that a good idea? Dave lays out some guidelines for doing a refinance.
  • Sliding and Snowballing

    Apr 10, 2014 | 4 min
    Shawn has income on a sliding scale. She has $5,500 in debt left and is in a position to further her education and increase her pay scale. Should she work on that now or wait until she's debt-free?
  • Take Care of College

    Apr 9, 2014 | 6 min
    Lou and his wife have $55,000 in individual stocks they want to move. They have four kids, and the oldest will leave for college in five years. Should they pay off the house or put the kids through college?
  • School Cost Versus Salary

    Apr 8, 2014 | 3 min
    Sarah and her husband have $35,000 in debt. Sarah wants to go to school for a better education and a better job. Dave recommends looking into the cost of the school and potential salary before pursuing it.
  • Mike Did It!

    Apr 7, 2014 | 5 min
    Mike is in Nashville with his son Caleb to celebrate debt freedom. He paid off $370,000 in five and a half years.
  • Sean and Jessica Are Debt-Free!

    Apr 6, 2014 | 6 min
    Sean and Jessica are debt-free! They're from Missouri and paid off $88,000 in about five years, including the house!
  • You Don't Have a Need for Life Insurance

    Apr 5, 2014 | 2 min
    Jody asks if she needs life insurance if she isn't married and doesn't have kids.
  • Setting Up a Business Emergency Fund

    Apr 4, 2014 | 3 min
    Eric wants to know how to set up a business emergency fund. Dave explains.
  • Ask for Expectations

    Apr 3, 2014 | 3 min
    Charlie says a friend owes him money, but the friend is helping Charlie with a job. Does Charlie pay him for the job or forgive the debt?
  • Writing a Zero-Based Budget

    Apr 3, 2014 | 4 min
    Mike asks how to create a zero-based budget when his pay varies from month to month. Dave explains.
  • Asking for the Raise

    Apr 3, 2014 | 6 min
    Vanessa wants to know how to ask for a raise when she has more responsibility than her coworker but the same title on paper. Dave believes Vanessa's increase in pay will come over time.
  • Immediate Needs, Not Baby Steps

    Apr 3, 2014 | 2 min
    Kevin asks when in the Baby Steps he should work on getting life and disability insurance. Dave says it is an immediate need and not part of the Baby Steps.
  • Married to an Entrepreneur

    Apr 3, 2014 | 5 min
    Charles says he married an entrepreneur, and he and his wife have different personality styles. How can he best communicate to her and not hold her back from her ambitions? Dave thinks Charles's wife needs him in her life in order to bring stability to her life.
  • Millionaire Widow Needs a Prenup

    Apr 2, 2014 | 5 min
    Heather's husband died from cancer several years ago. She has $3.8 million in assets. Heather is considering marriage again. Does she need a prenuptial agreement?
  • Contentment Is Learning Gratitude

    Apr 1, 2014 | 4 min
    Ryan asks how to teach their kids to be grateful for what they have and not always have the latest, greatest thing. Rachel says humility is part of this lesson.
  • Who Do You Want to Hang Out With?

    Mar 31, 2014 | 8 min
    Aaron has two job offers from tech companies. He's being advised to take the Silicon Valley job, but Aaron would have more money in his budget if he chose San Antonio. Which would be a better opportunity?
  • Older Dave's Advice to the Younger Dave

    Mar 30, 2014 | 3 min
    Jamin is graduating from college. He'll have about $40,000 in student loans, and he has $4,000 in savings. What advice would Dave give Jamin at this point?
  • Do I Need Earthquake Insurance?

    Mar 29, 2014 | 1 min
    Jonathan asks if earthquake insurance is a good idea.
  • No CDs for Kids

    Mar 28, 2014 | 2 min
    Abe asks if it is a good idea to start a CD account for his two small children. Dave says no.
  • Small Business and the Four Walls

    Mar 27, 2014 | 2 min
    Josh asks what the four walls are of a small business budget.
  • Dustin Broke Free

    Mar 26, 2014 | 8 min
    Dustin celebrating after he paid off $56,000 in 24 months. He also cash-flowed an engagement ring during this process.
  • Rehabbing to Sell

    Mar 25, 2014 | 4 min
    Terri and her husband recently inherited her parents' home. The house is worth about $85,000 if it's cleaned up. Without cleaning it up, it's worth $75,000. Should they clean this house up to move it faster?
  • Change Your Habits Instead of Refinancing

    Mar 24, 2014 | 6 min
    Karen asks if it would be wise to refinance and add her current debt to the total. Dave says no way.

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