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Dave Ramsey says: Turning down partially paid cruise is smart for couple in debt

Dear Dave,

I work for a small company that just won a cruise trip for all the employees. The prize covers just the cruise tickets, and we have to pay for everything else.

The problem is that my wife and I currently have more than $50,000 in debt, not counting our home, and about $10,000 of that is in collections.

We’re trying to fix our finances and start saving money, but we just don’t feel like we should take a trip right now. How do I tell my boss?

— Ricky

Dear Ricky,

First, let me say how proud I am of you and your wife. Most people would be really irresponsible in a position like this and simply borrow more money to take the trip.

The fact that you’re behaving like mature adults tells me you’re on your way to getting out of debt and solving your financial problems.

I’ve got to wonder, is there a lot of pressure from your company to go on this trip?

I understand the benefits of team building and socializing with colleagues, but when you have no savings and are that deep in debt — and a chunk of that includes some in collections — it’s no lie to say you can’t afford to go.

A decent company will understand.

Just sit down with your boss or owner, and explain why you can’t make it happen right now.

You don’t have to unload all the details, but let them know that you can’t do something like this in good conscience when you’re trying to get your finances under control and already owe a lot of money.

That’s one heck of a temptation you’re standing up to, Ricky.

I love that you and your wife are on the same page and have made the decision to take control of your finances together!

— Dave

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