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Dave Ramsey says: Ditch spending spree, use cash gifts on debt

(Photo by Getty Images/ Paula Bronstein)

Dear Dave,

I had about $12,000 in debt when my husband and I got married three years ago.

Since that time, we’ve been given cash gifts from my parents from time to time, and we keep having discussions on how to use this kind of money when it is given to us.

I’d like to put it toward paying off debt, but he would rather treat it as fun money.

What are your thoughts on this, please?

— Sara

Dear Sara,

If there’s something you need, and you agree on it together and choose to buy it as a couple, that’s cool. I’ve got no problem with that.

But you guys are still just starting out, and you’ve got debts to pay. I’m sure your husband has a good heart, but I think it’s time for him to grow up a little and realize the importance of getting your financial house in order.

Did your parents have specific and reasonable thoughts on how they’d like you to use the money? If so, you should honor their intent. If not, then how it gets used is pretty much up to you guys.

But in your situation, life’s not a birthday party when this kind of thing happens.

You should be making mature, responsible decisions together regarding any money that comes into your household. It’s really no different than a paycheck. You take care of obligations and other important things first.

Adults waste money on play things and fun stuff just because it was handed to them by mom and dad. That’s how a 10-year-old behaves.

Sit down with your husband, and explain how important it is that you guys start making better decisions with your money.

If you two start working together, you could knock out this debt in a hurry!

— Dave

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