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You Need Something that Matters

Dear Dave, My wife and I are in our twenties. We have no debt and $50,000 in the bank. Our income is $90,000 a year, and we’re cautious to live on less than we make. Still, we can’t seem to get motivated to make a budget. How can we get inspired ...


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Book a Hotel Room Without a Credit Card?

Q: Is it possible to book a hotel room without a credit card? A: Absolutely, it is. Just use a debit card. I don’t have a credit card. When it comes to finances, the only pieces of plastic you’ll find in my wallet are two debit cards—one for my ...


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Dave Says: Make Decisions Together

My husband doesn’t like dealing with money. For years, I’ve handled everything from paying the bills to making the decisions, and he just does whatever I tell him. This makes things really hard on me, but he says financial issues cause him ...


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Dave Says: Paying for Career Change Classes

My wife and I have our fully funded emergency fund in place, and we’re debt-free, except for the house. She wants to return to school to get a master’s degree and change careers. She’ll be reimbursed up to $7,000 a year. Can we use some of our ...


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Dave Says: Why Not to Cash Out

Is it a good idea for a married couple in their early thirties, who have a lot of student loan debt, to cash out one of their 401(k)s to pay it off? Marcy Dear Marcy, No way! You never cash out a 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt, unless it’s to ...


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Dave Says: Authorized Users Don’t Help Your Credit

My brother asked me to put his name on my credit card as an authorized user. He said it will help improve his credit score. Is this true, and would it help my score in any way? Anna Dear Anna, Your brother is wrong. It will not improve his ...


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Dave Says: Finding the Right Job

I lost my job a couple of weeks ago, and I’m having a tough time finding part-time work to bridge the gap until another position comes along. I’ve got a masters’ degree, and I’ve been wondering if that’s hurting my chances in the interim. I’m ...


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Dave Says: Thoughts About Online Banks

Dear Dave, How do you feel about using online banks for your emergency fund? Jared  Dear Jared, I don’t think that’s a problem at all in most situations. Just make sure you do a little research. Know who you’re dealing with and that they’ve got ...