Finances and Your Fiancé
By Dave Ramsey
Author, The Total Money Makeover
I’m getting married in December. My fiancé lives in Tennessee, and I live in Alabama. She will be moving down here, but she owns a house near Nashville. We could handle the payments for a few months, but considering the tough housing market, what’s the best thing for us to do with her place?
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I hope you’ll be good to each other and have long, happy lives together.
If I woke up in your shoes, I’d go nuts on that house – fix everything that needs fixing, paint, and clean the place like crazy. Then I would put it on the market at a good, aggressive price. If you’re lucky, you might find a buyer before the big day.
You’re not in a position where you have to give it away, but I’d be willing to sacrifice some money in order to have the hassle out of my life. Forget the cheese, just let me out of the trap, you know?
Even when you love someone, there’s a lot of stress that comes with getting married and starting a new life together. You don’t need a big financial burden hanging over your heads.
Still, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t sell quickly. Being a landlord from a distance is a tough assignment, but if worse comes to worse you can rent it out in the spring for a year or so. After that, try selling it again when, hopefully, the market will be better!
The Lowdown on the Dow Jones
We hear all kinds of numbers relating to the economy every night on the news. To be honest, I have no idea what most of them mean. Can you tell me more about the Dow Jones Industrial Average?
The Dow is an index of the stocks of 30 selected companies. We’re talking about outfits like Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Nike – some of the big boys. The percentage that the stock prices of these companies rise or fall as a group, on any given day, is the Dow Jones Industrial Average for that day.
Technically, this index is not a good representative of what the stock market is doing because it only takes into account 30 companies. The S&P is a much better measure of what the market is doing, because it represents the stock-price activity of 500 companies.
Let’s say you’re watching the news, and a reporter tells you the market just went down 300 points and it was at 10,000. That represents only a three percent change, and that’s not big news – regardless of what some of the “experts” say.
Great question, Ken!
Debit or Credit?
When I use my Visa debit card, I’m asked if it’s “debit” or “credit.” What difference does it make if you choose one over the other?
Since your debit card is a Visa product, if you push “credit,” it means the merchant can process the transaction as if it were a Visa card. It’s run through the Visa system, and they pay Visa a fee just as if you were using a credit card.
Now, if you press “debit,” you’re using the ATM (automated teller machine) function of the card. This means you’ll have to enter your PIN (personal identification number) and this sends the transaction through your bank system instead of the Visa system.
I recommend running your card through the Visa system. By doing this, you’ll have Visa fraud protection on your side in the event that you lose your card or someone steals your PIN!
For more financial advice and a special offer to our readers, please visit www.davesays.org or call 1-888-22-PEACE.
Dave Ramsey is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and author of the New York Times bestselling books, Financial Peace Revisited and The Total Money Makeover. His life-changing advice in the area of personal finance helps people get out of debt, stay out of debt and build wealth that will last a lifetime and beyond.
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