Dave Says...

by: 

Dave Ramsey
Apr 30, 2010

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Dear Dave,

I'm only 19-years old, and I'm in real trouble. I've been pretty rebellious for the last year, not listening to my parents and other dumb things, and now I've got $8,000 in debt thanks to writing several bad checks and running up bills on credit cards. I also totaled my car and lost my job a couple of weeks ago, and I'm about to lose my apartment in a few days, too.

A friend of mine said I could stay with her for a while, but I'm still really scared. My parents won't help. They say I need to take care of this myself. Have you got any advice?

Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Sounds like you're about as close to rock bottom as a person can get. It's a scary situation, but the fact that you're looking for help and realized the way you've been living is stupid means you want to change - and that's a good thing.

It sounds like you're going to have get two or three jobs, and then find you a really cheap little car that will get you around. The good news is that if you do this for maybe a year and a half, you'll be able to pay off all that stupid tax you've accumulated. I'm not picking on you, Stephanie, because I've done stupid stuff, too - stupid with LOTS of zeros on the end. But when you do stupid things, you have to pay the consequences. It's all part of being an adult.

I think you've also recognized that you left your integrity on the sidelines for way too long. Doing the right thing really needs to be a priority from this point on. The cool thing about the practical issues you mentioned - finding a permanent place to live, something to drive and paying off the debt - is that these things will all get better now that YOU'VE made the decision to get better. That's a promise!

You might want to think about finding a good church and having a talk with the pastor, too, Stephanie. Any caring minister would be honored to have the chance to pray with you as you turn your life back around in the right direction.

- Dave

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