Cut The Frills

James hit a bump in the financial road and never really tried to recover. Dave's solution for them is pretty simple.

QUESTION: James in Georgia brings home $70,000 a year and has $30,000 in credit card debt and $15,000 in car debt. He hit a bump in the financial road and never really tried to recover. Dave’s solution for them is pretty simple.

ANSWER: I think you're going to be fine. I think you're just going to have to sit down tonight, turn off the television, and do a written budget where every dollar has a name and you make every dollar behave. The numbers you're giving me are doable. It's going to take a while. You may or may not want to sell this car. It's kind of borderline. I'd try it without selling it for a while. Your house seems to be okay. It's not the problem. You need to stay out of the freaking restaurant. You guys eat out all the time. Your lifestyle is ridiculous, because you make enough money to pay these bills if you made the money behave. Get on a written plan and cut out all the extras—put yourself on scorched earth, baby, beans and rice, rice and beans—and you could turn this thing. It's very, very, very doable with what you're outlining. On paper, on purpose, and cut out all the frills, and you'll be able to pay this debt off in about two years.