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Ask Dave

In-Laws and Out of Debt

Kevin is thinking of drastic measures to get out of debt, but does Dave agree with them?

QUESTION: Kevin in California is 27 and married. He and his wife have two kids. He makes $90,000 and has $80,000 in consumer debt, of which $48,000 is in car loans. The rest is credit card debt. He wants to know if he should move in with his in-laws to get out of debt. Dave has one idea that he would execute before he moves in with his in-laws.

Dave's ANSWER: If I were in your exact situation, I would not move in with my in-laws. I would sell these stupid cars and keep my dignity and keep my life.

The only situation where you would move in with your in-laws is one of two things. One is that they are unbelievably wonderful people and you have a wonderful non-toxic relationship that is just fabulous, and it is a short, specified term that you're there.

The second time to do that is if it were they only way to accomplish your goal. You don't pass that test. You can get out of debt pretty quickly if you sell these stupid cars, because they are insane. You are car-poor! You have $1,000 a month going out in car payments.

If you had two beaters that were paid for, your life would be different, wouldn't it? You could save money and buy a better car as soon as you got the debt paid off. Long before I live in my mother-in-law's basement, I'm getting rid of my $50,000 cars.

There's a dignity thing there with me. You might choose to do this. You might like your cars enough that you're willing to make that sacrifice. I'm just not. That doesn't mean that's the right or wrong answer, but I can tell you that your cars are insane and they are the problem. Whether or not you can emotionally divorce yourself from them to clean up your mess, I don't know. We'll see.

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