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Ask Dave

When To Reward

It will be a while until Melissa and her husband can celebrate paying off debt. Should they do something special now?

QUESTION: Melissa and her husband are newlyweds. They have three larger debts that won’t be paid off as quickly as their smaller debts, and want to treat themselves to a cruise for paying off their smaller debts since it will be a few years before they pay off the larger ones. Is that all right? Dave has a special way of working this.

ANSWER: I think that’s all very, very good. I would like to have $1,000 in the bank before you do the cruise because I don’t want you to be on a cruise and have a Murphy moment and have no money. Get started on Baby Step 3 as you’re booking the cruise. Obviously, you should pay cash for the cruise, but I think it’s a good idea to mark this milestone emotionally. You guys are locking arms and doing this together as a couple, and I think it’s a beautiful thing.

If you called me up and said you have a house payment and want to reward yourself with a cruise, I’d have to kick your butt. Sharon and I rewarded ourselves with different milestones as we went along. That’s a great thing to do. You need to have times to stop and breathe as you go along.