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Ask Dave

Dave has answered thousands of money questions over the years.
Find the answer to your question here.

Saving

Emergency funding through sale?

Justin and his wife are wondering if it would be a good plan to complete their fully-funded emergency fund through the sale of their home. Dave walks them through a couple of scenarios to make sure they're on the right track.

It's okay to buy the car

Brandon and his wife are in good shape financially, but they're worried about retirement. They ask Dave if they should use $22,000 they saved for a newer car, or hang on to some of it for when they retire. Dave assesses their overall situation, and gives them his opinion.

Emergency fund motivation and retirement

Donna is concerned about maintaining motivation while she saves up for her emergency fund. She's also worried about retirement. Dave addresses both, explains the reasoning behind the Baby Steps, and offers some encouragement.

Loan converts to scholarship

Garrett is a high school senior, and he has a unique offer from a small, out-of-state college. Dave says the idea may not be as good as it sounds. He encourages Garrett to explore opportunities closer to home.

Speeding ticket emergency

Ariel is on Twitter, and she asks about dipping into her emergency fund to pay a speeding ticket. Dave gives her some guidelines to determine whether or not this is a real emergency.

Planning for college

John calls Dave asking for some information on financial planning for college. In the process, Dave explains the differences between an Education Savings Account (ESA) and a 529 plan.

Don't freak out

Dave talks to Lindsay in St. Louis, who runs her own small business and is going to have a baby. During the conversation, Dave helps calm her down, while offering some good advice for the future of her business and the family.

Stay with the bank

Steve is wondering if he and his wife should have their emergency fund in another bank, one different one from where they keep their checking and savings accounts. Dave thinks it's okay for them to stay with their bank, and he explains why.

When Is It Time to Buy a New Car?

Dave is driving a 10-year-old car with 195,000 miles on it. It needs $1,500 in repairs and is worth $4,000 or $5,000. Should he put $2,000 in the car to keep it running or buy something else?

When Are Home Repairs an Emergency?

Brittany says a roofer recently came out to inspect the roof, and it's going to cost $25,000 to repair the home. Brittany and her husband don't have the money to fix it right now. What do they do?