Trick or Treat: How Would You Respond to These 10 Money Scenarios?

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Let’s play a game of “Trick or Treat!”

Here’s the idea: We’ll present you with a money-based situation, then you have to respond whether it’s a good idea (treat!) or a bad idea (trick!).

Think long and hard. If you’ve been following Dave for a while now, you’ll probably know the right answers quickly. The correct answers are at the bottom, but don’t read that section until you’re ready!


1) You started on the Dave Ramsey plan not that long ago and your friends keep making fun of you because you don’t go out to dinner, go to movies, and spend money like you used to. Trick or treat?

2) Your brother asks you for a $1,000 loan to help open a cupcake store. Trick or treat?


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3) You heard about a great deal on a timeshare, but you’re not sure if it’s the best money decision. Trick or treat?

4) The interest rate on your mortgage is 6%, and you plan on staying in your current home for a long time. Your financial advisor says it’s a great time to refinance. Trick or treat?

5) You just got laid off, and your emergency fund is low. You have very little money in the bank. But you’ve got a good chunk of money in retirement, and that would really help right now … Trick or treat?

6) Your son moved back in last year after he graduated college. He works part time and plays video games part time. He says he’s still trying to “figure things out.” Trick or treat?

7) You just received a $5,000 bonus at work. Your wife says you should donate at least $500 to your church or a charity. Trick or treat?

8) Your dad says the market is so volatile that it’s best to simply find a decent CD or low interest savings account to make sure you don’t lose money. Trick or treat?

9) You heard someone on TV say student loans are “good debt” that pays for your education and usually carries low interest. Trick or treat?

10) Your buddy has a “great opportunity,” and invites you to a meeting. When you get there, you find out it’s a multi-level marketing scheme in which you’ll need to invest $500 upfront before you can start making money. Trick or treat?


1) Treat! What? Your friends making fun of you is a good thing? Yes, it absolutely is! That means you’re on the right track, just like Jeff and Crystal. People have noticed a change in your lifestyle. You’ll be out of debt in no time.

2) Trick! Never loan money to family or friends. All that does is drive a wedge into the relationship. Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t taste as good when your brother owes you a few grand. If you’re able and you feel led, then give the money as a gift. But don’t loan it.

3) Trick! Timeshares are a horrible investment. If you buy one, we hope you like it, because you can’t give the things away. And timeshare meetings aren’t worth the hassle. Stay away from them.

4) Treat! If you’re going to be in the house at least a few more years, then refinancing is a great financial move. Especially right now, while interest rates are insanely low. Remember, Dave only recommends a 15-year fixed rate mortgage with a payment that’s no more than 25% of your take-home income.

5) Trick! Stay far, far away from your retirement money. That little bit might help right now, but you will get nailed with early withdrawal penalties. It’s just not worth it. Find a temporary job that pays the bills while you look for something more long term. Do everything you can to keep out of your 401(k).

6) Trick! That boy needs to get a job and some direction! You need to give junior a timetable to find a job and his own place. And if he can’t find somewhere to live, he needs to start paying rent. He’s not a kid anymore. Unless he’s getting paid $20 an hour to play video games, it’s time for him to pound the pavement and get to work.

7) Treat! Your wife is smart. Giving is a great way to take the focus off you and put it on others in need. You’ll never regret giving. Plus, it’s biblical.

8) Trick! You can do better with that money. Growth stock mutual funds are a good option. Despite what you’ve heard, you can find many mutual funds that will consistently bring a 12% return in the long run.

9) Trick! There’s nothing “good” about graduating from college with $30,000 in debt. What a great way to start your career, huh? Burdened by loan payments. Work during school and in the summer, and apply for every scholarship and grant you can find. It is possible to be a student without a loan. Many people have done it.

10) Trick! This won’t end well. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a multi-level marketing program that actually sells a product. The problem with MLMs, though, is that you become a full-time recruiter. All your friends and family members are potential sales, and you treat them that way. Eventually, you may make a lot of money, but no one will want to be around you.

So how many did you get right?

Have any situations in your life resembled these scenarios? How did you respond?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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