Test your son’s resolve to act wisely

  • Loan burden: concerned parents have written to Dave Ramsey asking for advice after their adult son bought an expensive car and is now asking them for money (File photograph)

    Loan burden: concerned parents have written to Dave Ramsey asking for advice after their adult son bought an expensive car and is now asking them for money (File photograph)

Dear Dave,

Our son is 27, and he has a good job making $55,000 a year. Recently, we learnt he financed an expensive car hes now upside down on.

In addition, he has accumulated over $15,000 in credit card debt. He lives in a small town, and only pays $650 a month in rent, but he is asking for money.

We taught him about living on a budget and staying out of debt when he was younger, and now it seems he didnt listen very well. How do you think we should handle this situation?


Dear Bryce,

The first thing Id advise telling him is that you and his mom arent going to whip out the chequebook, and make his problems disappear. That may sound harsh, but he had a really good thing going until he messed it up by acting impulsively and irresponsibly with his finances. Nope, I wouldnt take care of it for him not at his age. This young man needs to have some skin in the game.

Id tell him to sell the fancy car, and get something way cheaper to drive for a while. Im talking about a little beater in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. It sounds like hell have to get a small loan to cover the difference, but a little car debt is better than a lot of car debt. Id also advise him to pick up a part-time job nights or weekends until he gets that credit card debt paid off.

In other words, let him wallow in it and worry about things for a while. Then, if hes willing to accept responsibility for his actions, and starts handling money more wisely, you two might help out every so often with a little extra cash on the payments.

But Id test his resolve first. And Id want to see proof he has learnt from his mistakes!


Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey

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Published Aug 31, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm)

Test your son’s resolve to act wisely

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