My husband and I have about $20,000 in credit card debt, plus payments on a new truck. We also have a camper he bought before we got married that we’re still making payments on. I recently received a $50,000 inheritance, and I’d like to use that money to help get us out of debt and open a savings account. My husband says he is onboard, but he keeps buying things we don’t have the money for. I don’t want the inheritance to go to waste, so what can I do?
I want you guys to get control of your finances and have a better life, too. But until your husband is willing to get rid of the camper and the truck, I’d hang on to the inheritance money.
Right now, you need more than his words—you need his actions. At this point, the real issue isn’t the debt or the idea of using the gift you received to pay off the debt. The issue is you can’t see a future where your husband isn’t going to repeat the same financial stupidity. You need to have that future cleared up, and it isn’t going to be cleared up until he proves he has changed his heart and his ways. In his case, that means showing he has become a grown-up and isn’t buying toys he can’t afford anymore.
I know where you are, and I know where he is right now. I’ve been there. Years ago, I was a “grown man” but I was still really a little boy buying things I couldn’t afford to impress people I didn’t even know. This guy likes stuff. He likes shiny trucks, shiny things to pull behind shiny trucks, and that sort of thing.
But it’s time for him to sell all the crap, grow up, and start putting you and your family first. Keep talking to him. Explain how important it is to you that you’re both on same page financially and in every other aspect of your marriage. Until he proves he’s ready to do that, though, I’d say just hold on to the inheritance money.
* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 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.