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Dave Says Don't Let Your Husband Be Weak
Townhall.com ^ | June 21, 2011 | Dave Ramsey

Posted on 06/21/2011 6:21:08 AM PDT by Kaslin

Dear Dave,

My husband and I have been married less than a year, and already we’re having huge disagreements over money. He’s got a big heart, but often he’ll just give money to friends and family. Sometimes, this leaves us short when it comes to monthly bills, paying off debt, and saving anything. I guess he thinks we’ll get by somehow, but it scares me. What can I do?

Summer

Dear Summer,

It sounds like he does have a big heart, and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons you love him. But this kind of behavior is completely irresponsible. What’s worse, it’s driving you crazy. At this point, you have every right to be scared and frustrated, because the message he’s sending you is he wants to take care of everyone else before he takes care of you and your family. That’s not a good idea.

Broke people can’t help broke people, meaning only the strong can help the weak. At this point, you guys should be working together to get your own financial house in order. I’m talking about becoming debt-free, with a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses in place, and something set aside for your golden years. Then, once all that has been taken care of, if you have a friend or family member in financial need, you can gift them $300 or whatever you guys agree is an appropriate amount.

I’m a big giver, both at my business and in my personal life. But I’ve learned that my first gifts should go to my wife and family. After I’ve taken care of my own, then comes giving outside of the household. You guys need to take care of yourselves right now. Kill off the debt and build up some wealth so that your husband’s heart can function in that gift!

—Dave

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are both spenders. We want to get on a plan and handle our money better, but is there anything that will help us learn to give up stuff now so that we’ll have more in the future?

Beth

Dear Beth,

I know what you’re talking about. Old habits are really hard to break, especially when they’re fun old habits. Even when you wake up and feel the pain and realize you shouldn’t have done something, it’s easy to slip right back into the same old stuff, isn’t it?

The only way I’ve ever been able to achieve anything like that is to find something specific I want bad enough out there in the future to give up something in the present. You may have heard me say, “Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.” Well, this is more a case of you have to want to live like no one else later, so that today you’ll live like no one else.

I saw a bumper sticker once that read “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I’ve got to agree with the idea behind that. No discipline is pleasant, but it’s the pain of changing something in your life that eventually leads to a positive result.

Think about it this way. A great definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Ouch!


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: daveramsey
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1 posted on 06/21/2011 6:21:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Is it just me, or does it seem like the only people who turn to other people to borrow money are the same ones who get turned down by banks and other sources of credit?


2 posted on 06/21/2011 6:25:00 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Kaslin; CSM

BUMP/PING!


3 posted on 06/21/2011 6:25:52 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Kaslin

Regarding the first letter to Dave, I agree absolutely with what he says but may I add something? We have some friends who were just like this.... husband is a good man with many skills and strengths. However, he wasn’t great with money. So, his wife took over the financial planning, paying bills, etc... In this particular case, they are now doing great financially. Perhaps whatever spouse is more disciplined with the finances... should be the one who deals with the family budget. Just a thought.


4 posted on 06/21/2011 6:27:35 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: pnh102

They may not be borrowing. Some people get a great sense of satisfaction by giving out money. It makes them feel “rich”.

I don’t give anyone money except my kids. The answer is always “no”.


5 posted on 06/21/2011 6:28:25 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: momtothree

That’s pretty much what we did. My wife is the disciplined, organized one so I put her in charge of the finances. My job is to code the spreadsheets and make the money.


6 posted on 06/21/2011 6:30:25 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Kaslin

People who write to Dave Ramsey about their problems have a larger problem that they may not know about. Poor judgment about where to turn for advice.


7 posted on 06/21/2011 6:31:03 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: Kaslin
"He that has once done you a Kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged." -- Ben Franklin
8 posted on 06/21/2011 6:34:30 AM PDT by krb (Obama is a miserable failure.)
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To: Kaslin

Repeat after me...

All that I Am,
All that I Have, and
All that I will be is Yours
for as Long as We Both Shall Live

spouses should not make unilateral decisions
to give away money, period.

It is very... stabilizing


9 posted on 06/21/2011 6:35:14 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: iowamark
People who write to Dave Ramsey about their problems have a larger problem that they may not know about. Poor judgment about where to turn for advice.

Please elaborate.

10 posted on 06/21/2011 6:35:55 AM PDT by IncPen (Educating Barack Obama has been the most expensive project in human history)
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To: AppyPappy

Sounds to me like you two are the perfect couple!! I am the type of person that thinks we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I think the “smarter” people in the world are the ones who figure out what they aren’t good at and assign/give over that type of job to the other spouse. In the case that I discussed, there isn’t any sort of secrecy or anything negative. It is simply a job that one did better.


11 posted on 06/21/2011 6:36:02 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: AppyPappy
Some people get a great sense of satisfaction by giving out money. It makes them feel “rich”.

Heh. I need to find these people.

12 posted on 06/21/2011 6:36:45 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: pnh102

Excellent point, and I won’t loan any money to people for the exact reason that I know they won’t pay me back. I am not a bank


13 posted on 06/21/2011 6:39:54 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: IncPen

Nope. If you want to write to Dear Abby or Dave Ramsey, go ahead.


14 posted on 06/21/2011 6:40:13 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: pnh102
I try to do this occasionally...anonymously...I'll see an older person collecting bottles and riding a bike or whatever and give them $100. I keep money in my glove compartment for these occasions.

When my car was stolen, I had just given the money away to a poor, sad man. I was so happy that a bad man didn't get the money. Destiny??

15 posted on 06/21/2011 6:42:32 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: iowamark
*rme*

Why don't you discuss the article instead of bitching about the author

16 posted on 06/21/2011 6:42:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: momtothree

My husband has put me in charge of paying the bills from the day we got married which was over 48 years ago, and I always made sure to pay our bills on time


17 posted on 06/21/2011 6:46:03 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I would except I’m a weak husband.


18 posted on 06/21/2011 6:46:16 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: Kaslin
Dear Dave,

My country is $14 trillion in debt with huge expenses in both the near and long term future. We've spent the entire retirement fund and every year we've been adding another trillion and a half to the credit card. Recently we've been paying our bills with money we just print on the laser printer. But still other countries have their hands out and we've been spending money getting into their local squabbles. What should we do, Dave?

Broke people can’t help broke people, meaning only the strong can help the weak. At this point, you guys should be working together to get your own financial house in order. I’m talking about becoming debt-free, with a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses in place, and something set aside for your golden years. Then, once all that has been taken care of, if you have a friend or family member in financial need, you can gift them $300 or whatever you guys agree is an appropriate amount.

19 posted on 06/21/2011 6:46:48 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: krb

This might be true in some instances. On the other hand, there are people who will take advantage of you if you let them.


20 posted on 06/21/2011 6:49:25 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

That first story was about me. My husband gives others money all the time. I have become so very stressed out worrying about how to make it financially these past few years, I have become unbelievably dysfunctional. Then I took a step back and realized that through it all, God has always provided for me. Never fails me. Something has always appeared in the ‘darkest hour’ to help me through. So perhaps my life lesson is to learn to trust in Him more. Certainly I need to help contain my husband and his spending streaks, but I do not doubt that God will take care of that also. I’m grateful to have a spouse with such a kind heart.


21 posted on 06/21/2011 6:50:29 AM PDT by patriotsoul
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To: Kaslin
Dear Dave,
I happen to have a spouse that is a consumer. That is, if marriage is a partnership; if each partner ought to be expected to put in at least what they are capable of, then I'm in deep trouble. She consumes; she earns nothing; she does not (and refuses to) work; she produces nothing. But she expects all the bills to be paid, one time expenses to be covered, and my earnings put at her disposal to use as she sees fit.
What is one to do?
22 posted on 06/21/2011 6:56:00 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (The stain must be ERADICATED....NOW!!)
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To: patriotsoul
IMHO...it appears that it is time for you to start providing for yourself.

Think hard about the times when you believe "God" stepped in and took a hand to get you through whatever particular problem you were having in being provided for at the time.

My guess is, that the provisioning happened through the auspices of another human being...not "God".

It isn't "something" that appeared in your "darkest hour", it was someone.

The streets are full of those for whom that someone never happened and who were unwilling or unable to provide for themselves.

Hop to it! Yer burnin' daylite!

23 posted on 06/21/2011 7:00:17 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (The stain must be ERADICATED....NOW!!)
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To: AppyPappy
I don’t give anyone money except my kids. The answer is always “no”.

I give to the kids (and grandkids) carefully to avoid having them remain dependent on us old folks. After all, one day us old folks will not be around to help them and they'd better be self-sufficient.

My other gifts go to my church and local food/shelter missions. They have the capability to ensure that the people they give my money to really need it - and maybe give their soul a lift as well.

A personal peeve of mine is the gift drops or the "Would you like to add a dollar to your bill for (a specific charity)" at Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger etc. where you make donations that you're not sure how much is ate up in distribution costs, but the business then uses your money to brag about the donations to charity they have made.

24 posted on 06/21/2011 7:02:18 AM PDT by Retired COB (Still mad about Campaign Finance Reform)
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To: Logic n' Reason

Don’t think that I’m just sitting around hoping that God will come save me. Yes, I do provide for myself. But in a mental state — worrying about finances and trying to fit the model of financial success that Dave Ramsey sets up (mainly to sell his product and theory), once I put my Trust in Him, all things worked out. And always will.


25 posted on 06/21/2011 7:04:25 AM PDT by patriotsoul
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To: Retired COB

When I worked at a homeless shelter, we were told to NEVER give money to homeless people. You are paying them to be homeless. If someone asks me for money, I assume it is the last thing they need.

If you can’t pay your light bill this month and they are going to cut off the electricity, lack of money isn’t the problem. It’s the symptom.


26 posted on 06/21/2011 7:06:13 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: KarlInOhio
My country is $14 trillion in debt with huge expenses in both the near and long term future.

Very good question. "Why are we borrowing from the Chinese to give foreign aid to the Chinese?????"

27 posted on 06/21/2011 7:06:19 AM PDT by Retired COB (Still mad about Campaign Finance Reform)
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To: AppyPappy

I started out as the one who was pushing getting spending under control (Cummuta’s materials before Ramsey was around, then “America’s Cheapest Family, then Ramsey), but once my wife really got into it, she’s been a beast. 3-ring notebook, pencil, categories, you name it. We’re well on the way, down to just the mortgage and one (interest free, thank you, MOAA) student loan.

Married couples HAVE to work together on financial discipline, it just doesn’t work any other way.

Colonel, USAFR


28 posted on 06/21/2011 7:08:42 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: patriotsoul

PS - pay no attention to Logic ‘n’ Reason. You and I both know that God - Jehovah - Yahweh - the Everlasting Father - works more through others than He does through direct action.

Colonel, USAFR


29 posted on 06/21/2011 7:12:34 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: jagusafr

Never start on a mutual budget until both parties are ready to go. If one spouse is reluctant, deal with that issue first.

We are on Baby Step #5 and will be for quite some time unless a scholarship appears out of nowhere.


30 posted on 06/21/2011 7:19:28 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

I hear ya - we were very fortunate in that Congress made the Post-9/11 GI Bill available to reservists who qualify. I was able to transfer my education benefits to my daughters and the Hazlewood Act (Texas law waiving tuition and fees for military, transferable to dependents) makes up most of the rest.

Colonel, USAFR


31 posted on 06/21/2011 7:38:13 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: momtothree

That is exactly right!!


32 posted on 06/21/2011 7:39:03 AM PDT by shiva
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To: momtothree

That is exactly right!!


33 posted on 06/21/2011 7:40:01 AM PDT by shiva
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To: momtothree

You are absolutely right that the spouse who is best with finances should handle it. In our house, it’s my husband. I have one sister who handles all of the money questions and pays the bills. They agreed on this early in their marriage and it has worked out well for them. I have another sister whose finances cause her great stress. Sister #2 and her husband have never come up with a strategy, so that he spends money on something without consulting her and she does likewise. And she keeps saying that she can’t afford to retire, although she is pushing 70.


34 posted on 06/21/2011 7:40:28 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: Logic n' Reason

Marriage counselor ASAP!


35 posted on 06/21/2011 7:44:17 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: Bigg Red

“... she is pushing 70”.

I am a firm believer that each spouse has something good to bring to the table but yes... in some cases, both are not great with money. To me, that is bad, bad, bad. My youngest brother, for instance, said his “I do’s” without knowing his brand new wife’s money issues. He was informed (on his honeymoon) that she still owed twenty grand for student loans and fifteen grand on her car. I won’t even get into the Visa bill! He called me to vent and I said “welcome to marriage. The wedding ceremony is OVER and now it is time for the two of you to sit down, rationally (no fighting or arguing) and come up with a good budget that can be done without either of you starving”. Fortunately, they did and have started out relatively on the same page with a plan in motion.


36 posted on 06/21/2011 8:41:17 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Hoosier Catholic Momma; CottonBall; TenthAmendmentChampion; Chickensoup; JDoutrider; ...

Thanks Diana for the ping.

Remember that we all need to help others from a position of strength, first LIVE like no one else so that eventually you CAN give like no one else.


37 posted on 06/21/2011 8:47:27 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: iowamark

“Poor judgment about where to turn for advice.”

Thank you so very much for such a well reasoned and logical post. Where do you suggest we get our budgeting advice? From congress? How about getting dieting advice from the obese?

It’s not as if Dave’s baby steps work for anyone....


38 posted on 06/21/2011 8:55:40 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: AppyPappy

We each have a weekly allowance that can be spent any way we like. I set some of that aside so that, when someone I love needs a little boost, I can help them. I tell them it’s not a gift, it’s a “pay it forward” loan. The amounts are never huge, and totally based on what I have set aside at that point. If I get to the point I have quite a bit set aside, I’ll take some of that and pay down a bill, or buy something I’ve been eying for a while. Any other spending has to be agreed to before the money is dispersed.


39 posted on 06/21/2011 8:57:27 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: Kaslin
No discipline is pleasant, but it’s the pain of changing something in your life that eventually leads to a positive result.

God's way ahead of ya, Dave:

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." -- Hebrews 12:11, NIV

40 posted on 06/21/2011 8:58:20 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: CSM

Exactly!

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” ~ Booker T. Washington

Not to be confused with Booker T. & the MG’s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bpS-cOBK6Q

Have a Great Day, CSM! Keep livin’ like no one else, as shall I! :)


41 posted on 06/21/2011 9:02:49 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: pnh102
Is it just me, or does it seem like the only people who turn to other people to borrow money are the same ones who get turned down by banks and other sources of credit?

I don't loan money to people unless I would be comfortable considering it a gift that doesn't get repaid.

42 posted on 06/21/2011 9:04:45 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: patriotsoul

I wish you luck and good fortune....


43 posted on 06/21/2011 9:11:06 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (The stain must be ERADICATED....NOW!!)
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To: Bigg Red
Not to put too fine a point on it....but "been there done that. I have the Tee Shirt, the coffee mug, and the poster."

Also.......42 years invested.

I feel that I shall live this way for the rest of my time in this particular universe; the cost of a divorce now far exceeds my ability to suffer the financial consequences.

44 posted on 06/21/2011 9:13:22 AM PDT by Logic n' Reason (The stain must be ERADICATED....NOW!!)
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To: CSM
Remember that we all need to help others from a position of strength, first LIVE like no one else so that eventually you CAN give like no one else.

And nothing says that can't be one of their budget items even now if it means that much to the husband, just set it at a level consistent with their income and other expenses. Give him a budget of $50 a month or whatever that he can give to people whom he feels need it.

45 posted on 06/21/2011 9:16:36 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Logic n' Reason
If she's amenable to it, marriage counseling.

If not, firmly but kindly explain that things are going to be different. Bills will continue to be paid, but she will no longer have direct access to funds you've earned. Open a bank account that she's not on and have your pay put into it. Figure out how much you can afford to give her, and hand it to her in cash each pay period. That way she can't do anything that will mess up your budgeting.

The worst that could happen is she divorces you, and the hell you're going through now has to be worse.

46 posted on 06/21/2011 9:21:42 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: patriotsoul

Sit your husband down and explain what it takes to run the weekly, monthly , quarterly and annual budgets. When he starts to comprehend that property taxes aren’t a monthly affair but a quarterly one, insurance can be bi annual or annual. Explain that you budget monthly savings to pay quarterly bills and so forth so when he hands out money as if he were the friendly banker that it totally screws up all the saving you have been doing. Tell him to ask YOU before he gives anyone more than the cash he has in his pocket.


47 posted on 06/21/2011 9:31:16 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are...)
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To: Logic n' Reason

How long have you been married? More than two years? If so, you trained her to be a spender. It’s not going to be easy to break a habit that you taught her.


48 posted on 06/21/2011 9:35:39 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are...)
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To: momtothree

Dang! She must be a real looker for him not to bring up the subject of finances before he said I do.


49 posted on 06/21/2011 9:41:40 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are...)
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To: Still Thinking

Actually giving should be the first line of their budget, but in the case above that giving should not be putting his own family at risk.


50 posted on 06/21/2011 9:49:40 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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