Home Pay off We live on $25,000 a year and we have $15,000 in debt. Should we accept my father’s offer to pay our deficit?

We live on $25,000 a year and we have $15,000 in debt. Should we accept my father’s offer to pay our deficit?


Dear Dave,

We have $15,000 in credit card debt. My husband works very hard, but only earns about $25,000 a year. We’re also living in a very old trailer right now, and I’m staying home with our newborn. My dad told us he was willing to pay off our debt if we agreed to get financial advice together and show that we really want to improve our finances. What should we do?


Dear Harper,

I wouldn’t take your dad’s money if it was a loan. If you really want to spoil family events, owe a debt to your parents. It twists you inside. And it will be especially hard on your husband. No matter what anyone else says, the borrower is still the lender’s slave.

If it’s a gift, meaning there’s no expectation of a refund, that’s another story. Still, I think your dad has a great idea in making paying off debt for both of you dependent on some sort of financial advice and making a proactive effort to turn things around, get out of debt, and save some money. – for the future of your child and for yours. I would probably do the same.

You don’t sound crazy with your money, but it’s hard to support a family on that kind of income. You and your husband should sit down together, develop a monthly budget and a realistic five-year plan to improve his earning potential. Make it a date night. Hold hands, do something inexpensive that you both love, and let him know he can be anything he wants to be. Then help him decide exactly what and where he wants to be in five years. What does he want to do and what feasible steps can he take educationally or in terms of professional training to get there?

If you want to go to work at some point when your baby is a bit older, that’s fine. I completely understand the desire to be home with a brand new baby. But hard work isn’t enough these days. You also need to increase your brainpower and market value. God bless you friends!

— Dave