DEAR DAVE: I'm in a very fortunate position when it comes to my finances. I'm 25 and I make $50,000 a year. I'm also completely debt-free. In your opinion, when is it appropriate to let someone you're dating know about your financial situation?
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Wow, you are in a great position for someone so young. I'm not sure how you got there, but it certainly wasn't by being dumb or immature.
I think it's only natural in a dating situation to reveal more about oneself as time passes and the relationship gets deeper and more serious. In my mind, people who start throwing around financial information on a first date are either extremely superficial or just plain weird.
But after you've been dating a while, and definitely before you're engaged, you should know everything about the other person. There should be complete disclosure in every area of your lives. That's called intimacy. There's no room for skeletons in the closet when it comes to a healthy relationship.
Just take your time. Then, as the relationship progresses, the depth of intimacy and the depth of information will progress in all areas of your lives.
Should I buy a fixer-upper to flip?
DEAR DAVE: My wife and I want to do a live-in/flip real estate purchase. The idea is to buy a fixer-upper and rent out the basement to help with the mortgage payments. What do you think?
DEAR BRIAN: I love real estate. I've flipped a few houses in my day, too. But the particulars of the deal make me a little nervous.
In a situation like this you need to do a basic business analysis. You've got to have a plan and figure out the worst case scenario. Part of this is determining whether or not you can survive if things fall apart. In this case, the worst case is that you can't get a renter and the house doesn't sell. It puts your family in jeopardy if this happens, so to me it's not an option.
Lots of people have had the same idea, with the best of intentions, and still end up in a big mess. But if you and your wife are willing to accept the possibility of things not working out like you planned — and the fact that you might have to take additional jobs for an unknown period of time just to make ends meet — then it might be a play. I don't like putting myself into skin-of-my-teeth positions intentionally. Any deal that runs the risk of leaving you bankrupt, or the victim of a foreclosure, just isn't worth it.
Email questions for Dave Ramsey to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more financial advice, go online to www.daveramsey.com or call (888) 227-3223.