Dave Ramsey
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Dear Dave,

I know you hate payday loan companies. Do you feel the same way about check-cashing companies?

Brian

Dear Brian,

Check-cashing companies are not a good deal, but they’re nowhere near as bad as payday lenders. All check-cashing businesses do is charge a fee to cash a check.

Honestly, it’s kind of silly to me that places like this can make money when all you have to do is walk into a bank and open an account. But there’s a percentage of our population that people in financial circles call “unbanked.” This means they avoid banks for whatever reason, but in the process they leave themselves susceptible to bad deals like this.

So I don’t feel the same way about check-cashing companies as I do about payday lenders. It’s still not a financially smart move to pay a storefront operation a fee just to cash a check, but these businesses aren’t nearly as abusive as payday lenders.

—Dave

Dear Dave,

My 6-year old son has saved up $400. He said he wants to buy a motorcycle with it someday, but he recently changed his mind and wants to buy a computer tablet. Is it okay for him to change his mind like this, and how should I handle things?

Christina

Dear Christina,

I’m not really concerned whether it’s a motorcycle or a tablet, especially if he’s saved his own money. I think the big thing we’re looking for in all this is a teachable moment.

Certainly regret is a concern, especially with a kid so young. But the reality is that neither the decision nor the possible regret afterward will ruin his life. If you talk to him and try to advise him beforehand, and he gets upset later because he feels like he made the wrong choice, it gives you the opportunity to step in and gently say, “I’m sorry you think you made a bad choice, but that’s why I wanted you to really think about it first. You had a chance to listen to mom’s wisdom and didn’t. I’m sorry you feel sad now, but I want you to remember it and learn something from this bad decision.” It’s a process of controlled pain and natural consequences.

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Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of three New York Times bestsellers.
 
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