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April 17, 2018 • Page 2 shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com Dave Says I’ve Seen Worse Expenses, Not Income By Daris Howard What Happens to the Debt? Dear Dave, I bring home $4,100 a month in military disability pay and Social Dear Dave, Security combined. My wife brings I’ve started your personal finance course in high school, so I’m home an additional $2,000 each asking this for the entire class. What happens to your debt if you month. Should we base our emerpass away with no relatives or heirs to take responsibility for what gency fund level on her income only, you owed? since mine is guaranteed? Elizabeth Lewis Dear Elizabeth, Dear Lewis, In many cases it simply does not get paid. Relatives or heirs of Your emergency fund shouldn’t be the deceased are not responsible for a friend or family member’s based on income. I recommend folks debt, except in cases where they have been a co-signer on that have three to six months of house- debt. hold expenses set aside in an emer- Let’s say someone’s parents died, and at the time of their death Dave gency fund. What would it take to operate they had $100,000 in debt in their names only. The only way that your household for that length of time if one debt will be paid is if they owned enough stuff — if they had or both of your incomes disappeared? enough in the way of assets — to pay the debt. If they owned a I don’t anticipate your income stopping, Lewis. But income loss $200,000 home, the house would have to be sold in order to pay isn’t the only thing you’re guarding against with an emergency the debts. Their estate would be the only thing standing good for fund. You’re also guarding against things like an illness in the fam- the debt. If they owned nothing, and had no co-signers on any ily, if the transmission in the car goes out, or your home’s heat- of the debt, the creditor would not get paid. The bank lost that ing and cooling unit needs to be replaced. There are many more money. crises that can come upon a family other than a loss of income. Elizabeth, I hope that helped. Please tell your teacher I said I don’t mind if you two lean toward the three-month side of ex- thank you for leading the class! penses, since your income is pretty stable. But always remember, — Dave an emergency fund should contain three to six months of expenses, not income. * Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and busiThank you for your service, sir. ness, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best— Dave selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Ramsey Show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week on 575 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com. Down at the sale barn Saturday, the think tank had coagulated there with coffees to go to celebrate spring. Doc and Dud had their dogs with them, while Bert and Dewey and Steve went stag. Dud tried to start a conversation, but the loudspeaker soon YOUR RADIATOR HEADQUARTERS! • Great Parts • Great Warranty On-Hand & In-Stock! NO WAITING! Cox Auto 1007 Broadway Ave Yankton, SD 605•665•4494 Hartington Tree LLC TREE TRIMMING, REMOVALS & TRANSPLANTING TREES FOR SALE EVERGREEN • SHADE • ORNAMENTAL Yankton 605-260-1490 Hartington 402-254-6710 Serving Southeast SD & Northeast NE for 20 Years drove them outside, where they arrayed themselves on dropped tailgates and waited to hear what Dud had in mind. “I thought about it a lot,” Dud said, “and I wondered what the favorite part of my job was, and wondered if you fellas ever gave that any thought, too.” They nodded. Yes, by mutual consent a worthy subject. “With me,” Dud continued, “it wasn’t so much my job as it was my hobby. You know, writing that book. I’m claiming it as the best part of my job, anyway.” The assembled were still waiting to read “Murder in the Soggy Bottoms,” as it had yet to see print, and was really a work in progress. Then Bert picked up the conversation thread. “Of course I’m retired now,”he said, “but when I was running the pawn shop, my favorite part of the job happened when a customer found something in there he really needed and ended up paying much less for it than he thought he’d have to.” Doc laughed “And you made more on it than you thought you would, too,” Bert grinned and nodded. “Yep. That was good too. And you, Dewey?” Our accident-prone pharaoh of fertilizer got a serious look on his face. He finally said, “The best part of the fertilizer business is seeing the difference it makes in the flower gardens around town. Now maybe it’s just my imagination, but I kinda like to take a little credit for a prettier town.” “You deserve it, Dewey,” Doc said kindly. “Well now … with me it’s a little different. I have doctoring skills, of course, and it’s good when I can help someone, but these days the most satisfying part of my job is to check someone out thoroughly and find there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. Now that’s special.” They all looked over at the tall cowboy, Steve. “Digging postholes,” he said. “What?” they said. “You know, he said, the favorite part of my job.” “Digging postholes?” “Sure,” he said, grinning. “That’s the only job a cowboy has where he can start at the top and work down.” BECOME PART OF OUR TEAM! 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If you just give them points and don’t say why you scored them the way you did, it will mean nothing.” She said every student was asked to provide a judge for one of the tournaments, and I could choose which one I went to. I looked at the tournament schedule and determined one that would work for me. On the appointed day, I went to the designated high school. All of the judges met in one room, and we were given some training. By the time I received my first assignment, I still felt totally unprepared. For my first judging round, the students helped me understand what was supposed to happen. I found both teams to be quite equal, but I also found little suggestions that I could share with them to help them know what they could do to improve. I wrote quite a lot of notes on their papers both during and after the debate. I judged a second round with similar results. I found I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Eventually, I had a break and went to the judges’ lounge. The debate team parents of that school provided some taco salads for the judges. I started to fill a plate, and the lady that was serving asked how the judging was going. “This is my first time,” I said. “I think it’s going okay, but I have nothing to compare against.” “Well, I’ve judged a lot of these,” she said, “and I’ve seen worse, but not too much worse.” Since I was the last person in line, she quit serving and filled a plate of food for herself. She came over to the table I was at, and three other ladies joined us as well. The first lady continued to talk about how bad the debaters were. “In the judging I have done,” she said, “I have seldom seen such poor performances.” “Well,” another lady said, “you’ve got to realize that for some of these kids, it’s the first time they have ever tried this.” No matter how much others tried to turn the conversation to a positive tone, the first lady kept sharing her negative comments. Suddenly, I bit into something that was really chewy. I tried to chew my way through it, but it didn’t get any smaller, and it hooked on my teeth. Finally, I spit it onto my fork and set it on the plate. I tried to do it inconspicuously, but the lady next to me noticed. “What is that?” she asked. I picked it up and carefully analyzed it. “I think it’s a rubber band,” I said. “One of the bigger kind that someone wears on their braces.” Another lady at the table just about gagged. She swallowed a few times to keep her food down, and then set her fork down and pushed her food away. The lady who had been so negative started to apologize. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I have no idea how that got in there.” “It’s no big deal,” I said, and I continued eating. “No big deal!” the lady who almost lost her meal said. “You found a rubber band like that in your food, and you say it’s no big deal? And how can you continue eating?” Looking right at the lady who had been complaining about the debate students, I laughed and said, “I’m a scoutmaster. 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