Dear Dave,

I have a problem with impulse spending. I switched to a debit card so that the money comes straight out of my checking account, but I still buy things I know I shouldn't. Should I stop using the card?

Lauren

Dear Lauren,


Debit cards are great. You can't spend money you don't have with them like you can with a credit card, but you've still got to budget carefully and give a name to every single penny of your income. Otherwise, you can still overspend.

When I made the decision to get intentional with my money, I just used cash. It's hard to spend it when you don't have any on you. It's a tough thing, I know, but you have to make a conscious decision to start living differently. You have to get mad at the things that steal your money a dollar or two at a time, and you have to put your foot down.

Try looking at your life as a whole, not a moment at time. All the moments you're living right now will have either a positive or negative effect on your future. I decided I wanted the greater, long-term good, so I gave up on the short-term stuff.

Trust me, Lauren. The greater good is worth the sacrifice. But until you make that decision for yourself, you won't do it.

-Dave

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

I’m debt-free except for my home, and I’ll have that paid off in about 12 months. I currently make $60,000 a year and live in an area of Florida that is designated a flood plain,

because a river that empties into Tampa Bay runs behind my home. Currently, I’m paying $1,070 a month for flood insurance. My house is worth $325,000, and water has only come up into

the yard twice in over 20 years. Since I’m doing pretty well financially, do you think I need to keep my flood insurance policy?

Trudy

Dear Trudy,

From what you’ve told me about the history of your property, it sounds like your biggest concern might be if a hurricane caused a backwash in your area. Insurance is already pretty

tough in Florida when it comes to those kinds of things, but you don’t want to run the risk of your house getting mowed down and losing everything.

If I were in your shoes, I think I’d like the protection of flood insurance. What you’re paying for the policy is such a small percentage of your world, compared to the value of your

home and your income. Keep the coverage, Trudy!