Dear Dave,

In your mind, what's the biggest thing a family can live without when it comes to getting control of your money and living on a budget?

Will

Dear Will,


On a regular, day-to-day basis, I think maybe the biggest and best thing you can eliminate is eating out. There are always the shiny things people can do without. Sometimes people sell a fancy car or boat, and get rid of a $600-a-month payment right off the bat. But it's really not a good idea to be eating out when you're broke. It really adds up. 

I love a good restaurant, and I've got nothing against the industry. The problem, though, is that lots of people are struggling to pay their bills or set aside something for retirement because they're eating out all the time. Most folks simply don't realize how much money they throw away by heading to the drive-through for lunch or going out to dinner "once in a while."

I want people to enjoy life, and a great part of that can be going out and having a meal with your family and friends. But if you're experiencing financial issues, the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is if you're working there!

-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!