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Your friend should chase smaller rainbows

Dear Dave,

I have a friend who is experiencing financial problems. She is between real jobs at the moment and only bringing in about $600 a month. But even when she's working regularly, she doesn't budget or manage her money wisely, and she's always looking for more money. On top of all this, she's holding out hope for her dream job. She interviewed several months ago, and hasn't heard anything from the company. What can I do to help her?

Gina

Dear Gina,

I don't mean this as an insult so much as an observation, but your friend sounds kind of flighty and impulsive to me. I think she may also be a bit immature. So what we're really talking about here is how to get your friend to grow up a little bit and stop chasing rainbows. Don't get me wrong. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a dream job, but you have to be realistic and practical at the same time.

Right now, I want her chasing three or four smaller job rainbows at once so she'll actually have a chance of catching something. When you chase just one, in most cases you end up with nothing. The first thing I'd tell her is that the most employable people are ones who aren't broke. When you go into an interview and you're broke, you come off as tense and desperate, and you don't make a very good job candidate.

The answer to that, when you're basically unemployed, is to work any job — and any three or four jobs. Wait tables, deliver pizzas or mow yards. I don't care what, just generate some income. Work all the time and smile! You never know when you might be talking to your next employer. You could be walking someone's dog one day and end up in their marketing department the next. But none of this will happen if you're trying to feel better about yourself by sitting home watching Oprah reruns.

I assume that since you're friends, she's willing to listen to what you have to say. But if she won't, all you can do is pray for her. Remember the old saying, “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”

—Dave

****

Dear Dave,

I just got married, and my husband and I want to book a combination honeymoon and New Year's trip to celebrate. We don't have all the money for it right now, but will have in a few weeks. We were thinking about booking the trip on a zero-interest credit card, and paying it off when we have all the money. I know you hate debt, but would this be okay since it would be a very short-term debt?

Laura

Dear Laura,

I know you guys are excited and happy about being married. And I wish you all the happiness in the world. But I don't recommend credit cards of any kind, for any reason, whatsoever.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but if you can't pay for this trip up front you can't afford it. Believe it or not, lots of people postpone wedding trips until they've had a chance to save up a little bit of money. Some folks have never even gone on a honeymoon trip, and they have great, loving marriages.

My advice to you and your new husband is to work, and save up a little bit more. Maybe one or both of you could pick up extra jobs for a little while, and make it happen sooner. Then, when you can pay cash for the trip, go have a blast on a honeymoon you can afford!

—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 eight million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

Stay busy: Finding odd jobs, such as mowing lawns, when you are seeking full-time employment can improve your chances of making a connection with a potential emplyer, and of appearing happier and less desperate at a job interview

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Published December 27, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm)

Your friend should chase smaller rainbows

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