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Hold on to your house for now

Dear Dave,

My husband was laid off a month ago from a job making $80,000 a year. We have no debt except our house payment. We owe about $82,000 on it, but it's valued at approximately $300,000. We've also got an emergency fund of $30,000, and I work part-time making about $2,000 a month while he collects unemployment and looks for another job. Do you think we should sell our home? We've also got a boat that's worth about $18,000 we could sell.

SHEILA

Dear Sheila,

The first thing I want you to do is take a step back and breathe. Yes, you guys just hit a big bump in the road. But the good news is you're in pretty good shape financially to handle things for a while.

At this point, I'd strongly recommend selling the boat over selling the house. Boats are a lot easier to replace than nice homes, and the process isn't nearly as traumatic on the family. You can also dip into your emergency fund a little bit, but for the next little while you need to make sure you're living on a really tight, bare bones budget. I'd love to see you not have to touch the emergency fund, because he's gone out and found at least a part-time position while he's searching for something in his field. I know that's tough to do once you've gotten used to making $80,000, but there are jobs out there that will help you guys get through this.

As long as he's being diligent in seeking a new job, and you're budgeting and watching what you spend together, I think for now you should keep the house. God bless you both.

—DAVE

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digital outlets. Dave's latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

A question of priorities: Dave Ramsey has advised a family facing a tighter household budget to consider selling their boat before thinking about selling their home

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Published January 30, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm)

Hold on to your house for now

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