I have $5,000 in debt and I earn $65,000 a year. Should I help my parents repair their roof?

Dear Dave,

I finished college a few years ago and I have a good job that earns me $65,000 a year. The only debt I have is about $5,000 left on a car loan, and I’m paying it off as quickly as possible. At the same time, my mom and dad need repairs in their little house and I’m not sure they can afford to fix things. They both work hard, but they don’t earn much money. Moreover, they have debts. I have enough savings to pay for the repair of their roof, there is plenty left. What do you think of the idea of ​​suspending the payment of my car to help them?


Dear Samantha,

You are a caring young woman with a big heart, who also earns a lot of money. There’s no reason you can’t do both. Help your mom and dad with the roof, then turn around and finish paying that car payment and replenish your savings. From what you said, that won’t put you in a financial bind, will it? I’m really proud of you for wanting to help your parents in this way.

I know your mom and dad work hard. And they’re obviously good people for raising a girl like you. But I want you to think about one thing. If you make a habit of fixing their lives without them having a helping hand to fix their lives, this scenario could become a nightmare for everyone.

I would go ahead and help them, but the only way to do that is if they promise to let you help them find out why they have no money — and if they agree to help. get financial advice. I can tell that you love your mother and father very much. And I’m sure they work too hard to be broke. I’m not talking about teasing them or shaming them, I’m talking about sitting down and having a loving chat about the issues and what they can do to start making positive financial changes in their lives.

The fact that your parents have worked all their lives and can’t find the money to fix the roof on a small house tells me something is wrong. The fact that they have no money is a symptom of this. The problem is that they made bad decisions and mismanaged the money they earned. Even if you don’t earn a lot, you can still have some cash on hand for emergencies if you manage it well.

— Dave

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