Dear Dave,

What can someone do if he can’t convince his spouse to begin planning and saving? I’ve tried for years to persuade my wife to join me in following your plan, but I can’t get her to start thinking about our financial future and stop living in the moment.

Donald


Dear Donald,

It sounds like your wife, for whatever reason, is not willing to pay a price for a short period of time. I’m sorry to say it, but that kind of thinking is a one-way ticket to a lifetime of mediocrity. If you’re unwilling to pay a price to win, then you’re going to end up paying the price that comes with never having paid a price.

In essence, you’re asking me how to get her to grow up. I’m not sure there’s a way to convince her at this point. If she’s not willing to delay getting or doing things she wants, that’s a sign of immaturity. You can’t change that within another person. It must be a conscious, willing decision on her part.

Maybe you could try letting her know that being careful with your money and planning for the future doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. It just means you may have to delay certain things for a little while. My wife and I do and have lots of cool things now, because we saved like crazy and sacrificed years ago. We lived like no one else, so now we’re able to live like no one else. In other words, we paid a price to win!

Dave


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A boss’ hiring conundrum

Dear Dave,

I own a small business with two employees, and I have a bit of a hiring conundrum. I’m looking at two candidates for a position, and on paper they’re evenly matched. I’ve interviewed each of them four times, and I’m still undecided. I was hoping you had an idea for determining which is best for the job.

Bryan


Dear Bryan,

As an entrepreneur, that’s a great problem to have. I’m glad you understand the wisdom of interviewing potential hires more than once. Sometimes business owners hire a person after just one meeting. That’s a really bad idea.

Have you let your team members talk to them? Sometimes other people – especially those who might be someone’s co-worker – will pick up on things you missed during a formal interview. You might also think about scheduling a meeting with each of the candidates off-site. People tend to be more at ease in an informal setting, like a restaurant or coffee shop, and this could lead you to discover new things. Sometimes, a more relaxed setting allows you to see the whole person, and decide if you like who he or she really is. It can also lead someone to say things that might cause you to hire them – or not hire them.

Something we always do at my company is a final interview over dinner. Spouses are invited to this meeting, and we encourage them to speak into the situation. I’m not talking about a big test, just conversation and a friendly, family atmosphere. You can tell a lot about a person by how they talk to, and interact with, their spouse. And sometimes a spouse, if there is one, will catch things you missed during other interviews.

I’m impressed that you’re taking this seriously, and devoting some real time and energy to hiring. Your thoughtfulness leads me to think you’ll make the right decision!

Dave

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