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Dave Says: Season Tickets Are a Luxury

Dear Dave,

In terms of a family’s financial plan, when is it okay to purchase something like NFL season tickets? Is this the kind of thing that should wait until you’re debt-free and can afford to pay cash for them?

Greg

Dear Greg,

Absolutely, you should wait until you’re debt-free and can pay cash. That kind of thing is a prime example of an expensive, luxury purchase.

I’m an NFL season ticket holder for the Tennessee Titans. But I’ve been debt-free for years, and my family’s financial future is very secure. Whether the Titans win or lose, or whether I watch the games in person or in front of the television, has no impact on their security. However, if you’re sitting there with credit card debt, a car payment and living paycheck to paycheck, you’ve got no business buying season tickets. Get yourself out of debt, build an emergency fund, and make sure your family is taken care of first. Then you can have some fun. Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else. And then, if that includes season tickets to your favorite football, baseball or hockey team, have a blast!

Remember, this kind of thing is entertainment. I know a lot of silly people out there act like whoever wins a football game is a matter of life and death, but it’s just a game. Your life and your financial future are not games, and they’re not things to be taken lightly. First things first, Greg. There will be plenty of time for that kind of fun when you can afford it!

—Dave

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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