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When she does begin to analyze Greer and David's money, Suze says the problem isn't their FICO score, which is good. It's their crushing debt. At the current pace, Greer and David spend about $6,000 a month more than they earn. But surely they could get that under control, right?

"Even if you sell the big house that you have right now and move back to the old house, and you keep everything, you're $3,000 a month over," Suze says. "Even if you get rid of your cars and you do everything else, you're still $1,500 a month over what you're bringing in. And now we have a problem that in a possible two months one of your renters may give up, and then we're going to be $1,500 more than that."

"I look at your money, and you are a total financial mess," Suze says.

Suze's prescription is tough. "You almost have to sell everything," she says. "Everything has to go." Suze says they must get rid of their houses and cars and move into a two-bedroom apartment and buy a more modest car.

Rather than look at their financial dire straits as a slap in the face, Suze says Greer and David must treat it as an opportunity. "Everything is a gift if you're simply willing to look at it that way," she says. "Everything, in my opinion, is a gift from God if you're just willing to unwrap it."
FROM: What Happened to the Mom Who Shopped Her Family Broke?
Published on March 14, 2008