Dave Ramsey on when to start a family
by DAVE RAMSEY
www.davesays.org

Article Date: Jun 16, 2014

Time for baby birds?

 
Dear Dave,
My wife and I are debt-free except for our house, and she would like for us to go ahead and start a family. I make good money, but I’d still like to wait a little longer and add some extra to our emergency fund before taking that step. Who do you think is right in this situation?
Joel
 
Dear Joel,
 
Assuming, of course, you’re talking about a reasonable number of children, the old adage is true: if you wait until you think you can afford them, you’ll never have them. You guys have been responsible and are in pretty good financial shape right now. So my thought is have babies if you want babies. Even if your wife told you that she’s pregnant tomorrow you’d still have nine months to add on to your emergency fund.
 
Your financial situation tells me you’re both responsible people. You’ll be a good provider, and it sounds like you’d both make great parents. And the fact is babies are not that expensive. Having kids won’t break your back like lots of people say. You’ve got extra expenses like diapers and baby stuff the first few years, but it’s not going to drive you to the poor house.
 
Now, if you go to the extreme and have 16 kids, that many baby birds could become quite a financial problem. But for a normal-sized family with a normal-sized income, children do not create a big financial issue. God bless you guys, Joel!
 
—Dave
 
Funding fun after college
 
Dear Dave,
I’m finishing my last semester in college, and I’ve already landed my first real job making $33,000 a year. I’m working on a budget, but I have $15,000 in student loans. This is my only debt, and my parents said I could live at home for a year until I get on my feet, so can I put some fun money into my budget?
Jonathan
 
Dear Jonathan,
 
You can, but my advice would be to make it a really small amount until you repay those student loans. The real question is how long you want that debt hanging over your head. 
 
I’m the kind of guy who likes to rip the bandage off. Even if it’s going to hurt a little bit, I’d rather just do it quick and have it done. With the numbers you gave me, and the fact that you’d be living at home for a while, you’d be able to plow through this student loan debt in a hurry. After that, you’d be in an awesome financial position.
 
My advice is to keep living like a college student. Save every penny, and have no life for just a little while longer. Trust me, the feeling will be amazing when you start life on your own with a good job and no debt. That’s the time to have some fun!
 
—Dave
 
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. His newest book, written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, is titled Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 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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