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Dave Says – More than any amount of money

Need some financial advice? Debt and income crisis? Pay off the house mortgage first? Check cashing? Taxes? Credit Cards? Check out what folks are asking Dave Ramsey.

 

More than any amount of money

Dear Dave,
My husband and I are both 29, and we have good jobs that allow us to bring home $100,000 a year combined. Recently, we began talking about starting a family. We live on a budget, but we still have about $15,000 in credit card debt and student loans we’re working hard to pay off. Do you think couples should wait until they are debt-free to have children?
Missy

Dear Missy,
You and your husband are chipping away at your debt, and that’s a good thing. It sounds like you two are determined to get it paid off and take control of your finances. You’re also making pretty good money, so keep up the good work!

Ok, so the truth is kids can be expensive. From medical costs and diapers, to childcare and beyond, it costs money to raise a family. But here’s the thing: If you let money alone, or the perfect financial situation, determine whether you have kids or not, you may never have them. Now, would it be easier from a financial standpoint only to wait on having kids until you’re debt-free and there’s a huge pile of cash in the bank? Sure, it would. But children are worth more than any amount of money. If you love each other and want to be parents, and you’re mature adults in every other area, don’t let this debt stop you.

A child isn’t going to derail your journey to financial peace. Having kids might cause you to press pause for a while on some financial matters, or slow your pace a little bit, but as long as you both stay focused and determined to manage your money wisely, chances are things will work out fine.

Just don’t make the mistake lots of parents do—especially first-time parents. Many of them think they have to run out and buy a new, “safer” car, spend a fortune on a fancy crib, or buy all things baby from some overpriced boutique. Do you get what I’m saying, Missy? Why buy a brand-new, $400 stroller, when a friend or relative has a perfectly good, barely used one they’re willing to give you?

It’s easy to get carried away spending for a baby. But children will be just fine as long as they have food, clothing, shelter—and most importantly—loving, caring parents. God bless you two!
—Dave

 

You’re in good shape either way

Dear Dave,
I can’t decide whether to sell or keep a rental property. Except for the property in question I’m debt-free, and I make $90,000 a year. I owe $20,000 on the property, and it is worth $65,000. What do you think?
George

Dear George,
You’re in pretty good shape financially, and you could probably pay off the rental property in a year or two. So really, it’s a matter of personal preference. I will say this; there’s nothing worse than being a landlord if you don’t want to be one.
It’s not a bad thing to feel that way. Some folks have fun and enjoy landlording for a while, but then other things become more important. It’s your life and your feelings that matter at this point.
If you still enjoy dabbling in real estate and being a landlord, go for it. If the shine has worn off, get rid of the place. If the latter is the case, you’ll get the responsibility of being a landlord off your back and become debt-free all at the same time!
—Dave

 

READ: Dave Says – Good news and bad news

 

A calling or a job?

Dear Dave,
When it comes to your career and profession, how can you tell if you’ve truly found your calling in life?
Tony

Dear Tony,
I don’t think it’s common for most folks to feel like they’ve experienced some kind of grand revelation, and suddenly they know what they’re supposed to do with their lives. Personally, I believe this kind of thing usually starts out as an activity or idea connected to something they enjoy and want others to experience. Often, that can grow into a job, and then maybe into a career—or even a business.

I think it takes a lot of time, reflection, insight, and self-evaluation before anything can be termed a calling. I know this is true in some cases, because that’s how it happened with me. I can’t honestly tell you that when I first started on radio, or began formally teaching and writing I knew it was God’s plan for my life. I knew early on I was drawn to it, and felt there was a need for it, but it took a while for me to understand and accept that it was what I was really meant to do.

I hope this helps a little bit, Tony. Just be honest with yourself, think about it, and pray about it a lot, too. God wants what’s best for you, so make sure you include Him in everything. It worked for me. I’ve been doing what I do for nearly three decades now, and I still love it. I’m convinced that it is God’s calling on my life.
—Dave

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