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Dave Ramsey says: Big families require better budgeting

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Dear Dave,

My husband and I have seven kids. What parts of your program work best for large families?

—Karen

Dear Karen,

My entire plan works for a large family. Larger families just have more expenses.

What does change — and you already knew this — is that it can be a larger financial burden. This isn’t criticism; it’s just a mathematical fact.

When you kick things into overdrive like you folks have done, two things have happened.

One, you’ve extended the time that you’re going to be supporting the kids financially. Two, you’ve got a lot of baby birds to feed and clothe.

Unless you have an astronomical income, it slows down the process of hitting financial goals like getting out of debt, because you’ve got a drain on the math side of things.

It’s a wonderful drain; it’s a glorious drain; but mathematically speaking where the money is concerned, it’s still a drain.

You really don’t have any choice but to do a budget.

Having seven kids doesn’t give you an excuse to live out of control or mean that living out of control without a plan is the definition of success.

You’ve got to set more emergency categories aside in your budget. You’ve got to budget heavier for food, medical, transportation and things like that, because you’ve got more things pulling at you — and your money!

—Dave