DAVE RAMSEY

Dave says: If I had to sacrifice school, work or cost of living, I’d do the latter

May 14, 2024, 2:00 PM

In this article, Dave Ramsey speaks to a college student about financial priorities. (Pexels File P...

In this article, Dave Ramsey speaks to a college student about financial priorities. (Pexels File Photo)

(Pexels File Photo)

Dear Dave,

I’m in college full-time right now, and my parents have been generous enough to pay for some of my school expenses. In addition, they let me live at home while I complete my degree. I work some nights and most weekends so I can go to school debt-free, but I’m trying to figure out how to move out on my own and continue working, while remaining a full-time student and attending career-related campus events. The cost of living is high in our area, so I’m having trouble figuring out how to make it all work. Do you have some advice?

Will


Dear Will,

You sound like a very driven and mature young man. Congratulations on everything you’ve been able to accomplish so far. I’m glad you’re working hard in school with an eye toward the future. First off, out of the three considerations you mentioned—school, work and cost of living—I think you need to decide which is your number one priority. If I were in your shoes, school would come first.

Now, to go to school without borrowing money, you’re going to have to keep working. But finishing school on time, while attending some of the extracurricular events that will move you toward your career, might pre-empt work. You’ll have to work enough to pay for things, but if you can finish school and hit your academic and graduation goals while staying at home just a little bit longer? That sounds like a winner to me. It’s a pretty nice deal your parents are offering, but I can understand your desire to be out on your own, too.

I want you to be out on your own as soon as you can, as well. But if you do that right now, you’re going to have extra bills and be forced to work even more. That’s going to throw your entire school process out of whack. Guess what your number one priority was in that scenario? Right, moving out. If it’s the tail that’s wagging the dog, it has become the number one priority. If it’s disrupting work, and thereby disrupting your academics, then in my mind you’ve put your focus on the wrong thing.

Your number one goal should be finishing school on time, while attending as many connected events as possible. Meanwhile, keep working enough so that you’re able to continue doing all this debt-free. If that means you’re staying at home a little bit longer to pull it off, I’d do it!

—Dave

ENDORSEMENTS

Dave Ramsey

Here are my tips for staying sane over the summer break so you and your family can get the most fun...

Rachel Cruze

Here are 5 tips for staying sane this summer as a mother

Here are my tips for staying sane over the summer break so you and your family can get the most fun and joy out of the season!

22 hours ago

Compassion and boundaries by Dave Ramsey...

Dave Ramsey

Dave’s entre-leadership: Compassion and reasonable boundaries

Navigating waters as a new business owner can be challenging, especially when trying to discern if an employee is taking advantage of you.

8 days ago

Days says wedding worries should be last on the list of things to worry about...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Wedding worries and emergency fund questions

There’s no correlation whatsoever between the size and/or cost of a wedding, and the happiness and success of the marriage.

13 days ago

If you ever find yourself owing back thousands of dollars to the IRS and can't afford it, then usin...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: It really becomes about the lesser of the two evils

If you ever find yourself owing back thousands of dollars to the IRS and can't afford it, then using a personal loan is the best route.

20 days ago

When old debts come back to haunt you, the best option to take in order to get out of the mess is t...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Old debts will always find a way to come back and haunt you

When old debts come back to haunt you, the best option to take in order to get out of the mess is to pay it off.

27 days ago

Living with roommates can quickly become difficult if one person doesn't live up to their financial...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: It isn’t easy addressing late payments with your roommate

Living with roommates can quickly become difficult if one person doesn't live up to their financial promises. Here are best tips from Dave Ramsey.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Dave says: If I had to sacrifice school, work or cost of living, I’d do the latter