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?
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 sound 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 Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He's 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 and is out now. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.