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Ask Dave

One More Baby

Amanda wants one more child but worries it will strap her and her husband so that they are unable to attack their debt. Dave doesn't see why they couldn't afford a third child.

QUESTION: Amanda in Des Moines and her husband have two kids and they’re paying off debt. Amanda wants one more child but worries it will strap them so that they are unable to attack their debt. They make between $75,000 and $85,000 a year. Dave doesn’t see why they couldn’t afford a third child.

ANSWER: The income will remain the same, so the only difference will be an extra head and the daycare and an extra mouth to feed and an extra pair of feet for shoes and so forth, right? But you’re making $80,000 a year.

You may be changing some of your other lifestyle issues and the level of clothing that all of you wear and where you vacation and those kinds of things to make up that difference, but I think you can afford three children in Des Moines, Iowa, making $80,000 a year.

You haven’t cut your budget far enough. You’re still eating out. You’re still going on vacation. You’re spending money because you’ve got more room in that. People making $80,000 a year call this show to do their debt-free screams have much more progress than $14,000 in a year. That’s what I’m gauging that on. You’re not in a high cost of living area. You guys are going to have to get really, really serious about clamping down on this budget again. That’s kind of what I was talking about whether to have a child or not.

I do not . . . I try my best not to make decisions about babies based on money. You have to be reasonable and thoughtful and wise about that. You don’t want to have 16 kids and be making $12,000 a year. That doesn’t make sense. That’s not logical, right? But to have three children in Des Moines, Iowa, versus two children while making $80,000 a year should not substantially change your life. You’ve got to do some other things other than that to get this debt paid off anyway.

No, I would not say financially you can’t afford it. I don’t agree with that. I think you’re going to cut some other things back to be able to afford it, but you have the money coming into the house.