The Clydesdale Pace

Karen and her husband have seven children. What parts of Dave's program work for large families? Dave says all of it works for a large family, but they just have more expenses.

QUESTION: Karen in Los Angeles and her husband have seven children. They have a financially conservative family, but how do they handle such a wide range of ages of children? What parts of Dave’s program work for large families? Dave says all of it works for a large family, but they just have more expenses.

ANSWER: The program doesn’t change one ounce. What does change is—and you already knew this long before you met Dave Ramsey—when you choose to have seven children, that is called a lot of financial burden. It’s not a criticism; it’s just a mathematical fact. When you break the three- or four-kid plane over into the five, six, seven, eight, nine plane and above, the numbers change pretty dramatically. From one to two to three, you don’t feel it—much. One to three, the cost of raising a kid is not that much different. But when you kick it into overdrive like that, you’ve done two things. One is you extend the time that you’re going to be dealing with kids financially. Two is you’ve got a lot of baby birds to feed. It slows down the plan. It slows down you hitting big financial goals or little financial goals because you’ve got this drain on the math. It’s a wonderful drain; it’s a glorious drain, but it’s a drain.

It does work, and it works exactly the same, but the point is it’s going to work slower. You don’t have any choice but to do a budget. Just because you have seven kids doesn’t mean that gives you an excuse to live out of control or that living out of control with no game plan is the definition of success. No way. Everybody gets a broken car around the time they start this stuff. It’s like a federal law.

All of the things that have to do with this, you’ve got to set more emergency categories aside in your budget. You’ve got to budget heavier for food. You’ve got to budget heavier for medical. You’ve got to budget heavier for transportation. You’ve got all these different things pulling at this, and the reality is it doesn’t mean you don’t live with a plan. It just means that your plan clearly states that you’re going to move slowly. You already knew this instinctively. You’re not going to be fleet of foot and run from the cheetah because you’re carrying too much. You’re going to be a Clydesdale, but the Clydesdale wins. They just win in a different fashion than the gazelle wins.

Your only option is to work a plan, because working a plan will always get you further than not working a plan.

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