Not Even An Option

Butch and his wife have a household income of $58,000 a year, and they want to send their kids to private school. Should they cash out their emergency fund to pay off some of the house and rebuild it?

QUESTION: Butch in Grand Rapids is self-employed, and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. They have a household income of $58,000 a year, and they want to send their kids to private school. Should they cash out their emergency fund to pay off some of the house and rebuild it? Dave says no.

ANSWER: No. This is not an emergency. As soon as you do this, you’ll have an emergency, and you’ll be in a mess. The emergency fund is Murphy repellent. It keeps him away. It was the weirdest thing; as soon as I got an emergency fund, I quit having emergencies.

Yes, I would work toward paying off the house. A private education is a reasonably good goal in most cases. You can’t put five kids in private school. It’s half of your annual income if you have five kids in there at once. It’s not even an option. You can’t do it. You can’t take half your income for private education. It’s not a reasonable thing. Are there other ways you can transfer your values to your children? Yes. The parent is more involved in the child’s spiritual growth than where they attend school.