Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
As many of you know, I am a big fan of both Dave Ramsey and Mr. Money Mustache (MMM). Both guys have a method and that method has worked for them. Dave believes in budgets and MMM does not. Dave uses the budget to tell him that he can spend money and MMM just avoids spending at all cost. These two methods of finance are where I find myself. I feel like I kind of blend between Dave and MMM. I sometimes spend money because I have it, but sometimes I just won't spend any money. There's a happy medium to be found in between Dave and MMM. The same can be said for their beliefs on when to have a baby.
Beliefs of Dave Ramsey
I listen to Dave on podcast daily and many people have called to ask about whether they should put off having a baby until they get out of debt. Over time, I have learned that Dave's response sounds something like this, "You should never wait to have kids." He believes that you shouldn't hold off on having kids, because you are not financially secure. If you want kids now, then you have them and work through your finances with those bundles of joy hanging around. An article on Dave's website states "If you let money determine when you have kids, you might never have them." And there is Dave's point of view. There could always be something holding you back, so have kids if you are ready.
Having children can be great motivation for getting your act together as a parent. Many times I have listened to the Dave Ramsey Show and kids were great inspirations in helping the parents get out debt. One show, the debt free caller was talking about how they had asked their child a question about doing something and the child asked their parent, "Will this hurt us from becoming debt free?" As we all know, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which can be great motivation for parents.
Beliefs of Mr. Money Mustache
Mr. Money Mustache believed that it was better to save over the course of his 20s and then be able to retire. Both he and his wife retired at the age of 30 and they began their family at that time. There are multiple reasons for waiting, but they waited because they both wanted to be home to help with the raising of their child. This is called Equally Shared Parenting.
MMM understands that there are many families and many different personalities, but he believes that if both parents want to be a huge part of the parenting, then you should retire then have kids. He wrote about this in his posting on Frugal Dad.
What do I believe?
My wife and I have been married for three years now and we are childless. We haven't had kids yet, because we felt like it was important to get our Master's Degrees prior to having kids. This was a smart decision because getting a Master's Degree is very challenging. It took a lot of time from both my wife and I. We used our money and our time on graduate school instead of children. The beauty of this time was that we were also able to set ourselves up with a secure financial footing. We paid off all of our consumer debt and now we have a mortgage. That is the only debt we have and we have a good chunk of money in savings for our future. We feel like we are in a good financial position.
We had always said that we would wait until finishing grad school and then we would start a family. Well, my wife finished grad school in December and I am happy announce that my wife is pregnant with our first child. So around the beginning of December, I will be a father. Will we have enough money to retire like MMM suggested? No, we won't. We started being smart with our money too late in life. But I am happy with our progress.
I had a great example in my brother-in-law. He married my sister in 2010 and they had different points of view. My sister wanted to have a baby right away and my brother-in-law wanted to wait until they were more financially secure. They agreed on a happy medium and waited a couple of years before having a child. I remember talking to my brother-in-law the night they told me that they were pregnant. He said, "I would have been happy to have a child at anytime, but as a future father I feel better with our financial footing today."
Having a child can be scary and for people that aren't prepared financially, it can be a challenge. But children are very rewarding and no matter whenever you have them, they will be cherished. I personally fall in between Dave and MMM. I would not want to have a child if I was living month to month, but I don't know if I could wait another 5 years to be a father. So I think that becoming a parent is something that is up to each individual person. How you want to live your life is up to you. You choose. Children will slow down your wealth building, but they are worth it.
My wife and I decided to wait until we were on a solid financial footing. That does not mean that you have to wait. I feel like I didn't give you a specific answer on when to have kids. It's because I can't tell you what is right for you. I can only give you the different points of view and let you make your decision.
Which way do you lean? Dave, MMM or Summit of Coin (SoC)? Answer in the comment section below.
If you are an avid fisherman, then give my brother-in-law some love. He owns a custom tackle business and you can purchase fishing lures on his website.
Below you will find more links on ways to save money on kids from MMM.