Having a large family is a costly endeavor. I clearly recall, when I was in my mid-twenties, telling Russ that it wasn’t expensive having lots of kids. For heaven’s sake, I washed cloth diapers, baked my own bread, and bought all of the children’s clothes at yard sales. Those folks who said that raising children was expensive just didn’t know what they were talking about.
Then those children grew older…and more little ones came after them. Their homeschooling needs grew along with them and before I knew it I was spending hundreds of dollars a year buying books and supplies. I no longer had time to hit yard sales on Saturday mornings because I was supervising morning chores; fortunately we were blessed with many hand-me-downs. Not so fortunately, our seven children by birth inherited my orthodontic challenges, so that increased our expenses. There were also occasional medical needs, including surgeries, a complicated pregnancy, and a serious illness.
Before I knew it, those young children were taking Driver’s Ed, playing sports at the local school, taking online Great Books courses, and meeting weekly with their calculus tutor. They were costing us some serious cash. By now they were buying their own clothes, so at least we didn’t have that to worry about.
Then we added four more children….
Thankfully, God gave me a financially conservative husband who has always managed money very well. We have never had debt beyond our mortgage. Some friends had a large debt that was burdening them so they took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. They made a plan for getting free of debt and are working toward that goal. The more I heard about Financial Peace, the better it sounded.
Those children of ours are now becoming young adults and as preparation for adulthood, we asked them to complete Financial Peace University. We also urged them to take the course prior to considering marriage. Russ and the five oldest kids all did FPU this summer. Sweet Pea wasn’t here, but she listened to the course on CD.
Not only were they exposed to great information on money management, but the course prompted many interesting discussions. Russ and the kids all agreed that Dave Ramsey is a very engaging speaker and they thoroughly enjoyed the course. I was able to see two of the lectures and wish I could have seen them all.
The course is offered at thousands of locations all over the US for a reasonable fee. I believe it is $119.00 for a lifetime membership which provides you with workbooks and other materials to help you change the way you manage money. Being debt-free is a legacy Russ and I want to leave our children. We never want them to be suffocated by debt that burdens them and could stifle their ability to serve God. It is tough to become a missionary if you are saddled with huge monthly credit card payments.
We are still working with the revised budget we created during the course and while it isn’t perfect, we are making progress on using the money we have in better ways. Our three oldest kids also have budgets and are making them work.
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