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Dave Says: Child Support in the Budget?

Dave Ramsey


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Dear Dave,

My husband and I can’t agree on how we should handle the child support payments I receive. He thinks it should be put in the pool with our household budget money, but right now I keep it in a separate account. Who’s right?

- Leslie

Dear Leslie,

I’m sorry, but in my opinion, you’re wrong on this one. My guess is you got burned in the past somehow when it comes to relationships and finances. If this is the case, I don’t blame you for having your momma bear claws out, because these feelings probably come from a desire to protect your kids. But if your husband is a good guy and is willing to raise and treat these kids like they are his own, then the money should go into the pile where it helps take care of the kids and the family.

I’d advise having it right at the top of the budget, along with the rest of your household income. Your job as parents is to be a blessing to your kids, and that means feeding them, clothing them, educating them, and providing shelter for them. As long as these things are happening, and we’re talking about a functional, loving marriage, then all the money should be combined and be part of the family. If this isn’t happening, then you’ve got issues other than just money issues.

If you’ve been through what I think you have, then it’s okay, too, for you to keep an eye on things and make sure your kids—and the money—are treated and cared for appropriately. Money is important, but I’m more concerned about your marriage. A healthy, loving relationship is one of the best gifts a couple can give to their kids.

- Dave

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About The Author


Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, and EntreLeadership. His newest book, written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, is titled Smart Money, Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations.