Busting the Budget

Dear Dave,

We have three kids enrolled in Christian schools, and it's very expensive. We truly believe they're getting a great, faith-based education, but they're only in elementary school and already we've had to dig into our savings.

Maureen

Dear Maureen,

Private schools can have academic advantages, and in some cases a good Christian school can have spiritual advantages. But if you can’t cash flow it, you can't do it. It's just that simple.

My kids didn't go to private Christian schools, and they're all strong Christians. They went to public schools and learned to interact with people of no faith, different faiths and how to display their faith adequately in the marketplace. Lots of times people send their kids off to a Christian school, only to find out they still have to teach them about life -- the good and the bad. And the fact is, you're just kidding yourself if you think sending them to a Christian school means they'll be in a perfect world where no one ever acts mean or nasty.

I hope you can find a way to continue, since this is an important decision to you. But from what you've said it just doesn't make good financial sense.

Dave

* For more financial help, please visit daveramsey.com.

This "Dave Says" originally ran on May 13, 2008.

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