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Dave Says: When Should You Renovate Your Home?

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Dear Dave,

My husband and I are trying to improve our financial situation by following your plan. We were wondering where home improvements fall in the Baby Steps.

Emily

Dear Emily,

Unless you’re talking about an emergency situation, home improvements would fall into the category of wants, not needs. If you’d like new carpet, nicer windows or an updated kitchen, these things need to wait until after you’ve completed the first three Baby Steps.

Let’s review. Baby Step 1 means saving up $1,000 in the bank for a starter emergency fund. Baby Step 2 is paying off all debts except for your home. The third Baby Step is going back to your emergency fund and building it up so you have an amount equal to three to six months of expenses in case something goes wrong.

Once you’ve gotten to this point, you’ll be able to save and do some other things, including a few home improvements!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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