Dave Says: Moving in with Mom

Dave Ramsey - May 29, 2012

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My mother-in-law has said our small family can move in with her while we get rid of debt. Good idea?

Dear Dave,

We’re on Baby Step 1 of your plan, and we have $1,000 saved. We have a baby, my husband brings home about $2,000 a month, and we have $50,000 in debt, the majority of which is student loans. My mother-in-law has offered to let us move in with her for a while in order to pay off our debts more quickly and save up to buy a house. Does this sound like a good idea?

Ann

Dear Ann,

If your husband can get his income up, I’d prefer that you guys maintain your own residence. Moving in with a parent would be my last choice, if for no other reason than keeping your independence and maintaining some dignity. Plus, it’ll just be better for your marriage. But you don’t need to even think about buying a house until you first clean up the mess you’ve made.

Still, if things get so tight you feel like you have to take your mother-in-law up on her offer, make it for a very limited amount of time. Write it down as an agreement too. I’d say a minimum of six months, but definitely no more than a year. During this time you guys need to get on a killer budget, knock out a bunch of debt, and pile up as much cash in savings as you can. Then, find yourselves an inexpensive place to rent for a while. Hopefully, by that time your husband’s income will have increased.

But the big thing is to get stuff straight in your mind about this situation. Make sure everyone involved knows the arrangement is temporary and that you and your husband are serious about doing the hard work it’ll take to put your financial house in order. You guys shouldn’t still be living with a parent two or three years down the road!

—Dave

For more financial help, visit daveramsey.com.


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