The Baby Steps with a Big Family
We're big fans of Dave Ramsey around here. Well... most of us are; some of the smaller set gets a little annoyed when he's on in the car too much.
Lots of people say it's impossible to follow his plan with a big family. It's not easy, but it's doable. It's just going to take a bit longer for many large families to reach Baby Step Seven. (The Baby Steps)
In terms of the budget, some of our categories will be bigger than a normal sized family. Food, is an obvious one. Feeding eight (many of whom are growing boys) costs quite a bit more than feeding three. Housing is next. While big families can do just fine in a "normal" sized house, having a few more bathrooms is sure nice. My six shared one bathroom for most of their childhood. Now that we have more I'm not sure how they survived!
And being Christians, we love that tithing is a part of this journey from the very beginning. Even while you're still in debt, Dave recommends continuing to give ten percent of your income.
The biggest issue is how long we'll be camped out in Baby Steps Four, Five, and Six. (Retirement saving, kid's college funds, and paying off the mortgage). These are the steps you do simultaneously. Dave says most people on his plan get their houses paid off in around 9 or 10 years. This will definitely not be true for us—unless we win the lottery (which Dave dislikes!)—because trying to fund six kids through college will take all the extra cash we have. For more than a decade.
But others have done it. Check out this Debt Free Scream from a family with 11 children!