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Like it or not, when you live together and are a couple, your debt is his debt

Columnist Dave Ramsey says arguing over money when you've got a baby and live together (and plan on marrying) is ridiculous.

Dave Says — Dave Ramsey column sig
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Dear Dave,

I live with my boyfriend, and we have a baby together. I brought debt into the relationship, and I’m using your debt snowball method to pay it off, but he is debt-free. We have quite a few shared expenses that we split 50-50, but that means we are constantly reimbursing each other. Should we keep our finances separate until I pay off my debt, or is it okay to combine everything now? I’m 26, and we love each other and want to get married, but he makes quite a bit more money than I do. I feel guilty taking that step when I still have debt.

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I walked to the playground
"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town, and, as an older man, I tried to change my family.

— Dakota

Dear Dakota,

I don’t tell people they have to wait until they’re out of debt to get married. I don’t tell people they should wait until they’re debt-free to have children, either. Listen, you two love each other. You have a baby together, you live together, and you’re trying to figure out a way to combine incomes and everything else – except the debt. Too late. That ship has sailed.

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Here’s some arm-around-your-shoulder, old-man advice. The best thing for that baby, and the best thing for you and your boyfriend, is for you two to get married and combine your incomes, combine your lives – combine everything – and join it all so tight it cannot be torn apart. Then, go live a beautiful, glorious life together. Getting out of debt is part of the adventure. Raising that child together is part of the adventure. Waking up and looking at your husband when he starts to lose his hair is part of the adventure.

It’s very difficult legally and relationship-wise to play house financially when you’re not married. You get into stupid arguments over who bought the mustard when you’re sharing the same bed. It’s just so inconsistent and incongruent. That’s the system you’re using now, but there are better things waiting for you.

I’m not being judgmental, Dakota. I just want good things – the best things – for you and your family.

— Dave

Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert, a bestselling author and host of the nationally syndicated radio program “The Dave Ramsey Show,” which is heard locally on KROC-AM. For more financial advice, visit daveramsey.com .

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