Ramsey: Debt-free process can be slowed for education

Q: My wife wants to go back to school to complete her degree. Right now, we’re on Baby Step 2 of your plan, and we’re about 12 months away from being free of debt, except for our house. Should we work the budget to cash flow her going back to school now, or wait until we’re out of debt and have our emergency fund in place?

A: If you can find room in your budget to pay for it, and all it does is slow down the getting-out-of-debt process a little bit, then I think it’s a great idea. The main thing is that I don’t want you taking on any more debt to make it happen. You guys can see light at the end of the tunnel right now, so I don’t want you taking a big leap backward by piling on a bunch of student loans!

Education with a purpose is a fabulous thing. I’m all about school and learning, but the idea of going to college just to collect degrees is a little silly. Knowledge – not degrees – is the currency of the new millennium. The more you know, the more tools you have in your belt. That’s why I still read like a maniac. It helps me stay up to speed with things I need to know to do my job better!

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