Dear Dave,

My wife just had our first child. Now, we now have about $3,000 in medical bills not covered by insurance. We’ve got $8,000 in our emergency fund, and I make between $25,000 and $30,000 a year. Should we try setting up a payment plan with the hospital, or is dipping into our savings a better idea?


Dear Matt,

dave-ramseyI’d write a check today and knock out that hospital bill. This falls under the heading of “emergency” in my mind, so pay the bill and jump back into rebuilding your emergency fund.

You’ve done a really good job of saving on your income, but let’s see what we can do about making better money in the future. Extra practical training in your field, or more education in the classroom, could increase your income quickly. Your emergency fund needs to be a little bigger as well, and it’ll be a lot easier to make this happen if you’re making more money.

I’m sure you’re a hard-working guy, but it’s going to be tough for even a small family to make it on what you’re bringing home now. The unexpected can become a common occurrence when there’s a little one in the picture.