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Dave Ramsey Followers question

September 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am

So I am punching numbers.

I have the following question, Building your Emergency Fund is a step 3 item, Debt reduction being step 2.

Where would a house repair that is not really a repair fit in?

I have desided that all my extra $ over the next few months is going to the house savings account that is basically the money I would need to shell out if I had to claim something on my house insurance until it is finished.

Then I need to figure out a plan of attack. See I do not have a deck on my house, I have owned the house for 3 years, we were able to purchase the house without a deck BUT we could not resell the house without putting a deck on the house or putting an ALLOWANCE into the selling contract so that the city knew it would be completed shortly after sell.

It is a safety thing, If there was a main floor fire at the front of the house and we could not exit out the front door, then it is a 2 story drop to get out of the house without the deck built. I want to get this done ASAP but not sure how to prioritze it.

Is building a deck a DEBT because technically it should have already been done for safety reasons and me be paying it off. Or does it fit into step 6 paying off your home early because it is something that needs to be done to the house.

I was thinking maybe it fit into the middle gray area somewhere. I was planning on trying to pay a percentage to the Emergency Fund, The Mortgage Fund, the Escrow Fund and the Deck build. But I figure I have about $450-$500 per month that can be spent/saved IF I am gazzelle intense. If I do the % then it will take me 5 years to finished all them and the deck then move on to the next dave ramsey step.

The problem with that is I hate thinking that I am putting my sons safety at risk for 5 years when if it is a DEBT catergory item then it would be saved for in 21 months or Approx August 2012.

Is there anyone out there that who just wants to slap me and say get over it, it is a safety issue who care what dave ramsey would think and you should take that CC that has a limit high enough to pay for the deck and build the thing financing it at 9% and be done worrying that a fire is going to come along and then it will be a debt to be attacked.

Please help me deside.

12 Responses to “Dave Ramsey Followers question”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I think you should build the deck now. It is a safety issue.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I honestly don't think Dave Ramsey would say it is okay to borrow money for a deck. However, he might think it a safety issue and a priority. He would tell you to take a second job, sell everything you can and use the cash on hand you have. In other words, everything you can think of doing before you would go into debt further.

    I don't think he would think much of a $6,000 deck. You need to find a way to purchase materials and labor for a basic escape out your back door with cash. This might mean a simple landing, with stairs to ground level.

    You have quite a bit of cash, if I'm reading your sidebar correctly. I got a total of about $10,360. There is cash to build a way to ground level. I know that you are using some of that to save for certain goals. I would look to see if those goals are a bigger priority than your safety.

    I hope that helps!

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    I could flip a coin (on what I'd do or what Dave would say). He usually points out how very few things are TRUE emergencies. I could just hear him now - "If you've lived this long without it..."

    BUT, I also see the point that it is a safety issue.

    Then again, I totally agree with ccfree. There has got to be a much simpler/cheaper solution for the interim. Which is exactly what Dave would advise.

    Of course, Dave would advise only keeping $1k cash and stopping retirement contributions, to pay off debt. If you have other cash, something to consider.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. I am mostly chiming in on ccfree's wise words. But I think this is a really good scenario to start thinking about things in the terms of Dave Ramsey. I am not a Dave Ramsey follower - I agree with about 90% of what he says - and probably vehemently disagree with the other 10%. But in terms of the debt-adverse 90% that I agree with: It is really easy to look at things as very black and white. When maybe there is a middle of the road solution to keep you out of debt. I think this is just a perfect example. Do you *need* to go into debt for a $6k deck, or are there other solutions to the problem?

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    You could buy the kind soft, roll-out fire escape ladder that hangs out a window. You just put one in each room from which an escape would be necessary. That way kids do not even need to make their way to the door where the would-be deck belongs. I presume there is a window there that could have its own drop down fire escape. I think these emergency ladders cost about $60 each. You'd have to let the kids practice using them and you'd have to be able trust your kids to use them only when in emergency.

    I've never seen any stats on it, but I'd guess decks are the starting point of fires more often than they are the escape route in a fire. So many people put grills, chimneas, or gas patio heaters on them. Open source of flame + flammable structure!

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    Monkey Mama got my point in her last response "Do you need to go into debt for a $6k deck, or are there other solutions to the problem?" This statement alone will keep you out of debt 99% of the time, if you can actually evaluate each potential debt incurring purchase as worth the interest.

  7. Jerry Says:

    It's a safety thing that could lead to serious consequences, so it needs to be done sooner than later. However, as pointed out above, there are probably different ways to manage this without necessarily going into heavy debt. This isn't necessarily the type of thing that will require you to abandon your retirement annuity (or whatever) to get it done. Good luck, and let us know how you decide to resolve the issue!

  8. LuxLiving Says:

    Joan beat me to it, I was going to suggest the roll out ladders myself.

  9. LuxLiving Says:

    And I forgot to add, in my neck of the woods a metal spiral staircase can be had for the price of $500-700 that could easily solve the problem of egress. My worry would be that I was giving an intruder another point of entry!

  10. LittleMsMom Says:

    Thank You so much for your replies.

    I have thought of buying the rolled up ladders for the bedroom before but always forget about it along with the fire extingisher and CO detector a few months after the safety briefings we have at work.

    I am going to buy three ladders (one for each of the two upstairs bedrooms and one to put under the kitchen sink. The window is above the sink and the door to the missing deck is screwed shut so it cant be opened from the inside so the ladder would not be able to be used from there, only the sink window.

    Buying 3 rolling ladders if $60-$90 each is still much cheaper than the deck until I can save for the deck.

    I will post about the other items brought up in a follow up post.

  11. baselle Says:

    Just make sure that the cheaper solution that you come up with is one that you will use in a pinch. I love the consensus here, but I am not comfortable with heights and have a decided fear of falling, so climbing up and down a ladder more than 3 steps will give me the willies.

  12. Personal Finance Fleur Says:

    It seemed that you have plenty of replies to choose from. Be wise and decide what you think is best for your personal finances.

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