Affording kids… hmm… Do those two words really even go together?
A wise man told me when I was just starting out: You will never be able to afford to have kids. Since then, it has become very clear that he was partly correct. I say partly, because he didn’t go far enough.
There are two things I have discovered that young people need to know as soon as possible, preferably from the time they understand how to talk. That way, maybe they will have pity on their parents sooner in life, like maybe around 40, when they stop being mad at us for not telling them everything they needed to know soon enough!
1. You will never be able to afford to get married. So get married and get that out of the way. It’s worth it and you’ll figure out how to survive, especially if you take advice from an old geezer like me, your dad. I’ve been there and have a bit of experience.
2. You will never be able to afford to have kids. Affording kids is a myth foisted upon unwitting young people by older people without kids who will never have kids, because they’re still waiting until they can afford them.
Have your kids while you’re young, while there’s almost no possible way to afford them. That’s called an adventure; it’s glorious fun and worth every minute of pain.
Whenever I hear a young couple talking about affording kids, how they plan on doing this, that and everything else to get ready, I tell about the advice I got from the “old guy.” I tell them they will never be able to afford to have kids, so just start having them. You will enjoy your decision till the day you die, even when times get tough.
Just about my favourite photo from when our kids were growing up, was a photo taken of our two kids at the beach enjoying the sand between their toes splashing cool sea water on each other with no care in the world. Their faces just radiated joy.
Those are happy memories for our kids, now. They also underline a very important lesson they learned early on: It’s not necessary to have lots of money to give your kids a wonderful life.
If you wait until you can afford to have kids, you never will. But if you have kids, you will figure out how to afford it and you’ll be richer for it!