There are a lot of things in this life I’ve wanted to do and things I have yet to do.
I have studied abroad in England and traveled to many countries. I graduated from college with a degree in Software Engineering and spend 8 hours a day typing complete jibberish that makes a little box do awesome things. There are things I still want to do like travel to more countries and own rental properties.
During one of our purges of stuff, we didn’t know we had, I stumbled upon a box with old notes of mine from childhood. One of the notes had a list of things I wanted when I grew up. It included things like still playing video games, being a computer programmer, and being a husband and a dad.
When you have something so ingrained in your mind you forget that it is a basis of who you want to be. I have wanted to be a dad since I was a kid.
The Road Happily Traveled
If you talk to anyone in the personal finance realm you will likely hear that kids and getting to FIRE don’t work well. They will point to the fact that children are crazy expensive. I hear these things and I get frustrated. Next, they will tell me I can’t have my cake and eat it too (the cake is a lie).
I get frustrated because most will phrase it in a way that kids are destroyers of dreams and that hurts because having kids has always been my dream.
One thing is for sure, becoming financially independent is going to be a slower road with kids. Even if you are frugal and a minimalist you still need to cover childcare. Whether that is daycare tuition or a stay-at-home parent you will not have that income going to savings. With Babe starting daycare we are seeing more money go out the door. I try not to think about how much faster we could get to FI if that money was saved instead.
I do like to think forward to when Mini Donut is out of daycare and in public school. Yes, there will be other expenses but those pale in comparison to daycare.
Sometimes I do think about what life would be like had we not had kids but still found out that you can retire early and don’t need to be in debt. Our FI date would be considerably closer but would it be worth it? At what point in the milestones of FI would we have given into having kids?
I think what stops me is the idea that I wouldn’t have the two boys that I have now and it scares me. I love those two so much and can’t imagine a world without them. There is a lot of truth to the idea you are re-wired as a person after having kids.
Some Things Are Just More Important
Of all that I’ve done and will do, the most important thing of all is having my wife and kids. If that is all I ever have, that will be enough.