Both sets of parents’ favorite expression, when we’d dare to complain about our own kids, “We raised 11/8 (fill in the blank). You never heard us complain!” You’re right; I was one of the complainants.
Moreover, it was THEIR choice to procreate 19+ times. Let’s set the record straight here. Both families were Catholic. We Catholics believe in two things- rhythm and bingo. If you don’t have one, you end up with the other.
My wife and I had twins right off the bat… and that will get your attention. Despite the fact that our families had 19 kids between them, neither side had any doubles. “Double trouble” is not simply a cute expression. I challenge you to try getting a night of sleep when both kids are on different feeding, sleeping and pooping schedules.
My friend Michael LaBoeuf, a renowned author, speaker and professor, shared with me: “The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up to age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately
$245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual ‘Cost of Raising A Child’ report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
And if your young ones have special problems, i.e. health, potheads, or you name it, it could be considerably higher.
The number of children you decide to bring into this world should be your decision, despite what your faith teaches. It is a “you” problem.
It’s not your Preacher’s, not your Priest’s and not your Rabbi’s problem. They aren’t going to support your family. As a matter of fact, the reverse is the case. It’s about quality versus quantity.
Where you live and how you live is going to dictate the quality of your life. Living in Arizona is modest. With no income taxes in states like Texas and Florida, it should be a no-brainer to head south young
man. Property values down south are generally much lower than New
England, New York, Connecticut or any place up north for that matter.
It raises the question: “If the Yankees were so smart, why did they keep the north?” I digress.
The choice of a spouse can even be a more important consideration.
Marry someone who is a better person than you are. That was especially easy for me and not really a stretch, but once again, I digress.
At least one of the marriage partners has to possess some level of frugality, lest you end up with two fools who are spendthrifts.
Compulsive shopping and squandering of your assets is a “you” problem.
If you’re blessed enough to make a good living, you must learn to save.
If you’re D-I-N-K-S (double income no kids), LaBoeuf says “Learn to live on one income and save the other… in its entirety!” More and more D-I-N-K-S are out there today. Are they just living selfishly and
spending everything they make or are they being smart? At least one spouse has to be frugal.
LaBoeuf, in a recent presentation on the Principles of Management Class at Arizona State University remarked, “Marry a frugal spouse who shares your dream of becoming financially independent. Weddings are all about love; divorces are all about money. Make sure that you and your beloved are on the same page financially before signing up for
life. Between forty and fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce and the leading cause is disagreement over money.”
“Success is the product of making good choices,” says LaBoeuf. “Good choices come from good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.”
“The point is to learn from the experiences of others whenever you can,” says LaBoeuf. “Talk to successful people. Find out what they did; learn from them and do something similar. That’s what education is all about — learning from others who came before us. Experience is a very tough, expensive teacher because you get the test first… and then you get the lesson. It’s always cheaper and easier to learn from the experiences of others.”
My grandfather put it slightly different. He told me to “Find out what the poor people are doing and don’t do it.” Makes sense to me.
It’s called O-P-E… other people’s experiences.
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