There’s a lot of talk on how much kids COST you over the years (with some bloggers even going as far as tracking it every month before burning out!), but it’s a little known fact that while they do pull from the wallet, they can also *add* to it too.
Or at least, *prevent* you from pulling from it because AIN’T NOBODY’S GOT TIME TO SPEND THAT MONEY ANYMORE! Haha…
Which is basically the TL;DR of this post, but I’ll continue on just for fun ;)
Here are a bunch of ways my kids actually help me save money every day:
#1. I rarely eat out anymore. I used to grab lunch or dinner out at least 2-3x a week pre-kids. Now I don’t ever eat out because it’s such a hassle AND costs 3x what it used to! Not to mention being the opposite of relaxing ;)
#2. I rarely go out partying anymore! A savings of at least $1,000 a month from alcohol right there, haha… But while this is partially due to me just getting old(er) and not having the time, it’s also to make sure I’m always *available* for my kids at any point day or night too in case of an emergency… Things you don’t ever think about when you’re solo, but once you’re responsible for another human being it sure can get real, fast! And I wouldn’t ever forgive myself if God forbid something happened while I was incapacitated :(
#3. I hardly go shopping anymore. Or I should say, I rarely go out shopping *for myself* anymore, haha… We’re always picking up kids stuff, but no more casually browsing around or finding a new fun outfit to wear or anything… I make my two bi-yearly trips to TJ Maxx just to remember what it’s like to treat myself again, but outside of that the days of window shopping are over…
#4. I don’t travel that much anymore. I’m probably sounding SUPER BORING right now, haha, but I just can’t pry myself away from my family for any extended periods of time and/or put the burden of watching them all on my wife while I skip town ;) I do my once-a-year trip to our blogging conference each year (FinCon) which doubles as my vacation, but outside of that I’m home every night tucking my boys into bed until that fateful day where they no longer want me to and tell me to bugger off, haha… And in which case, I might just start traveling again!! :)
(This excludes all our family trips btw, like taking beach trips or other fun weekend getaways… I still do all that, just not the 7 day boys trips anymore to exotic locales! Which incidentally helps with almost every single item on this list as well, haha…)
#5. I eat 100x healthier now! Long gone are the 10pm dinners or late-night snacking in those earlier days! They’re now replaced with more “adult” eating times, and thoroughly better balanced meals. Saving me both calories, AND future health costs! :)
#6. I sleep 100x better now! (Outside of the baby periods) Once we got our meal times in check, I found myself “settling in” better too, with more reasonable sleeping hours enacted and now showered and in bed by around 9 o’clock every night for some “me” time… Providing me with substantially more mental – and physical! – energy the following day which can only help both the wallet and health long term! And the 5 am wake ups have only added to this, giving me a couple extra hours of *hustle* time before the household awakes. (And I swear – I’m still having the most VIVID dreams ever since waking up early!! It’s so surreal and literally happens almost every night!)
#7. I avoid doing anything that increases the odds of me dying sooner :) Because after all, you can’t very well grow your wealth if you’re gone and dead! Haha… But also because the thought of leaving my kids FATHERLESS is just way too much for me to bear (big shock), so I’m always doing my best to avoid anything that speeds up those chances… Like smoking my once beloved cigars, or finally getting that motorcycle I had previously wanted before having kids.
I know you can’t avoid everything in life – and I swear I actually DO have a lot of fun! Haha… – but so long as I have control over things, I will continue skirting the reaper as best I can so my kids (and wallet) continue to have their pops around helping guide them through life… Vices are fun, but you can have just as much fun without them too!
And really that last line there sums it up pretty well since having kids…
Yeah I’m better at saving and prioritizing now since I don’t “get out there” as much, but a bulk of my changes have come from purely just wanting to be the best damn father I can be for them – which means taking care of myself as much as taking care of my kids.
I don’t always win out and still very much have my weaknesses, but it’s a constant goal I strive for and any financial gains that happen to come from it is only added incentive.
Kids are still hella expensive, not gonna lie!, but at least they can change your life for the better too ;) They don’t totally drain all the joy and money from your life! Haha…
Anyways, let this be a counterpoint to all those “you can’t afford kids” articles out there, and if it’s something you truly want in your life one day I hope you do go for it and you’ll adapt just fine…
Now I have to go log off for a bit before these computer screens end up giving me iCancer!! I swear that’s going to be a thing* down the road and I have a family to raise!!! ;)
*Just kidding, I hope…
**Family portrait above by my 7 y/o… can you tell which one is me?