Regular readers of our blog may be aware that we are a large family… with six kids!
I sat thinking the other day how this has affected my life and contemplating the fact that I would be a lot richer if our family were smaller.
I often tease Mrs Fu saying I would be a millionaire if we had not had so many kids.
Life would certainly have been much quieter (I’m sitting writing this as I listen to them bickering and squabbling) and I think life would definitely been simpler…I might’ve had fewer grey hairs, I reckon.
We’ve all read news articles about how much it costs to raise a child, but I’ve always taken these with a pinch of salt – these estimations are simply that, and are never based on unavoidable costs only so the figures are not applicable to every family. We’ve been careful not to spend money we don’t need to when it’s come to the children, and Mrs Fu has always been amazing at keeping living costs low.
That said kids need feeding (almost constantly, it seems to me – as soon as they have eaten breakfast they are asking what’s for lunch!) and with eating comes growth, which means new clothes… so out comes the wallet yet again. It’s neverending.
But has it been worth it? Despite all the hassle and stress of raising so many children the fun and laughs we have far outweigh the struggles. The funny comments they come out with, and their unique perspective on life often makes me think about things in a different way. Their amazing capacity to pick up new technology quickly and easily has meant they’ve surpassed my own computer skills without even trying. It has made me realise that it must’ve been the same for my parents as my brother and I mastered our new video recorder in the Eighties while my parents had no clue of how to use it. I remember being incredulous at their lack of patience and ability to learn the technology, when for us kids it was a breeze. Our parents still turn to us with tech problems today so at least we will have six techy offspring to rescue us when we turn into ageing technophobes!
Yes it has impacted greatly our possibility of reaching FI, but it will probably give us more pleasure if we can set the kids up and on the path to FI and see them achieve it than actually make it ourselves. What a legacy that’ll be.
In conclusion, yes we would have had a lot more money with fewer or no children but we would have not been ‘richer’ in the wider sense… And maybe we would have been more lavish with money anyway and had just as little savings as we have now.
Which would give you more pleasure, seeing your kids reach FI or reaching it yourself?