Here in the ‘sphere, those of us married are in the minority. Those of us actually implementing the men-leading, women-as-first-officers is even less. Those of us doing it with kids is even fewer. If you’ve stumbled upon my blog, you’ll find that I believe in those things (patriarchy) while having the children fall in line behind that. It’s the structure that has worked for millenniums, so why change now? Singles like Captain Capitalism (who I consider an iFriend, though on the different side of life’s experience ) don’t have very much in common with us married-with-children type. Additionally, those who are married, but with no kids (double income, no kids — DINKs) are just as foreign, if not moreso, than Cappy.
Now, those singles and DINKs have many options in life, and if they continue that route are on a different path than the AMD. That’s totally cool. If that’s you, Cappy’s book Bachelor Pad Economics is a great start. For DINKs, save like crazy (shoot for 50% or more – fuck “things”) and retire early.
Those who follow this blog know I am a fan of Mr. Money Mustache (I don’t get anything from MMM by the way, just like his message – his website is way more refined and he’s making dough which is great. His message has stayed the same, which is great.). Anyway, Mr. Money Mustache is an Outlier and not something most of us could actually accomplish (though many try), but he’s nonetheless an inspiration. He is married. He has a kid. But he’s an Outlier.
Most of us with two (or more) kids are struggling with paying down a house, paying for childcare, and sports activities but we live with every day. As such, we can’t compare us to those on the high end of the scale, only to ourselves.
If you check out Mr. Money Mustache’s forums or the Financial Independence, Retire Early forums (which are both great BTW), you’ll find that many of those folks are singles or DINKs. A totally different world. While MMM may do so, most others who are raising a kid can’t retire at 30. It’s not a failure on your part to not meet those expecations. I’ve been there. They won’t specifically say they are singles or DINK’s, but unless they say they have kid(s), assume they are playing by a different set of rules than you.
That doesn’t mean you can’t save or save a lot, but just expect the same results as our brethren. If the estimates of $200k plus per kid (through age 18) is right, we obviously have different priorities.
If you are single – save a lot, fuck a lot, but do Life on your own terms. Don’t get tied down by expectations.
If you are DINK – save even more and stop being wasteful shits. Find cheap or free ways to spend your life. Volunt-fucking-teer and make life better for others. Big Brothers or Sisters. Soup kitchens. Whatever. Save money so that you aren’t stuck in the mix of those that wasted theirs and are asking for handouts.
For those married with kids – maximize your deductions so you pay less taxes, love your kids as much as you possibly can today (yes.. literally today), since in a blink of the eye they will be grown up and hate you (or moving out). Save the best you can – first for your retirement, and only after you are square, for your kid’s college. Don’t be afraid (God! Seriously, stop being a pussy and tell your kids the truth) that you can’t afford their dream school. Tell them they’ll have to go to local college #2, or live at home and go to Community College, and then transfer in, to save money. Is it ideal or awesome? Hell no, but it sets them up for success. Be a parent and not a friend or enabler…….that is the role so many struggle with. Kick ass, and while your kid may hate you today, I expect they’ll say in the end graduating with minimal debt was worth it without that albotros around their neck. Plus, you can’t borrow for retirement.
So do you fuck your wife proper? If not, check out Craigslist. Are you single or DINK and getting down? Awesome? Are you saving enough to walk away? If not, fuck that Starbucks drink and lunch with the boys, and save slowly. Stop comparing yourself and do what you want. Blow it all. Walk away and be happy. Work until you’re 90. Your choice. Fuck the haters and live your life. Peace.