When I first started thinking about having kids, there was one thing that I couldn’t wrap my head around. How do kids and fire go together? I thought about how having kids would affect my own fire goals, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to know how everyone else was planning on achieving financial independence with kids!
Bloggers speak out: Kids and Fire
First, I reached out to the blogging world. I knew my blogging friends would have awesome advice, and they didn’t disappoint!
Tread Lightly, Retire Early
For some people, having kids is the catalyst for pursing financial independence. Tread Lightly, Retire Early discusses how having her first child and trying to “do it all” (as women are told we should) was exhausting, so something had to give. She was able to cut down to part time work and “live like she was financially independent”. Find out how she did it!
Retiring To the Road
Katie from Retiring to the Road wrote an amazing guest post about how she is able to reach fire with kids at Millennial Money Man. Her and her husband have “learned to enjoy the simple pleasures, instead of just the material BS that screams at us all day long” which I think is just fantastic. They are also raising their kids to value quality time over material items. I’m loving her plan and her advice. Read the full story here.
Sam from Median Millionaire also has some wise words when it comes to having children. According to Sam, “Children add to our riches, though it may take us a bit longer to retire”. He also outlines ways to save money while raising children, which is super helpful for someone wondering how it can be done. Find out his full thoughts on kids and fire here.
I also found an amazing podcast on the subject. The Fire Drill Podcast interviewed Sam from Financial Samurai about the timing of kids and Fire, and he brought up some very interesting points. He admitted that kids can mess up your financial plans, but he also said that you can always readjust your finances, but you can’t always have kids. That kind of makes me worry that maybe I waited too long to figure out that want kids! Listen to the full interview here.
Kids and Fire: Non-Bloggers
But I wanted to hear from non-bloggers too! So of course, like any good journalist, I went to Reddit. I went to the FireyFemmes sub-Reddit, which is dedicated to women in pursuit of financial independence. This is the best place to get advice on all topics surrounding financial freedom from real women who are pursuing it. I got some amazing honest responses to my question there (and if anyone from there is reading this, thank you!)
Redditors Speak out
First, pretty much everyone agreed that kids can be expensive (especially childcare!). One Redditor said she was paying nearly three thousand dollars a month in childcare expenses alone! That can really slow down a FIRE plan. Most parents had already included the cost of children into their plans though, and many chose the stay at home route to reduce costs. It was a relief to see that there were so many different ideas and options available for childcare and to mitigate the other expenses associated with raising children.
Some parents did admit that I might not be able to achieve some of my other goals if I decide to have kids. Some children just don’t travel well. Redditor ParcelBobo explained that her child screams during car rides, and nothing she does will calm her down. I do have to accept that fact that my children’s personalities will play a role in how my future unfolds, and I’m extremely grateful to ParcelBobo for the honesty.
Many parents timed their early retirements with having kids. A lot of the answers in the thread discussed leaving work or dropping to part time when the kids reached a certain age. This gave parents the opportunity to spend more quality time with their kids. It also meant saving and paying off debt prior to having kids.
My Biggest Inspiration
The thing that stuck out with me the most was the way most people thought about having kids. Nobody in the thread said they avoided having kids to achieve financial independence. In fact, for most people, the entire reason for pursing financial independence was their children! But what struck me most of all is the fact that most people’s life plans included children! I know, this is probably normal for most people, but it was strange to me!
My favorite answer was from Redditor Sugoi2, who said that one of her life goals was to have a kid. The entire point of pursuing financial independence is to live the life you want, and having kids is part of living the life I want. Sugoi2 made it so easy to understand: I don’t need to see it as a negative, like if I have kids my goals will be pushed back. Having kids is the goal! Thank you Sugoi2 if you are reading this, your answer was truly an inspiration to me.
Financial Independence and Kids can go together!
As you can see, there are tons of paths to financial independence that include having children. Most of them revolve around having children! I’m really glad that I asked this question and did this research. Hearing other people’s stories, struggles, and triumphs really re-affirmed my decision to have kids. Knowing that kids and Fire really can co-exist makes it so much easier!! And if you have a story about how having kids fit into your goals of financial independence, I’d love to read about it in the comments!