Now that I have a child, what's the plan?

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My wife and I have just had our first child and among the million things going through my mind is our journey towards financial independence.

In this post I write about the arrival of our son and my plan to ensure he learns good money habits from an early age.

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A new phase of life begins

Two days ago my son was born. This is my wife and my first child and it still feels somewhat surreal. Tomorrow my wife and son come home from the hospital and the next phase of our life begins.

Up until now when we're at home all of our attention has been directed towards our fur kids (we have two dogs which we adopted from rescue homes several years ago). We're interested to see how they react to the new family member, with the hope that they adopt him into the pack.

I've just come home from the hospital for the night and decided to jot down a few thoughts.

The journey up until now

One of the many things on my mind is our pursuit of financial independence. My wife and I currently invest slightly more than 50% of our joint income diversified across:

  • Property ETF's
  • Dividend ETF's
  • Growth ETF's
  • Bonds

We have broad exposure locally and internationally for all of the above. Additionally, we managed to pay off our house in under 5 years and are completely debt free.

Our goal is to be financially independent within 10-15 years which we're currently on track to do closer to the 10 year mark.

Staying the course

With the addition of a child to our family I'm interested to see how our finances (and monthly investment allocations) are affected.

Children are expensive (so I hear), which means we may end up reaching our independence date closer to the 15 than 10 year mark. All of this is still so new to us (did I mention my son is only 2 days old), that I don't have any real sense for what life will cost going forward.

With that said, we follow a combination of Lean and Fat FIRE. Lean FIRE tends to focus largely on frugality and cutting expenses to achieve financial independence. Fat FIRE on the other hand focuses more on increasing income and investments to be financially free. While those two options can be taken to extremes in either direction, we try to strike a balance between them.

Thanks to careful planning, investing, budgeting and thriftiness my wife and I have managed to pay off our house in under 5 years, invest 50% of our income and be well on our way to financial independence. This was done while living a comfortable life, enjoying international holidays and only spending money on what's important to us. I hope the tools, articles and tips on this site empower readers to be able to do this as well.

With the birth of our child we'll no doubt have additional expenses coming our way. Never the less, we fully intend to continue striking a balance with our personal finances to ensure we achieve financial independence as soon as possible while enjoying life along the way.

Good money habits

Im looking forward to instilling good money habits and general personal finance literacy into my son from an early age. Looking back at my youth and education, being taught how to manage personal finances, investments and debt was not common practice.

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It's amazing how many kids graduate from university with fancy degrees, ready to jump into the job market and tackle the real world without an understanding of how to manage their personal finances. As soon as they get their first job they start racking up credit card debt, buying fancy cars and spending all of their salary every month.

A few short months after entering the work force, many people already find themselves in debt and on track to be slaves to their salary for the rest of their lives. The worst part of this is that it all seems perfectly normal and acceptable.

It's never too early or too late

I don't believe it's ever too late (or early) to turn your personal finances around. The Thrifty Choice, financial freedom and FIRE are empowering ways to handle personal finance and are as applicable in your twenties as they are in your sixties.

Understanding how to manage personal finances and avoid debt shouldn't be something we just leave to finance professionals.

I'm looking forward to ensuring my son enters the work force several years from now armed with a good understanding of personal finance management, debt and investing.

Welcome to the world my son...let's do this.

Article by Thrifty-B

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