My bucket list is fairly simple and totally devoid of things like bungy jumping or visiting the seven wonders.
Here’s my top five – 1. Retire. 2. Sleep in. 3. Watch an entire episode of The Big Bang Theory without changing a nappy or wiping a bum. 4. Paint my fence. 5. Canoodle wife without making her pregnant.
We didn’t plan to have seven kids. In fact the only child who was planned was the third of my kids, my eight year old. The best you can say about the rest is, except for the latest arrival, we didn’t plan not to have them. As for the baby, well she slipped in between two vasectomies.
You know how you can tell we didn’t plan to have so many kids? The oldest children got two good names a piece: if we’d known we were having so many we might have saved some of better ones for the younger kids and avoided a whole heap of baby name ‘discussions’.
The trick to making ends meet with all these kids is fairly simple and born out of necessity: we buy in bulk, we buy on special, we hand things down and we say ‘no’ a lot.
“Dad, can I have a-“
“Dad, we need a-“
We’ve learned if we wait until they finish the sentence it can cost us a fortune because we often want the same stuff they do – fast food, cool gadgets and trips to Dreamworld – and if we let them finish a sentence we’ll end up thinking ‘actually pizza for dinner would be great.’
We don’t do snow trips to Kosciusko and, as a family, the fanciest restaurants we go to have play areas for kids and give toys away with their meals.Holidays for us are weeks away in Tin Can Bay, the tourist Mecca, where we ride bikes, fish, feed dolphins, play games, BBQ whatever’s on special at Woolies and simply relax and enjoy each other’s company. Even better, because we aren’t flying anywhere the kids get to take their dog.
I read an article about 20 years ago which professed it cost a quarter of a million to raise a kid to adulthood. Recently I saw another article suggesting it was now a million dollars a child. Jeepers, what on Earth are you people feeding your kids? I don’t know, maybe these figures include nannies, private schools, holidays to Disneyland, world safari gap year, first car, first house, first Picasso original and space wedding. However you look at it, we clearly weren’t included in either survey. What I do know is we spend nearly every cent we’ve got and we do it gladly.
So while at our current rate of savings and investment our retirement is unlikely to be filled with pyramids, coliseums and tandem jumps out of planes, with seven potential breeders on our hands I daresay we’ll be so busy visiting and babysitting all our grandkids we won’t have time to miss it. As long as I get my Bucket List top five I don’t think I’ll have any complaints.
Actually, I’ll be more than satisfied if I can just pull off number 5.
This post appeared in Women In Business Magazine
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’