I have three kids and the way we allocate income has changed significantly over the years. Here’s a current snapshot.
The marriage/kids slice (blue) is about half our spending. What the heck is in there?
- Sitters and Live-In Au Pair
- Preschool Fees
- House cleaning
- After school activities
- Summer activities
With minimal psychological maneuvering it would be easy to shift the marriage/family allocation towards myself.
My wife arrived into our marriage with an expectation of driving herself straight into the ground to “support the family.” Her story is repeated across a range of households.
It is tempting to compromise our marriage for short-term savings.
I like to invert the temptation and ask myself…
How do my spending choices benefit my marriage?
What about my health?
A – collectively, we see no issue with parents torching their physical, and mental, health to “support” the family. Among my peers, the easiest way to get time alone is by working full-time. Double income, no time.
B – couples are often blind to the price the marriage is paying from being completely fried. The baby/preschool years will end up being a decade for us (2008-2018). Do you have enough passion in your life?
C – my spending places the highest premium on buying time
- time exercising – to maintain my physical health
- time alone – to maintain my mental health
- time with my spouse – to share experiences
My wife often feels uncomfortable with our childcare spending. There is tremendous social pressure for a mother to follow a path of doing everything.
Buying time is insurance against the risk of arriving at 50 overweight, mentally fried, with a marriage in need of counseling and an oldest heading into middle school with an angry (or absent) father.
Trade money for time.