You can't take anything out of this world, and it really does pay to invest your time in what really matters.
I had my first baby at age 19, while I was in college getting my chemical engineering degree. I had hand me down everything, and the ratio of cardboard to particleboard furniture was probably 3:2. We were very happy and agreed that we would never use credit cards or day cares. This involved some hectic baby swapping for me and my husband between classes, but graduated at the same time about 10 years ago.
The only jobs available were BS MIC jobs. Yuck. So eventually I became the uber homeschool mom of soon-to-be six kids. My goals are for them not to be idiots, be self-sufficient, etc. I can't tell you how many people who have kids that marry a loser and end up shelling out thousands of dollars to bail them out.
The cost of kids as publicized by the Establishment is bullcrap. If you look at their breakdowns, it's all tied up in daycare, hobbies, and "vacations" whatever those are. I keep all my baby stuff in the attic and have all the clothes ready to hand down sorted by age and gender along the side of my garage. I'm just saying the hype about how much kids cost is load of bunk. If you plan on paying for your kid's college education, you are a total sucker. No one paid for me to go.
I may not have a dragon's horde when I'm old, but I will rest easy with no regrets.
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