I have entered a phase in my life in which many of my classmates, friends and family are in the thick of diapers, teething and general child-rearing activities. I am not married, and I just bought my first house with rooms for family expansion but no crying offspring to fill the rooms just yet. I am often asked why I haven’t started my own family. Whether it is circumstance, divine intervention or conscious decision making on my part, waiting to start a family proved to be a financially sound decision for me. The following five reasons influenced this decision.
Learning to Be Careful with Money
I definitely come from the cloth of learning from your mistakes. I found out the hard way what not paying your credit card bills, defaulting on student loans and overall biting off more than you can chew can do to your credit, your stress level and your quality of life. I wasn’t ready to start a family while I was busy making financial mistakes. Now that I have a grip on these principles, however, I have the tools to execute them and hopefully pass them on, a concept I previously lacked.
Taking Time to Find out What I Wanted to Do When I Grow Up
When I was younger, I was hopelessly idealistic, and I proudly hold on to this value. However, it also led me down many roads before I found the path I was looking for. Taking some extra time let me explore, try different things and eventually pursue what makes me fulfilled and financially solvent. Some people sail right into their ideal life, and some of us take the long way until we’re better prepared for major life changes.
Learning from Others
I always knew kids were expensive, but I never really knew just how expensive until I watched others embark on their journeys. Everything is a learning process, and one thing parents are exceptional at is sharing that knowledge. Waiting to start a family provides great opportunities to observe and learn from others until you’re ready to take on the responsibility.
Waiting Until I Can Rely Less on Parents
I can’t imagine having a family without the support of my immediate family, but I know they appreciate I’ve developed self-sufficiency. They are always there to help, but now they get to live their own lives as well and enjoy their well-deserved retirement money. Waiting to start a family until I don’t have to rely on my own parents ensured I won’t be an undue burden.
Finally Realizing How Important Family Is to Me
People always say you will never be completely prepared to have children and they will change your life in ways you never knew. This terrified me and delayed my decision to have a family. However, once I spent some time learning who I was and what my place in the world could be, that fear subsided. Financial stability was just an essential building block to truly knowing what I wanted, even if that took a while. And as they say, knowing is half the battle. I guess the other half is just the journey.