How Much for That Family in the Window?
Men my age get hit with a lot of big questions. The one stuck in my today brain is: “How much money to does a man need to make in order to provide a good life for his family?”
Good question. Of course, it all depends on the several factors:
- What is your spouse’s standard of living? (hopefully cheap)
- Are you okay with used baby clothes/toys (yes!)
- Do you ever plan to buy a house? (not in this town…$$$)
- Are you okay with renting a small house and using the money we save to live a rich live, or do we need a big house that will mean extra years spent at work?
I’m not married, but these questions still come into my mind. We Americans tend to swing in two directions: either we want big big big, or we want nothing at all. I have had several friends who are okay living in their vans. I also have friends who can’t imagine having roommates and need new, fancy cars. I’m neither of those. What is the answer?
Well, I continually get clarity when I look at the financial status of the vast majority of people worldwide. I’m butchering the statistic, but if you have any money in the bank at all you are richer than 90% of the world. Even if it’s just a dollar in the bank!
Sure… but tell that to your future father in law when you ask for her hand in marriage!
Still — what a gift it would be for a woman to be willing to make financial sacrifices in order to love her husband. If she lived with used furniture, bought cheap groceries, and didn’t buy junk at gift shops on her vacations… what a gift!
Take a look at this excellent collection of photographs called “When Children Sleep” by James Mollison linked from NPR’s site (apologies to my conservative friends. This blog has the BEST photos). Let me know what you think. See what the difference between little girls in Kentucky and little boys in Africa. How does it impact your thinking about spending?