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25 Things You Can Do With The Cost Of Raising A Child

25 Things You Can Do With The Cost Of Raising A Child

Raising children is arguably one of the most rewarding endeavors that a person can undertake, but it certainly isn’t without its challenges, among which are rising expenses. According to a recently published USDA report, the average cost for a middle income American family to provide for a single child to adulthood is $245,340. That’s right, nearly a quarter of a million dollars, and that doesn’t even include the expense of putting your kid through college!

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    While the choice to bring a new life into this world goes well beyond purely financial considerations, it can be interesting to put the cost of child rearing into perspective. Here are 25 things that you could do with the money you would save by making the decision to remain child-free.

    1. A Quick Trip to Outer Space

    For $250k, you can book passage aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip 2 to sub-orbital space. The flight only lasts 2.5 hours and, of that time, only a grand total of 6 minutes are spent in a weightless environment but hey, once you get back to Earth, you can force all your friends to constantly refer to you as an astronaut and it’s hard to put a pricetag on something like that.

    2. An Above Average Home

    The median price for a house in the United States is currently hovering around $189,000, so with the money saved by not having a child, you could find your dream home in many parts of the country.

    3. Take a 5 Year Sabbatical

    Considering that the median household income in the US is around $50,000 a year, you could opt to take a 5 year break from work and finally put pen to paper on that novel you always told people that you wanted to write.

    4. A Really Cool Car

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      Are you into cars? Why not pick up a 2015 Mercedes SLS roadster, which, with its handcrafted 6.3L V-8 engine, is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.6 seconds.

      5. Rent a Private Island

      Need to get away from it all? $230,000 will buy you a week on your own fully staffed, private island off the coast of Spain.

      6. Cruise Around the World… Twice

      You could book the Owner’s Suite for two 180 day journeys around the world cruise with Oceania Cruises.

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        7. Four Tons of Custom M&Ms

        For the cost of a child, you could buy 8,000 lbs. of everyone’s favorite melt in your mouth candy with a custom image of your face printed on every one.

        8. A Big Diamond

        You could buy an 8 carat loose diamond to show off to all your friends.

        9. A Cargo Ship

        $245,000 will buy you your very own used 170′ cargo ship,complete with 11 cabins and 100 metric tons of cargo capacity for that international shipping business you always wanted to start.

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        10. A Pair of Thoroughbred Racehorses

        The average price for a pedigreed racing horse is around $130,000 and is on the rise, so buy soon, while you can still afford them.

        11. A Bottle of Bordeaux

        Why not pick up a bottle of 1787 CHÂTEAU MARGAUX that was supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson. Well, unfortunately you can’t because that particular bottle was broken in a dinner-party mishap, but don’t feel bad, its owner collected $225,000 from his insurance company.

        12. Line Your Walls with Picasso Linocuts

        You can buy 5 hand-signed color linocuts (a design cut into a linoleum surface) by the venerable Pablo Picasso.

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          13. Go to Disney World Every Day for The Next 11 Years

          Instead of having a kid, you could embrace your own inner-child and spend over 4,000 straight days at the Magic Kingdom.

          14. Spend 10 Nights in the Bridge Suite at Atlantis

          At $25,000/night, the enormous luxury suite that bridges the two towers of the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas is one of the most expensive hotels on the planet.

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            15. Put a 100+ Inch TV in Every Room

            At around $50k a pop, you can put five Panasonic 103″ high definition televisions all over your house.

            16. Rent an Apartment in Manhattan

            Love big city living? The average rent for an apartment in Manhattan is around $4,000/month, which would allow you to live there for a little over 5 years for the cost of raising a single child.

            17. Attend the Super Bowl in Style

            At most stadiums, box suites can be reserved for the Super Bowl that accommodate 20+ of your closest friends and offer full food service and an open bar so you can enjoy the big game in style.

            18. Eat a Lot of Steak

            Embrace your inner caveman by ordering over 10,500 seven ounce Private Reserve Fillet Mignons from Omaha Steaks, their finest cut of beef.

            19. Buy Enough Gas To Drive Around The Earth 66 Times

            At an average cost of $3.50/gallon, you could buy enough fuel to drive over 1.6 million miles.

            20. Drink Some Water Out Of A Very Fancy Bottle

            Feeling parched? Why not quench your thirst with a few bottles of the world’s most expensive water, Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani. At just $60,000 a 750ml bottle, you can afford to drink about four of them.

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              21. Get Married A Bunch of Times

              Why should your wedding day be a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Enjoy eight average-cost weddings for the same price as one wedding night mistake.

              22. Go Back To School

              The average cost of college tuition is around $30k/year, allowing you to pursue one of those fancy 8 year degrees.

              23. Enjoy Ten Servings of the World’s Most Expensive Dessert

              Indulge your sweet tooth with ten servings of the decadent Frrrozen “Haute” Chocolate from Serendipity 3 in New York City.

              Frozen-Haute-Chocolate

                24. Get Your Own Billboard

                Buy advertising space on a billboard in Atlanta and run your ad for over seven and a half years. Tell the world how much money you saved by not having children.

                25. Fill Your Yard With Children Made of Bronze

                For the cost of raising a flesh and blood child, you can own almost a hundred bronze replicas.

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                  Do you plan to have children? Think they’re worth the pricetag? Let us know in the comments.

                  Featured photo credit: Cash / 401(K) 2012 via flic.kr

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                  Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                  The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                  The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                  Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                  Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                  Identifying All of Your Debts

                  The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                  Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                  1. Own Your Debt

                  Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                  Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                  2. Make a Debt Tracker

                  It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                  Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                  3. Get Your Debt Number

                  Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                  Prioritizing Your Debts

                  All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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                  1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                  Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                  There are three main types of bad debt:

                  • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                  • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                  • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                  Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                  • Student Loan Debt
                  • Mortgage Loan
                  • Business Loans

                  2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                  Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                  Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                  If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                  3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                  Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                  Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                  Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                  1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                  “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                  It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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                  Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                  Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                  2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                  If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                  Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                  3. Automate Everything

                  Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                  4. Plan Ahead

                  Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                  For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                  5. Live Cheaply

                  The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                  • Live with roommates
                  • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                  • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                  • Take public transit or bike to work

                  Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                  The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                  If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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                  1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                  Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                  • Never miss a payment
                  • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                  • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                  • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                  • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                  2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                  Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                  Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                  If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                  How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                  Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                  1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                  Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                  Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                  2. Earn More Money

                  There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                  Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                  Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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                  Talk to Your Boss

                  Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                  Start a Side Hustle

                  This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                  Build an Online Business

                  There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                  3. Celebrate Your Wins

                  As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                  While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                  4. Set New Financial Goals

                  Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                  Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                  These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                  Conclusion

                  Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                  Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

                  More Tips on Getting out of Debt

                  Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

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