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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 August 20, 2019

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                  In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                  5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                  Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                  1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                  Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                  It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                  Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                  2. Keep Them Realistic

                  It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                  It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                  3. Account for Inflation

                  Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                  Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                  For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                  4. Short Term vs Long Term

                  Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                  As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                  More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                  5. To Each to His Own

                  The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                  It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                  By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                  11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                  Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                  • Ensuring healthy savings
                  • Making smart investments

                  You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                  Ensuring Healthy Savings

                  Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                  This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                  1. Track Expenses

                  The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                  Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                  2. Pay Yourself First

                  Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                  Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                  The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                  Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                  3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                  Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                  Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                  At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                  Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                  You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                  4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                  Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                  If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                  Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                  All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                  5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                  In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                  Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                  Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                  If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                  If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                  So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                  6. Talk About It

                  Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                  Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                  7. Maintain a Journal

                  For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                  So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                  Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                  When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                  At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                  Making Smart Investments

                  Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                  8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                  Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                  Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                  9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                  Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                  Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                  Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                  It is here where that classification will help.

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                  So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                  10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                  Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                  Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                  So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                  Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                  11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                  All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                  If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                  If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                  Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                  The Bottom Line

                  This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                  As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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