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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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                  Published on January 17, 2020

                  How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                  How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                  Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

                  If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

                  My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

                  So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

                  Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

                  1. Meal Plan

                  You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

                  If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

                  Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

                  Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

                  2. Cook in Bulk

                  Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

                  Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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                  That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

                  3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

                  The science behind this is 2-fold.

                  Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

                  Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

                  4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

                  I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

                  Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

                  Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

                  What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

                  5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

                  We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

                  We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

                  Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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                  Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

                  6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

                  Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

                  Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

                  7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

                  I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

                  Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

                  The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

                  While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

                  8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

                  The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

                  Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

                  If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

                  9. Try Acai Bowls

                  Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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                  You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

                  Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

                  10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

                  Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

                  Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

                  11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

                  A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

                  I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

                  12. Buy Cheap Online

                  Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

                  Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

                  13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

                  One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

                  Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

                  1. Strawberries
                  2. Spinach
                  3. Kale
                  4. Nectarines
                  5. Apples
                  6. Grapes
                  7. Peaches
                  8. Cherries
                  9. Pears
                  10. Tomatoes
                  11. Celery
                  12. Potatoes

                  14. Pay Attention to Storage

                  Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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                  Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

                  15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

                  Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

                  Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

                  16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

                  I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

                  Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

                  17. Use Budget App

                  There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

                  My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

                  18. Use What you Have

                  Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

                  19. Enjoy the Process!

                  Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

                  Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

                  Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

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