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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 September 17, 2018

                  How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                  How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                  Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                  With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                  So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                  1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                  It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                  You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                  So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                  2. When you want something big, wait

                  Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                  It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                  We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                  A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                  So, you get the itch.

                  You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                  Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                  Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                  Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                  It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                  The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                  3. Live smaller than you can afford

                  You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                  You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                  That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                  Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                  Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                  The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                  But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                  4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                  Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                  But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                  Create a grocery budget

                  Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                  Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                  I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                  Make a list… and never deviate

                  Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                  You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                  These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                  Eat before going grocery shopping

                  It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                  If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                  After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                  Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                  However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                  This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                  5. Cancel your gym membership

                  Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                  The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                  Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                  I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                  Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                  Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                  For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                  Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                  There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                  It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                  I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                  Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                  The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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