The financial costs of “growing up”

“Grow up.” “Take responsibility.” “Be a man.” Have you been told this? Let’s keep it simple: if you’ve gone through puberty, and particularly if you have a vagina seeking penis, that’s an overwhelming “YES!!!” You hear it from your friends, your family and parents, the media, social, mainstream and otherwise, and way too many other sources to list here. 


To put it simply: your everyday life, from the moment you are born until today, this message is pounded into your head incessantly, to the point that the average person of the average intelligence, and even some that have higher intellect, will accept it as the gospel truth, if for no other reason than that it’s broadcasted in pretty much every aspect of your life. And for the sake of simplicity, rather than go over all of them (because I’m certain I’d miss about 1006 of them) I’m going to point out the 5 main things people use as landmarks of adulthood and “success”.


Funny thing about this article: I originally was going to go into a bit of detail on these 5 things, but this took weeks to fully research, and even the minimum writing went way past the word limit set on my typing tool, so for this article I’ll simply cite the numbers, and cover them in later articles. Besides, if you’re the Average Idiot reading this, numbers probably don’t matter to you, and neither would any proof I have. Thanks for saving me a bit of work!

Anyway, here’s what I personally came up with:

  • The average person can be expected to earn about $35,000/yr., which given a 40 year work career adds up to $1.4 million USD over their lifetime. For the purposes of this article I rounded up to 1.5 million. Hey, sometimes I’m a nice guy! Keep this figure in mind, it’ll be important later.
  • Owning a new car: buying a new car every 6.5 years on average, at $33,000 each, paying over $9,000/yr. in value depreciation and other costs of ownership, even trading it in at a value of $13,200, you’re looking at a broad average of about $609,000!
  • Owning a house: the median sticker price is $214,000. You don’t have $214,000 in your pocket, so you’ll probably take out a 30 year mortgage to pay for it. At an average cost of $1,500/mo., this ends up being $18,000/yr., and $540,000 over 30 of them. Aside from this being well over sticker price for the home itself, it doesn’t cover the thousands of different expenses of owning a home that are covered when you rent (something to keep in mind when you see rent for $1,500 and think you’re “throwing your money away.”)
  • Marriage: let’s face facts: if you’re a straight guy, this cost goes way beyond the sticker price of marriage. But as for the marriage itself, the average cost is $29,858. And since most married couples get divorced, they also pay $15,500 for that as well. Not as big a number as the last two, but given shelter and transportation is necessary, this is a pure waste of money.
  • Having children: The minimum one kid will cost is about $250,000, just to raise to 18. Any parent that didn’t use the government to help pay for it will tell you this is grossly underestimated, with some estimates reaching $400,000. This goes up, obviously, when you have more, with my calculations reaching a conservative number of $577,374.20 if you end up with 3.
  • College: good lord! With all of these expenses, you certainly need a higher education to land that high paying job! With the average person going for at least a Bachelor’s, expect to pay close to $33,000 for it. Again, that’s conservative. There are people that get grants and government funding to pay for their degree, but there are plenty of horror stories out there of people with 6 figure college debt. A horror indeed if you chose a worthless major.

To be perfectly clear: I’m in no way saying you should never do any of these. If any of these are what you want, and you can afford it and are adequately educated for and prepared to deal with them, then by all means go for it. This isn’t to tell you to absolutely never do any of these. The point I’m making is that many of these are decisions people make because of, frankly, what other people said they should do. “You need to own a home!” “It’s time for you to get serious and get married!” “Why haven’t you had kids yet? It’s time for you to settle down!” “You’re still driving that old clunker? Time for you to get s new car!” “You don’t want to be a burger flipper at McDonald’s, do you!? Go to college!” Have you been told one of these? Some variant of it perhaps? Do you think peer pressure is a good reason to write a 5-6 figure check several times over?

Speaking of which, none of this talks about how much debt people go into to pay for this. The thing that boggled my mind was that the amount that the average person made in their lifetime ($1,400,000) wasnt enough to cover the expenses of taking all of these on (close to 1,800,000). Even taking into account that feeding, shelter and other living costs were factored in to at least the housing and children expenses, it didn’t really add up, as you can see here. However, the thought that helps explain it is that the average American is in debt. In debt from many things, but these are often the costliest. And the sad truth is that many people will never pay these debts off. Just taking the figures here, the average American will die with nearly 400K in debt, which has huge implications for the country on its own.

That’s not what this article is for though. This is about you. Objectively, you only have one life to live. You have these precious few years to enjoy mortality; even if you believe in an afterlife, its on a different plane than this one, in which you will no longer have any agency nor influence. In short: this is it. Is that what you want to spend your money on? Instead of, say, exploring different countries, eating great food, having awesome experiences, you borrow your way into the grave to finance other people’s desires? And if you care about the future, look at that figure above: do you really want to leave your loved ones, or the country or government you reside in, with debt you never paid back, leaving your descendants to pay it for you? 

This has gone way past the size it was supposed to be, but its a huge subject; this has to be said.

To recap: I’m not saying you should absolutely never do any of these. Personally, I say you shouldn’t, but that’s me. If you can have that new car, go for it. If you think you and your sex partner will birth the new master race and you can pay for it, jizz away. You want a piece of property to call your own, enjoy those property taxes and put up those “Get Off My Lawn!” signs. But, for Zeus’s sake, if you’re going to do any of these, at least make sure you’re doing them for you. Nothing is worse than paying the price other people told you to for something you may not have even wanted. Make your decisions wisely.

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