10 Things Less Affordable than Home Insurance
For some, home insurance may not seem like a necessity. With the numerous expenses that come with owning a home and having a family, adding another bill to the budget may be unwelcomed. Most mortgage lenders require homeowners to have at least the minimum coverage, which protects the lender’s investment. In reality, all homeowners should consider even better coverage to protect their investments, which often require years hard work to obtain. The cost of not having home insurance during an unforeseen disaster can far exceed the relatively small cost of security.
The following things less affordable than home insurance serve as proof that you don’t have to break the bank for a little peace of mind. We used the average annual price of $481, according to CNN Money, and divided it by 12, making monthly payments a little more than $40. Strengthening the coverage and thus adding a few more bucks, we settled on a $50 monthly rate.
- A trip to the movies with the family: According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the average cost of a movie ticket was $7.89 in 2010. For a family of four, after shaving a couple of dollars off the average for children’s tickets, the total cost of tickets would be $27.56. Assuming they haven’t eaten beforehand, buying four drinks, a large tub of popcorn, a couple of hotdogs, and some candy would certainly exceed $25, and put mom and dad over the $50 benchmark.
- Phone bill: Recently, cell phone companies have been offering “unlimited everything” plans — unlimited minutes, texts, and data — for a little more than $50 per month including additional fees. Of course, agreeing to such contracts requires settling for a smartphone that isn’t exactly cutting edge. And let’s face it, you probably signed up for an “unlimited everything” plan when it cost $80 or $90.
- A trip to the grocery store: If you’re single and tight with your money, it’s possible to purchase enough groceries for $50 to last a week. If you have a family, or merely enjoy eating, then a trip to the grocery store probably costs much more than that. The average person must account for three meals, snacks, drinks, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc., and, as you know, not every item costs the same.
- Monthly credit card bill: In a April of 2011, consumer credit card debt totaled $790.1 billion. We love to spend money we don’t have, and, as a result, will be paying for it for years to come. The average consumer could rack up even more debt if they were to lose their home because of circumstances beyond their control, spending more money on replacing their home and the items within it. A financially responsible individual should prevent that from happening with a mere $50 per month.
- Dinner at a nice restaurant: A good steak from a nice restaurant will cost you at least $20. Two will cost you at least $40. Factor in things such as appetizers, drinks, and gratuity, then you’re well-above $50. It’s safe to say for a lot of people, especially married couples who still enjoy spending time together, these types of outings occur once or twice each month. Is one fewer going to hurt?
- A tank of gas: Now, this one may or may not be true depending on when you read this. But, with the way gas prices have been fluctuating over the past year, it’s likely that you’ve paid more than $50 for a tank of gas on multiple occasions. And, in all likelihood, you could’ve saved a few bucks by carpooling with your significant other, friends, or coworkers. Instead of feeling guilty about harming the environment, feel guilty about not protecting your home, your most valuable possession.
- Monthly lawn care service: A month’s-worth of grass trimming, weed eating, tree trimming, and sweeping costs up to three times more than a monthly payment for home insurance coverage, which you’d definitely need if you hire the wrong lawn care service, or the boy from the down the street (think broken windows and damaged brick). This is assuming you hire people to do your yard for you, a common occurrence for most people in suburbia, at least, who’d rather spend their time doing something more enjoyable, such as watching football.
- NFL Sunday Ticket: Every football-loving, red-blooded American male loves fall Sundays, which is why NFL Sunday Ticket is so popular. For $52.99 per month over a four-month period, fans can gain access to every game on TV, frustrating honey-do list makers everywhere. Fortunately, there are less practical things you can sacrifice other than your weekly 12 hours of football-watching bliss.
- A trip to the game: Attending an NFL game isn’t cheap, especially if you’re a fan of a decent team with a devoted fanbase. In 2010, the average ticket price was $76.47, an increase from previous years amid the lagging economy. Of course, like a trip to the movies, a trip to the game entails multiple ticket purchases along with food and refreshments, making your three-hour outing a pricy one.
- A decent video game: Any video game worth its salt will cost more than $50. Modern Warfare 3, for example, cost $59.99 when it was released for PS3 and Xbox 360, and sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. during the first 24 hours of its release. Certainly, given your busy schedule or your kids’ busy schedule — which includes football watching — you can spare the hours upon hours that usually accompany the purchase of a game.