Education costs are always on the rise. In fact, the 2016 college graduate racked up an average of almost $40,000 in student loan debt to get their degrees. That’s not a burden to take lightly, especially because there’s more than a 10 percent default rate among these graduates.
Fortunately for you, though, if you are a college graduate, you have a much higher chance of gaining and keeping employment. Even with some college credit, the employment rate is about 77 percent as opposed to the 69 percent that applies to people who only completed high school.
If you’ve recently finished paying off your student loans, you’re probably feeling the sweet victory of putting that debt behind you. Freeing up that extra cash was no easy feat, so maybe it’s time to kick back and enjoy your life a little more! In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of four things that cost less than your average student loan debt. Get busy dreaming!
A Trip to Hawaii
Now that you’ve got some extra income, it could be the perfect time to take that long vacation you’ve always dreamed about. And one of the prime spots for dream vacationing is Hawaii.The best news is it’s probably a lot cheaper than you think. Go Visit Hawaii estimates a couple’s getaway for about a week to be right around $5,000. This includes renting a vehicle, luxurious accommodations, dining and airfare.
Lying around by the beach and relaxing is a great way to unwind from the usual stresses of everyday life, but you’ll also find lots of fun things to try. For instance, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to surf Hawaii with the crystal clear waters and perfect waves. And no need to worry about being the only beginner. Plenty of people who take a trip to Hawaii learn to surf for the first time. Take some lessons with a great instructor and enjoy yourself.
Guided tours are also a great way to enjoy the beauty of the state. You can find guides on any of the islands and choose from hiking tours, snorkeling excursions, dune buggy outings, or even helicopter sightseeing. You’ll see so much beautiful scenery and exotic plant life that you’ll need a local or two to show you around.
You might think owning a motorcycle is a luxury you shouldn’t indulge in, but it’s actually a pretty wise investment. Here are some quick facts you may have never considered.
Motorcycles cost less than cars
Of course there are always exceptions, but even a brand new motorcycle can cost less than a new car. Comparing the prices at Harley-Davidson® Dealership in Auburn, MA, may leave you pleasantly surprised.
Insurance is usually lower for motorcycles
Depending on the state you live in and the type of bike you buy, insurance will likely be quite a bit lower for your motorcycle than your car.
Motorcycles get much better gas mileage than cars
Though gas mileage for both cars and bikes varies quite a bit depending on makes and models, most motorcycles come out way ahead when it comes to fuel economy. In general, the average miles per gallon for a car is about 22, while motorcycles can average up to 56.
Parking and maneuvering are much easier with motorcycles
Obviously a smaller vehicle can take up less space in a parking lot, making it irrelevant if someone takes up more than their share. But what you may not know is that in some states, including California, motorcycles are legally allowed to split lanes. This makes maneuvering through heavy traffic much easier than in a car.
Aside from the sheer joy of cruising the open road with the rumble of machinery underneath you, a motorcycle can actually be a financially sound means of transportation.
A Swimming Pool
Owning a swimming pool may be another wish on your list that seems far out of reach. It used to be a luxury only the elite could afford. But the truth is that when you find the right swimming pool contractor in New Jersey, you might find it’s an affordable investment that definitely costs less than your average student loan debt.
But a swimming pool is another fun thing that can actually be a huge benefit to you and your family. For one thing, owning your own pool will encourage more physical activity, giving your family a built-in center for a healthier lifestyle. It will also lend itself to more technology-free entertainment and family interaction. Getting the kids to play outdoor with their siblings is a bit easier with a pool.
A pool can also increase the property value of your home, which is good news in case you ever decide to sell. The exact increase varies from one location to the next, but in New Jersey, for example, a pool can add an average value of about 2 percent. This increase could possibly pay for the installation costs of the pool when you do decide to sell.
A Sports Car
Driving a sports car isn’t just a fun thing to do. It can actually add to a person’s overall mental health. In fact, a recent study cited by Ford found that “driving a sports car on a daily basis is among the best ways to boost your sense of well-being and emotional fulfilment.” These “buzz” moments come in right under riding a roller coaster and miles above kissing or watching football.
If you do decide to make the purchase, here are a few reasons you should consider a luxury brand such as Lexus. For one thing, luxury automobiles tend to have more robust safety features, such as better alarm systems and automatic stability control. They also usually beat out other manufacturers with their plush interiors and advanced sound systems.
Believe it or not, even a luxury automobile usually costs less than the average amount of a person’s student loan debt. Visit a local Lexus dealership to test drive a new or used sports car and find out what you’ve been missing.
Chances are you spent several years paying off your student loan debt, wishing you had some cash to spare for something a little more frivolous. Now that you’ve got more disposable income, turn some of those dreams into reality and treat yourself to something nice. Even business experts agree that learning to indulge a bit helps to increase motivation, prevent burnout, and boost your overall mood. It’s time to put those funds to better use and finally have something that represents some of your hard work. You deserve it!