There are a lot of different aspects to growing up — perhaps none of them more sobering than the fact that you have to start seriously budgeting. We live on limited funds, particularly when we’re younger. The fact is that a big part of “adulting,” as you might call it, involves making big decisions that will affect your budget. Most of the time, if you’re considering money — you’re probably deciding between two different purchases to determine which option is more feasible.
Even if you can technically afford a more expensive option at the moment, this doesn’t mean that you should automatically take that option. We need to be aware of why we’re choosing one purchase over the other. Below, we’re looking into a few different choices you might have to consider as an adult, analyzing the more expensive option versus the alternative.
Traditional Braces Versus Invisalign Braces
If you plan on having children, chances are good that they may need braces at some point or the other. Alternatively, you might decide you want to do something about your own crooked smile. Right now, about 4 million Americans wear some form of braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontics. While many of us still think of traditional braces when we think of orthodontia, the fact is that Invisalign braces have become increasingly more accessible, and are a viable option for lots of people. That doesn’t, however, mean that they are the less expensive option.
On average, Invisalign braces will cost around $5,000 per set. Now, this may vary depending on the orthodontic issues you’re dealing with, as well as other factors. But ultimately, this is more expensive than the typical cost of traditional braces. Those will vary a little depending on the type of material used to make them, but they’re closer to $3,000-$4,000 per set. Your insurance policy will affect how much you pay out of pocket, of course. But which type of braces is really more worth it?
The obvious advantage of Invisalign braces is that they can’t be seen. This can be very beneficial to those who feel self-conscious about wearing traditional braces. In fact, 47% of Invisalign Teen recipients reported a self-esteem boost, compared to 22% of teens with traditional braces. Adults, too, tend to feel less self-conscious when their braces are less noticeable. That being said, Invisalign braces can require a good deal of maintenance and upkeep. They’re a lot of responsibility, as they have to be removed and kept safe when eating. That might be too much for some children to handle, but this commitment isn’t likely to be a problem for many adults. Keep in mind that both types of braces will ultimately yield the same results. Therefore, if you can handle the appearance of traditional braces, you may want to save the money.
Kitchen Remodel Versus Bathroom Remodel
Most people do not remodel their whole house at once. Rather, they move room by room. But which room should you prioritize? Which one is less expensive and what is more worth the immediate renovation? The two types of rooms that are remodeled most often are kitchens and bathrooms. Typically, a kitchen remodel will range from $5,000 to $15,000 for a small remodel to $45,000 for a major renovation. A bathroom remodel, on the other hand, will range from $3,500 to $7,000 for a small remodel to $13,000 for a major remodel.
Obviously, there is a huge difference between the cost of a kitchen and bathroom remodel. But what about the value they add to your home? People typically make renovations based not only on the fact that they want to update their homes, but on the fact that renovations add value to the property. Usually, a minor kitchen remodel has a return on investment of about 82.7%, while the return on investment for bathroom remodels will typically be 86.4%. That might seem close — but when you consider how much more expensive a kitchen remodel is, it makes a big difference. Therefore, a bathroom remodel may be the wiser starting point.
Cats Versus Dogs
Just about everyone wants a pet. But of course, you’re going to want to consider which type of pet fits better into your lifestyle — and that includes your budget. The two most mainstream types of pets are cats and dogs. Both require an emotional and financial commitment. For example, vets recommend yearly checkups for young pets and two checkups yearly for older pets, so you’ll need to consider vet bills alongside the cost of food and other necessities. Ultimately, however, one pet will tend to be more expensive than the other.
Whether you’re adopting from a shelter or buying from a breeder, a dog will likely cost more to adopt than a cat. Dogs also tend to require more to spay and neuter and their food is somewhat more expensive. You’ll need to consider extra accessories for dogs, like more expensive toys, larger crates, and leashes. While a cat can be left alone for longer periods of time, dogs often require more attention, meaning that you may have to use a doggy daycare or dog walker when you’re away at work. The choice is up to you — but dogs are definitely pricier!
Ultimately, saving money doesn’t have to equal sacrificing anything. You can still get a great value out of something that you saved money on. You just need to make an educated decision and invest in the purchase that will literally give you the most bang for your buck.