Today, we’re going to look at some of the most expensive things you’re likely to buy throughout your life. Before you get stuck into this list, there are a few caveats to consider. Obviously, everyone has different buying habits. So, one of you may make a massive purchase that someone else would never make. As such, all the things listed below are ‘essential’ purchases in that most people will have to buy them at some point. You won’t see something like a yacht or an expensive holiday villa on this list. Sure, they are more expensive than some of the things listed, but they’re hardly essential. 

Keeping that in mind, here are the most costly essential expenses a human is likely to face during their lifetime:

A House

This seems like the obvious place to kick off the list. A house will be the most expensive thing that a lot of you buy in your lifetime. Owning a house is super costly for more than one reason. Buying the property itself is a huge investment – houses cost hundreds of thousands of dollars! As if to reinforce this point, the average mortgage length is 30 years. Basically, most people take three decades to actually pay for their house! Then, factor in ongoing maintenance costs, bills, and so on. It’s clear that this is a monumental expense that drains your finances for many years. 

A Car

A car is on this list because the majority of you will own at least one. Indeed, if you have a family, a car almost becomes essential. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. While you can buy used cars for under $1000, there are lots of added costs. Fuel is a constant thorn in your bank balance, as are regular checkups and servicing. Plus, factor in that cars don’t last that long, and you will need to keep buying new ones every few years. Ultimately, this is why they’ve made it onto the list. 


This list is in no particular order, but if it was, children would probably come either just under or above a house. Kids cost an instance amount of money when you add up all the expenses over the years. This is why many people need to seriously consider the financial implications of having a child. It’s not a simple case of wanting a baby and having it. If you can’t support them financially, you set yourself up for a life full of misery. You also don’t give the child a healthy home to be raised if you’re always struggling for money. According to USA Today, the average family spends $233,610 on raising one child from birth to adulthood. If you do the math, that’s nearly $13,000 a year up to their 18th birthday. So yeah, having kids is one of the most expensive things you will do in life!


The cost of education continues to rise year after year. Gone are the days where education was free and affordable. Now, most people will end up thousands of dollars in debt by the time they graduate college. In fact, the only way to avoid this is to either work overtime to fund your college tuition or start saving when you’re a child. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a hefty student loan that most people take years to pay off. Either way, you’re still paying a lot of money for the privilege of being educated. 

Admittedly, you can argue this isn’t an essential expense. Some of you maybe didn’t go to college or have no plans to go there. You will definitely find examples of successful individuals that didn’t have a formal education. However, the majority of individuals will invest a great deal of money into either their or their child’s education. Speaking of which, remember that huge figure for raising a child? That didn’t include the cost of college tuition – crazy, right?


It’s not the happiest of topics to cover, yet it helps to understand how expensive funerals are. Most people don’t realize how costly they are until they’re faced with paying for one. As much as you hate to think about it, the chances are you’ll pay for at least one funeral in your lifetime. Did you know the average cost of a funeral is between $7,000 – $12,000? That’s pretty insane when you consider what the service is for. Why is it so expensive? A lot of the costs are spent on funeral homes’ services, but the headstone also takes a huge chunk from your budget. The only shining light is that there are ways to keep the costs as close to the lower end of the spectrum as possible. Consider discounted headstones from, or think about a cremation instead of a burial. Both of these ideas will lower the price by a fair few thousand dollars overall. Again, not something you want to think about, but you can clearly see how it helps to be somewhat prepared if this event ever happens to you. 


From one extreme to the other! Weddings are a time of exuberance and pure joy. You will remember your wedding day for as long as you live, partly because of how amazing it is and partly because of the expensiveness! Continuing with our theme of average costs, a wedding was around $33,900 in 2019. Yep, pretty expensive – particularly when you consider it’s over in a day. Traditionally, the father of the bride pays for the wedding, but this rarely happens anymore. The good news is that you will have help from both families to cover the costs, so it doesn’t all come from your bank account. The bad news is you may have to do it multiple times if you have kids that get married!

It’s fair to say that most of you will have to deal with all of these expenses in your lifetime. This list wasn’t intended to scare you, but more to make you aware of life’s biggest expenses. Hopefully, it encourages you to take better care of your finances to be sure you can afford your key expenses. 

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