When we think about sex and money, we often think of the extreme cost of children. Children are no doubt expensive. And how do we get children? You know. So is abstinence the secret to financial success?
For this discussion, it’s not about being abstinent forever. If we agreed to that, the human race would be gone within 120 or so years. Rather, is waiting to have sex until after marriage the best thing you can do for your finances?
Let’s look at the cost of sex. I had a teacher once who said sex is the best form of free entertainment. The teacher grew up in the middle of nowhere so she said that was what they did for fun. It’s pretty much. But, when done safely, there are still costs associated with sex.
For starters, condoms. A pack of 12 costs an average £9.47 in the UK. So that means the cost per orgasm (male, at least) is £.78. That is a cheap form of entertainment.
Looking deeper than condoms, things get pretty tricky. There are many, many forms of birth control. However, being a Brit, you have access to free birth control via the NHS. So this means sex indeed is cheap.
So far, it seems sex is cheap. But what if you get an STI or STD. This is where things can get tricky. While you will be able to get treated at no cost, it can still cause havoc in other areas of your life. You could get sick, causing you to miss work. Going to get treatments means more missed work. Your self confidence will likely decrease. It actually could be life changing. You may end up in hospital on many occasions. In fact, getting a disease such as HIV could be life-threatening. Money means nothing if your life is on the line.
Going further, what if the forms of birth control you used do not work. This means you will either be having a baby or an abortion. The cost of a baby is great. It means roughly two decades of putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own. It means having to spend thousands per year on things you wouldn’t otherwise need. Here are some expenses to consider:
- Extra food
- Car seats
- Nappie bags
- Day care
- A bigger car to haul everything
- Special classes
- Another car
- Tuition for university
- A wedding, perhaps?
Babies are life changers. You must also consider the money aspects which are much harder to focus in on. These are things like opportunity costs. Think of it like this. Many young parents feel the need to choose career or baby. That’s a real concern since a baby can take up as much time as a full-time career.
Instead of going after a lucrative career, the parent instead stays home with the baby. Since childcare is expensive and you may not be experienced enough for a high paying job, you may end up staying at home. This may actually save you something like 10,000 quid a year. But what you also must keep in mind is that your resume will not be growing. You’ll actually be becoming less valuable in the work force. Not many companies like hiring people that haven’t done anything but raise a child for the past 18 years. Whether this is fair or not, it is not for me to say. I’m looking at this at a purely financial standpoint. What saved you 10,000 quid per year may cost you hundreds of thousands in lost opportunity.
Sex may be nearly free but its repercussions can cost thousands. It’s kind of like eating sweet treats: fizzy drinks, puddings, biscuits… These are cheap foods and beverages. And boooyyy are they tasty. In the short-term, they are a win. But in the long-term, these bring on heart disease. So what seems cheap and first can be very costly over the long-term.
It’s always important to think long-term. This is how the wealthy think. This is why many wealthy people call themselves investors. They are investing in the future.
Sex is a long-term proposal.
So is abstinence key to financial success? It certainly does seem that those who wait are best off. It’s kind of why people are having children at a much older age than before. They want to make sure they are doing well for themselves before bringing on a dependent. This is smart.
Unfortunately though, there is not a universal answer. That’s because I’ve seen some people who really excel after having children. Their children motivate them to achieve more than they ever have before. For some people, their kids motivate them to do great things. The other day, I read about a woman who got pregnant at age 17. She didn’t go to university, she didn’t have any skills. But after being motivated by her new baby, she says she is now making £42,000 per year. Without the child, she doubts this would have been possible. Plus, it’s children we are talking about. If there’s ever a reason to spend money, it’s to spend money on others. Without relationships, money is worthless.
What are your views on this subject? Is life too short not to enjoy sex ASAP? Do the rewards greatly outweigh the risks? Is getting married young a wise idea or should you wait? These are all very difficult answers to know for certain. So what’s your take?
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.