I would do anything to protect my family. But luckily, term life insurance is one of the most affordable ways to give my family what they need if I passed away. I own a policy at a price I am happy to pay each month and it requires little sacrifice to my budget.
Think life insurance is too expensive? Consider these nine expenses we have every month that we hardly blink an eye at.
1. Two quick meals out
Love heading out to a casual lunch with a friend or colleague? One lunch for two can be as expensive as the monthly premium for term life insurance. Two quick meals and drinks can easily cost $13 at your favorite local sandwich shop. And when you each grab a chocolate chip cookie for dessert, you’re looking at $15 for lunch.
If you’re like many working adults, you might eat lunch out at least three times a week. Consider that you can financially protect your family for the cost of just two lunches a month.
A 35-year-old woman in excellent health can buy a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy, issued by MassMutual, starting at $21.63 per month.
2. A regular wardrobe update
Even if you’re not Mr. GQ (or Ms. Vogue), GQ will now assist your efforts with their Best Stuff Box, which arrives, yes, quarterly for a flat rate of $50. That’s on the lower end. Online styling services (which also send clothes-in-a-box) like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club no longer have a subscription rate, but each box will set you back $20 to $25 for the styling fee alone. (That fee can be put toward the actual clothes, but that assumes you’re spending even more on those boxes.)
Undeniably convenient, especially for anyone with a busy schedule that limits how much time and energy one can spend shopping. But with a cost. And no matter how you do it, the average American adult spends more $160 per month on clothing. A necessity, to be sure, but one whose costs could be limited. Especially when another necessity—life insurance—can be had for the price of those aforementioned styling fees.
A 30-year-old man in excellent health can buy a 30-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy, issued by MassMutual, starting at $30.23 per month.
3. Five morning lattes
Every busy parent needs their coffee pick-me-up, but what’s the opportunity cost of your lattes? Just five caffe lattes could cost more than your term life insurance premium.
At $3.78 per latte, five visits to your favorite barista would cost you $18.90 (not counting any tip).
Compare that to the $17.71 per month that a 40-year-old woman in excellent health might pay for a 15-year, $250,000 Haven Term policy.
4. A shave and a haircut
If ever a shave and a haircut cost two bits, that time is not now. At my local barbershop, it’ll set you back $30, which is similar to the national average for men. (And, I must add, it’s worth every penny, though I usually just get a cut, no shave.) If I went to a salon, it’d be more, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that women’s haircuts are often double what my barber charges me. (In my family, this added expense is offset by the fact that my wife gets her hair cut less often.)
Taken together, we spend around $45 per month on haircuts. It’s important to look good, don’t get me wrong. (As one wise football player once put it: If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. And if you play good, they pay good.) But it’s not as important as ensuring the financial well-being of your loved ones in the event the worst should happen.
Which reminds us: A 40-year-old man in excellent health can buy a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy starting at just $36.26 per month.
5. Having your oil changed
Unless you’re crawling under your car yourself, you probably bring your vehicle in to have your oil changed once every few months. The average cost of an oil change is $20 to $55, or $45 to $70 if you use synthetic oil, according to Cost Helper.
Now, you can’t skip necessary car maintenance. But you can start treating a term life insurance monthly premium as a similarly priced necessity that’s just as important as regular auto maintenance.
A 42-year-old woman in excellent health can buy a 20-year, $750,000 Haven Term policy starting at $51.39 per month.
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6. Your monthly gym membership
Setting that alarm for 5 a.m. spin class is always a bit of a struggle. Which may be why over 60% of gym memberships go unused. But even with the gym fob on your car keys gathering dust, you might still be footing the bill. We’re paying just under $60 per month, on average, for the privilege.
We keep our gym memberships, even if we only use them once a week, since we know going is good for our health. The cost seems justified. The price for a term life insurance policy could be within a few dollars of the price for your (possibly unused) gym membership.
A 42-year-old, non-smoking man in good health can buy a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy starting at $52.77 per month. And with Haven Life Plus, a no-cost rider included in the Haven Term policy, policyholders can access a yearly subscription to audio fitness app Aaptiv at no cost, so you may not need that gym membership.
7. One movie theater date night
Is there a date night more classic than heading to the movie theater for popcorn and a show? But with average ticket price in 2019 now $17.86 for two tickets, and the large popcorn and two drink combo running $20.99, a few hours in the theater cost nearly $40.
A 35-year-old woman in excellent health can buy a 30-year, $600,000 Haven Term policy starting at $37.55 per month.
8. One dinner out for two
How much you spend on a dinner date can vary widely depending on where you live and where you go. Since a fancy steakhouse costs a whole lot more than your favorite taco shop, the average dinner date in the U.S. is pegged at $50 to $100.
So on the low end of that range for the cost of a date, a 35-year-old man in excellent health could buy a 30-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy starting at $44.44 per month.
9. A month of streaming movies, TV and music
It’s a miracle of modern life: With one small device in your pocket, you can listen to or watch just about every important piece of pop culture in history. Not for free, mind you — a family account for Spotify® Premium is $15 per month. Netflix® Premium will also set you back $15 per month.
Offerings from competitors like Apple Music® or Hulu® are similarly priced. And that doesn’t factor in likely expenses for, say, online movie rentals, streaming premium channels, or getting satellite radio for the car. Add it up, and you’re paying at least $30 every month for your favorite content.
Term life insurance may not be as entertaining, but it can offer you and your loved ones peace of mind. A 35-year-old woman in excellent health can buy a 20-year, $1,000,000 Haven Term policy starting at $32.66 per month.
Term life insurance is more affordable than you think
Purchasing a life insurance policy may not seem as exciting at the moment as a movie date with your partner, but it can offer financial peace of mind to you and your family for decades. I know what gift I’d prefer.
The reality is that most of us can find $30 to $60 a month in our budget for something that’s really important. If we purposefully make a choice with every dollar we have, we can use these small amounts of money to prioritize financial protection for our loved ones.
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Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children. This article is sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Agency. Opinions are his own.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider which is included as part of the Haven Term policy. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners).
Apple Music® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.
Hulu is a registered trademark of Hulu, LLC.
Netflix is a registered trademark of Netflix, Inc.
Spotify is a registered trademark of Spotify AB.