22 Fun Things You Could Buy Instead of Going to College

If you’re the parents of the house, you may be feeling a mixture of sadness and pride as your teen heads off to college. If you’re their younger sibling you may already be mentally redecorating your new awesome room. Either way, a lot of money is headed out the door.

How much? The College Board estimates that a “modest” annual budget for one student attending an in-state public college for the 2013-14 academic year was $22,826. Private school? $44,750. But let’s say your freshman is attending a public school. What else could you have purchased for that $22,000+ pricetag? Here’s a nice list of 22 things you could buy instead of giving your kid an education.

1. A 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Car College Cost

You gotta admit, the Subaru Crosstrek is a cool looking car.

2. One month’s rent at the “Nubble 17”

Oceanfront Home Nubble

The “Nubble 17” is an oceanfront home on the Nubble in York Beach, Maine. It comes complete with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths – and you can even bring a pet!

3. Round-trip first class airfare from Chicago to Dubai

First Class Emirates

Come on, first class on Emirates? That’s not just a warm towel, folks. First class passengers enjoy an exclusive lounge, world class meals, all the digital entertainment they could want, flat bed seats, a personal mini bar–even a shower in an opulent bathroom. And when you land, enjoy two weeks at the Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai.

4. 700 megabytes of roaming charges on a smartphone in Mexico

Data Roaming Charges

If you ever find yourself in a foreign country, watching Youtube videos nonstop and racking up roaming charges, that money could come in handy. That’s what happened when 11-year-old Mike Buie went on vacation with his family and ended the trip with $22,000 in roaming fees on his dad’s phone.

5. Dinner for you and your crew of 14 at III Forks Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

III Forks Dining

After reading this story you might want to switch careers. Lawmakers in Texas went out for an expensive and boozy dinner at III Forks that cost more than many people make in a year.

6. Two “Allerca” hypoallergenic cats

Allerca Cats

Some people love their cats, and at $8,950 each, anyone who buys one of these Allerca cats had better take out an insurance policy. Add in the cost of food, litter, vet care, shots, boarding and grooming for 2 years for each cat, and the cost gets even more ridiculous.

7. A commemorative 10th Anniversary Monster Hunter guitar from Japan

Monster Hunter Guitar

I mean, what’s more hardcore than $22K for a really pointy guitar?

8. An engagement ring that you can flush down the toilet, and have it come back

9. An LG 84-inch Ultra HD 3-D TV

LG 84 Inch TV

With all those pixels, you won’t ever need to leave the house again, let alone go to college! (The Street)

10. Twelve months of sponsorship for 52 children through WorldVision

World Vision Charity

Of all the things on this list, here’s one gift you can actually feel good about. (WorldVision)

11. Three all-expenses paid 8-week summer business internships overseas

Global Internship Intrax

Paris, Santiago, and Tokyo are great places to go with an Intrax global internship, if only for some impressive international experience to your resume. The only thing you’ll have to pay for is airfare between locations.

12. The right to name 278 stars on the Online Star Register

Online Star Register

A star costs $79 on the Online Star Register. Why not get 278 of them?

13. A not-so-tiny tiny home from the Rural Studio

Rural Studio Tiny Home

The Rural Studio $20K House project at Auburn University has built at least 12 tiny homes in rural Alabama. With $2K left over for a mini-garage, one of these chic design-builds could be yours.

14. The Hublot Classic Fusion Dwayne Wade alligator watch

Dwayne Wade Watch

NBA superstar Dwayne Wade just released a watch in Miami Heat colors made with real alligator. If you really need to tell time, this timepiece should work.

15. A “budget” kitchen remodel for your home

Kitchen Remodel

With a spare $20K, why not remodel something? These kitchen remodels from BHG look high-end, but are budget-friendly.

16. Drinks for two at the XS Nightclub in Las Vegas

XS Nightclub La Ono

At $10,000 per cocktail, the “La Ono” features Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 and Louis XIII de Remy Martin Black Pearl cognac. Thankfully, the club will give you a pair of silver cufflinks and your date a gold necklace for your trouble.

17. A pair of pre-owned Nike Lebron Air Zooms

Nike Lebron Air Zoom

This one-of-a-kind prototype pair of Nike Lebron Air Zoom Generation AZG on eBay must’ve been worn by Lebron himself. Snatch these up, and you’ll enjoy free shipping!

18. An 18 karat gold HTC One for your whole family

Gold HTC One

The glare of sunlight bouncing off this gold plated HTC One might get annoying. But hey, your contract is only for two years.

19. Let Dennis Rodman DJ your birthday party

Dennis Rodman DJ

Every celebrity has a price, and when you need a big name to perform at your private soiree, almost anyone will do. And why spend a quarter of a million dollars on Usher, when you can get DJ Dennis Rodman at a rock-bottom price?

20. A night in outer space

Space Suite

Sometimes, you just gotta get away from it all. In 2016, rich people will be fighting tooth and nail for a chance to stay in this bare-bones hotel suite floating above Earth. Did we mention that it doesn’t include airfare?

21. Two water-thrusting “Jetovator” jet bikes


It’s like jet-skiing, motorcycling, and monster truck racing all packed into one aerodynamic bike craft called the Jetovator.

22. A 114-day Grand World Voyage

Holland America New Amsterdam

Sure, you may have been on a cute little boat once or twice in your life. But with $22K, you could live the high life on a cruise ship for nearly five months straight, sailing all around the world.

Take the ideas on this list with a heaping dose of sarcasm. If you’re really considering skipping out on college, or treating yourself to something big instead of funding your child’s education, take a second before buying a pair of allergy-free cats. If you don’t have any debts, then start a business, donate to charity, help out your local economy, or start investing. But if you’re just plain rich, make that money count!