I had no idea.

Wife Ninja is a freakin’ bed hog. Like out of control, bed hog. She takes up all of her side and at least 80% of mine. Oh and did I mention we sleep on a full size mattress? I can’t wait to get my hands on a bigger mattress. At least a queen and maybe even a king. But after a conversation with a friend, I learned that a nicer mattress may be a long way off.

Apparently a “decent” mattress costs at the cheapest $1,000, but more like $2K-$3k. Are you kidding me? Is this a sick joke? I had no clue they cost so much. Sleep is obviously a pretty important part of our lives. So it’s probably important we have a good mattress to accommodate. But can you really tell the difference between an $800 mattress and a $3,000 one? And if you can, is the price increase really worth it?

This isn’t the first time, I’ve been blindsided by the cost of growing up. I had another “Holy Crap” moment when I went ring shopping for Wife Ninja’s engagement ring. How can something so small, cost so much? It didn’t make any sense to me. But I knew I wanted to marry Girl Ninja, so ring shopping I went. And thousands upon thousands of dollars later, I ended up with this gem…

Another thing I think many of us fail to realize, is how much our cars can cost us. If you run the numbers, the results can be quite disturbing. Let’s take a look at my 2007 Scion tC. I probably put gas in it once every two weeks at $35/tank. Car insurance costs $135/month. Three oil changes per year at $25 each. Another $250 for annual registration junk. And let’s say another $200+/yr for random other maintenance fees. All said and done, my car is costing me at least $3,000 a year. And that’s with NO CAR PAYMENT. It’s ridiculous.

Just when you think you have your finances figured out, another crazy expensive purchase looms. What expenses shocked you? Was it household appliances? Bedding? Health Insurance? Something tells me my mattress, jewelry, and car experiences are just the tip of the iceberg. Help me out and tell me what else I should be looking out for 🙂

49 thoughts on “I had no idea.

  1. Haha I seem to do the bed hogging too when we sleep. My boyfriend says its a sign that he is my sun and I “gravitate” towards him :p

  2. Ninja, get thee to Costco right away! And buy a memory foam mattress. I bought a queen sized one a few years ago for about $500 and every time I sleep anywhere else I dream wistfully of my awesome mattress. Trust me, you will not regret the Costco memory foam mattress.

    • I concur with Laura. I have an amazing Queen size memory foam top mattress that cost me $600. I tell you, everyone loves sleeping in it… and not necessarily when I’m in bed with them either.

    • Agreed. A frugal alternative is to get thee to Costco and just one of the memory foam toppers, that you throw on top of your existing mattress. I think my queen size topper was under $200.

  3. yes on the cost difference in mattresses being worth it…an $800 mattress will last 2-3 years tops before it begins to sag in ackward places (like where ya badonkadonk rests), in spite of being turned/flipped regularly. A GOOD quality mattress will not have this sort of wear – we’re on year 8 of a Sealy queen (innercoil of some sort) mattress – no sagging, in spite of my sleeping like a log in the exact same placement on the bed for every night of those 8 years + having 35 extra pounds resting about my abdomen at certain times. So our mattress cost 3200…8 years ago. from a cost benefit analysis, that’s $1.10 per night of good sleep and it’s in near-perfect condition – so that cost will come down. Say it lasts 12 years = 0.73. THe previous mattress that only cost $800? bad sleep, $0.73 per night!

  4. I would read the article in the May 2010 Consumer Reports before you get thee to Costco or anywhere else. A good mattress does not need to cost $3000; on the other hand, a good one can last 10 years. I think I last replaced mine over 12 years ago, and it’s still in good shape.

    Dishwashers and refrigerators can be expensive too, but having just replaced the dishwasher after 15 years, I found a Whirlpool that cost just $400 ($550 after tax and delivery/installation) is perfectly acceptable and certainly better than my older one.

  5. In general, I spent way more on fixing up my house than I ever thought I would. Even if you buy something that you think needs “nothing” stuff still breaks, maintenance still needs to be done, dingy rooms still need to be painted periodically.

    • Don’t get me started on the cost of painting an apartment or house. If you use high quality Behr or Benjamin Moore, it’s far more than you might expect especially if you use colors. I don’t want to give actual numbers on my last painting “experience,” because I changed my mind on the colors during the course of the job, but I would estimate a single room could easily cost $400-500.

      Right now my bathroom could really use updating, and I would expect to pay a good $4K for that alone. Kitchens can also cost a small fortune.

  6. My fiance and I both got our matresses at Sam’s Club and spent about ~$600 for the most comfortable beds on earth. So definitely check out whatever wholesale club you have around you for some pretty sweet deals.

    Also on a bed stealing note sometimes girls cuddle (i.e. bed hog) sometimes cause boys are cover stealers and leave us cold so we are force to seek out heat. Just saying. 🙂

  7. Totally understand the bed hogging.
    Anyway ninja, I’m here to say that your car costs are not that bad (although admittedly i’m on the extreme end)
    Gas: 420/mo
    Ins: 130/mo
    Payment: 315/mo
    Oil Changes (10): 20/ea

    It’s a LOT of money. (cars stink)

  8. Most people don’t realize that you can haggle with the guys at Mattress Giant just like you can with used car salesman. Never pay sticker price for a mattress (unless you are buying at Costco or Sams). The queen size mattress I sleep on and love cost me about $450 dollars, marked down from over $1,000.

  9. Oh the costs never end!

    Everytime you feel “comfortable” disaster usually happens in the way of car repairs or major appliances breaking down and disasters usually come in “3”s. I always keep aside money for such occasions.

  10. hmmm…food!

    when I was single, I would eat only when I was humgry and maybe just a sandwhich, soup or salad or something. But since Jordan and I have lived together we have proper sit down meals, just about every day. It packs on the pounds!

    • I wish there was a like button like on Facebook! I used to spend $70/mo when single, ate lots of pasta & oatmeal; now it’s about $300, yikes!

  11. I have a King pillow top and I still get shoved to the edge each night by the wife. 🙂 Wait until the kids come along. I was in sticker shock over diapers, wipes and formula each week.

  12. Go for the king for sure!

    Replacing my driveway is going to cost me 6-7 thousand (it’s a long driveway…). I was thinking 2-3 thousand, so I am bitter about that one for sure. Painting the outside of my house cost a ton, and I am so mad I didn’t just replace the stupid stucco with siding of some sort.

    My house is the money pit. It seems like there is always something that needs to be replaced.

  13. One mattress reference: Keetsa. Look it up! It’s amazing and reasonably priced. Beware of unhealthy off-gassing issues with typical mattresses. Some items really are important to buy “green…”

  14. Later when you purchase a home be very aware of how much it costs to just get settled. After buying my house I had to purchase a refrigerator (NEVER knew how pricey they are, cmon man, I never cook and the sizes, features, etc go on and on) I ended up at a dent and scratch and got one for $800 (which still upsets me to this day) when I went home and saw the same fridge for about $1200. So all and all I got a good deal but had no clue it would be that bad. PLUS, my fence was old and had to replace that, I had no tools, had to buy them all! do you know how much a freakin wheelbarrel costs?! I think my parents are enjoying my sticker shock each time I call them from home depot begging to borrow their stuff instead. oh oh! AND I wanted blinds for the windows in just my living room, yeah thats bout $200 just for labor. wth?! I stuck with the temporaries for a while longer then opted for basic of the basic blinds for the windows that really needed it, that was about $200 (no labor, suckered my bf to sizing and putting them up which took bout 4 trips to Home Depot. Apparently all windows are not sized alike. go fig). I’m still bumming off my folks for laundry as I can’t afford a washer and dryer yet. Plus cool excuse to hang with my lil sis and lounge like a teenager…. I could go on and on but regardless of the costs, the pain, the sweat and blood (literally blood and sweat) I’ve gone through for my house I LOVE being a home owner. I enjoy the space and the privacy. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    • Ps – I got a $3k stearns and foster KING mattress at half off (financed at 0% for 6 months which I paid early). It was the floor model and hadn’t been out long at all. I got it cleaned and put a nice plush cover on it just for precaution and haven’t look back. I can roll about 3 times and not fall off. Never going to buy a smaller bed EVER again. Go for the king ninja!!!

  15. you have it pretty good on the whole car situation. you have a vehicle for all your work stuff. I have to fill up at lease once a week. $40. My wife’s car just cost us $1100 for a new clutch. insurance is around 174 because of my SUV and her car. Plus a car payment!

  16. Yes, mattresses are $$. We bought 2 twin sets for our kids, and it was almost $1000. But we bought high quality, and those beds will last them until they go to college (they are only 8 now).

    Go for the king…..wish I had one….our bedroom won’t fit one.

    Other “surprise” expenses….AKA part of growing up….

    1) cost of gifts for the in-laws
    2) how expensive it is to “host” a family get together (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc).
    3) Window treatments!!!

  17. Got our amazing organic latex Room and Board mattress (priced at $1899) for $699 at their outlet store. Highly recommended.

    As for “surprise” expenses, though we save up for them, I swear, I’m still always surprised at the annual car and house insurance premiums, along with the property taxes! That said, I try to also maintain my “surprise” at the annual tax refund (yes, we plan so that we will break even or get a refund so that we don’t have to pay into taxes come April. We like it that way.). May still need some time before I’m a grown up! Finally, uninsured dental expenses have been surprisingly high for my husband, and we have dental coverage. Still had to fork out about $2500 for his teeth last month. Yipes.

  18. My husbands hogs the bed too. I used to just take it, but now I just tell him flat out to move over. Seriously I wake him up to tell him i needed more room and the problem started to go away. yeah i felt bad for waking him up to do it, but after the times he has woken me up for grinding my teeth, I had no problem. You just have to be comfortable enough with eachother to do stuff like that. It is hard to do things like that, you don’t want to step on the toes of the person you live with, but you will be spending the rest of your lives together, you need to get used to being a little frank.

  19. Here have been my eye-opening expenses:

    1. Furniture
    Straight out of college, my wife and I needed to buy enough to fill an apartment. There seemed to be two depressing choices: insanely expensive moderate quality softwood stuff, or reasonably-priced plastic-covered particleboard IKEA stuff. We went with IKEA, being poor at the time, and a year later, our stuff is already chipping at the corners.

    2. Taxes
    As a kid you learn that you can keep what you make. Not so in the big friendly world of government! Federal income taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, use taxes, permit fees, and don’t forget 12% for Social Security and 3% for Medicare! The “Taxes” category is my biggest monthly expense, even more than rent. And for what? so my mismanaged state can piss it away on political third rail programs.

    3. Pet health care
    Our new dog chewed her tail raw out of nervousness. We took her to the vet who shaved off the hair in the affected area, treated the wound, and fitted her with a collar of shame. Total tost: $800! Holy schamoley, I could have done all that myself for a tenth the price!

    4. Car repair
    Minor fenderbender? a few dents in some plastic panels? Well that’ll cost ya $1500! Where does it all go? It seems to be towards replacing components that look perfectly fine to me.

  20. Food – hubby has to have some sort of MEAT with his meals…I’m the opposite.

    Electricity – hubby likes it more cool than I do so we run our AC more.

    Bedding – I have to have decent bedding…not 500 count but I like a nice soft sheet or 2.

    Laundry Detergent – loads double when you get married.

    Gas – we both love a good road trip.

    Healthcare – this goes without saying…bye bye self…hello family plan!

  21. OK this is a weird one, but good pots and pans cost big money! The set I got almost 13 years ago as wedding gifts was middle of the line, and are now falling apart. I know the set I really want (I cook a lot) and buying the small set of pans is going to run me around 500-600 bucks! Yikes!

  22. You know what costs a lot? Doing a job sorta well and then having to re-do it, when you should have just done it really well the first time. Multiple trips to the home improvement store and having to re-do home projects have proven this to me.

    Also, a new roof on a house and painting said house are pricey. (Something to keep in mind when you start home-shopping.)

  23. I am afraid no matter the size of the mattress, she will end up being next to you:) So, money could be saved for other things (unless you are in need for a new matterss for a different reason). Just sayin’

  24. It is expensive to live!! Time is money though, right? I could take a bus, but it would take me so much longer to get to places. Recently I have been investigating the cost of replacing the HVAC system in my house. That is super expensive!!

  25. Surprising costs:

    -Hosting dinner parties/holidays
    -Dental work 🙁
    -Rugs (damn, they are expensive)
    -Duvet covers for king size –yikes!
    Also:
    I purchased a new bed that was a “showroom” display– meaning people had probably flopped on it for 3 weeks– and scored a $1300 bed for $860. It’s a pillowtop queen size!

  26. i recommend a tempurpedic matteress mine was about 2k for a queen and i have never slept better in my life and they last like 20 years so its a good investment in your sleep and well being

  27. I always end up on the edge of the bed ’cause hubby is a roller but that’s ok. I like living on the edge. I called the top hotels in the city before we bought our bed to find out what type of bed they had and where they bought them from. Then we tried them out and bought the best one at the best price ($1200, after some haggling). I also like a really good pillow and they are really expensive. They also don’t last long in our house ’cause my hubby beats his up every night.

    We’re in our fifties and the most suprising expenses have been our kids when they were teenagers and owning our own home. When our kids were babies, it was suprisingly less expensive then I thought it would be because we were always getting gifts and babies don’t care if they wear designer clothing. I would never giving up owning a house and go back to renting but everything costs more in money and time then I thought it would. Of course, having kids was also worth every penny and I’m planning on being a very crotchety old lady just to pay them back for those teenage years.

  28. In regulated industries – mandatory certifications, tests, and dues (teacher & attorney).

    Window curtains & rods.

    Moving – not boxes/truck but the little costs, e.g. your new place will need a specific type of wall hanger for pictures, shelf lining paper, shims to stabilize the furniture, furniture feet coverings to protect the floor, rug mat so it doesn’t slide across the new slippery floor, etc. etc. etc.

  29. I was shocked at how much personal health insurance costs. I had Blue Cross for a year when I had no employer coverage, and I was paying almost $200/mo for my coverage, as a healthy 24 year old female, but then went to the doctor once and had to pay another $500 out of my own pocket between the visit and the prescriptions! What’s the point of insurance?! Now I’ve got my employer coverage (YAY) and pay $60/mo myself, and don’t deal with any deductibles or that crap.

  30. Prices that shocked me?
    1. the cost of ONE child’s snowsuit and winter boot set that will be worn for all of 4 months before the weather warms up again and the stupid thing is outgrown! Times that by 3!!!
    2. the cost of a “family of 6” outing to a theme park! ACK!
    3. the cost of orthodontics
    4. the cost of children’s extra curricular activities
    5. the cost of yardwork and gardening … heck, the cost of a truckload of dirt!

  31. Ha! I love this post and your entire site! My husband and I slept on a cheap full sized mattress for the first six years of our marriage, including the first year of our son’s life. We actually snuggled that baby into bed with us for many a night in the first few months of his life and were perfectly happy.

    Then our friends upgraded from a queen to a king and handed their queen down to us. It’s amazing! We have so much comfy mattress real estate now! The bed had only been used for two years and is great quality. I have to say now that we have had a good bed, it’s totally worth investing in. That being said, I hope some dear friends of yours are about to upgrade to a king size!

  32. Totally echo the sentiment on the memory foam toppers and mattresses available on amazon.com. They’re awesomely comfortable, come in an easily portable roll, and very budget friendly.

    Stuff that’s shocking in cost and usually unplanned? Getting a timing belt or clutch replaced in a diesel. Paying the tab on a 6 person dinner party (OUCH)! Out of pocket health costs. Speeding tickets – especially if you live in Canada (knock on wood I haven’t had one, but my friend got nailed with one.)

    Lastly, heating bills in an older house even when you’re keeping the heat down. I got hit with a $300 bill one winter and my apartment was only 1/4 of the house! Friends in an old Victorian home regularly spent over $1000/mo to heat it to a mere “chilly” atmosphere. Yikes!!!!

  33. lol. I am a bed hog too 🙂 we have a Cal king mattress. We bought one of those westin beds, it is really nice, but next time I would not buy online. We lucked out but, it is still a little too soft for my husband. So my next time mattress purchase plan try out different mattress and get the “firmness” factor nailed down, go to costco and get one that comes closest.

    My “wow! how much does it cost?” items were personal health insurance, dental work – wisdom tooth extraction, car maintenance/repair work and moving.

  34. My wife looked at this the other day and said, “I know you are going to comment about how I hog the bed”. I can’t let her down, can I? We actually sleep on a queen size bed, and were outraged (okay, not that far) at the prices of new beds!

    As far as the engagement ring, I selected one and showed my then fiance, she said it was too big!!! Man…those were the best words that a guy could ever hear when ring shopping! It wasn’t even crazy, like 1 ct or something. So, she picked out something smaller that she loved. I actually had her pick out about 5 or 6 and then surprised her.

  35. Get the best mattress you can afford and never look back! It’s worth it. And as mentioned, never pay sticker price. We got a $3000 Stearns and Foster for $1800 because I said “I really love it, but it’s just too much”. Imagine what I could have done if I had actually been haggling!

  36. I spent $3000 on a new bed for my parents: the mattress was $1500 and the bed itself (with the tallboy) was $1500.

    While $3000 is heaps to spend on bedding (ate away at a huge chunk of my savings as well), I figured nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep especially after a hard day at work.

    Plus given how much my parents have done for me over the years, it was the least I could do. Better than buying them something they didn’t need 🙂

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