We all know that the 4th of July (or, July 4th, as I like to call it) is a pyro’s dream holiday, followed by New Year’s Eve fireworks and birthday candles. And what’s not to love. You get to blow stuff up legally, the grill is fired up all day, and you can finally show your neighbors that you are better than them by shoving 24 artillery-style firework shells into a giant tube and literally watching your money burn in the night sky. You neighbor’s roman candle can’t hold a flame to that (so many puns, so little time).
We Spent How Much?
Every year, our family all gathers together at our grandparent’s amazing cabin on a small lake about an hour north of here. We’ve got amazing food cookin’ all day, tons of family fun on the lake, and when the lights go down, we rock the fireworks. For a few years in a row, it seemed we were in competition with the surrounding houses on who could put on the best show. We (the boys) would go out to the reservation and I saw my uncles drop some serious cash on boxes of fireworks that were almost taller than me! We would pack a few SUV’s full of the “good stuff” and drive back with the biggest grins you have ever seen. There’s something magical about knowing you have more firepower than a small army packed in your trunk.
After talking with some people, I heard that our family all together dropped over $600 on fireworks one year! Probably closer to $1,000!!! WOW! And we burned it up in a few hours. And though it’s not much compared to blowing through $100,000, it is no small chunk of change.
How much do you spend?
An article in Time Magazine states that “consumers in the 18- to 24-age category are expected to spend the most money over the holiday ($379), with men spending more than women.” I think this number includes food, drinks and fireworks, but that is a LOT of money for people to spend on one day. And your purchased assets are 100% depreciated in under 3 hours! I don’t come near this average, but I can tell you that I do spend more than my allotted $20 a month spending cash. And it’s usually on impulse, based on the fact that I don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines, holding a sparkler like a goober.
Is It Worth It?
The question really is; Is it worth the $379 you spend every year to celebrate this historic day? I would venture to say that young men are more likely to answer yes to this question. I’m still on the fence. I know, blowing through this amount of cash in one day is ridiculous, especially since most people don’t budget for it. And though I don’t budget any money for July 4th (or, as most people call it, the 4th of July), I still end up spending more than I have “spending cash” available. But I just can’t bear to look at a savings bucket line item called “fireworks”.
But if I ever need some convincing, I can always plug these number into an investing calculator for some sobering data:
- My $50 invested at 8% over 30 years = $6,117.29. Not too bad. But seriously, that’s an all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica for 10 days!
- The average of $379 invested at 8% over 30 years = $46.369.08! Now that’s a lot of money wasted. UGH!
- My family’s epic fireworks show at $1,000 invested at 8% over 30 years = $122,345.87. O.M.G. Nothing really more to say about this number.
Comments: How much do you spend on fireworks for July 4th? Do you budget for this holiday? Do you feel that your money was well spent? And for fun, tell me your worst 4th of July disaster?
Mine was when my dad lit a mortar shell firework upside-down, along with like 15 other shells, and everyone nearby had to hit the ground to avoid shrapnel. I dove head first off our dock onto the grass with balls of fire blasting over my head. Not sure how there we no casualties on that one. We even made the spectators at the top of the hill run for cover because of the amount of debris flying through the air. Good times.