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 We have all heard of the American dream, especially when the United States is a melting pot of nationalities and ethnicities that came to America seeking exactly that, the American dream. But how much does this epic dream really cost?

 Well, if you have not heard of the foundation of this goal shared by practically everyone in the United States it goes a little something like this.  You will succeed as long as you go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids and live happily ever after. The key to success with the American dream is to simply work hard.


But the answer may not be so simple in the modern day and age. The cost of going to a good college and a great graduate school these days amounts to roughly $160,000-$200,000, without including the cost of living expenses.

 So once we’ve completed you education, you of course get a job. Now, depending on whether or not you are planning on getting married, let’s just say the entire process is not cheap. Incorporating the ring, the honeymoon, and the actual wedding, we’re looking at approximately $30,000 - $50,000 for marriage.

Now that marriage is out of the way, most individuals following the American dream want to own property, so they buy a house. Loans used to be a lot easier to acquire but these days require a lot more credentials and evidence of stability for the same amount.

 So if you’ve kept up with your credit between school loans, debt and the cost of marriage, you can successfully own property, which also comes with a hefty price tag. For a decent family home, the cost can really push your buttons ranging from $200,000 to $700,000 depending on location, quality, renovations, the whole shebang.


Now that I have your brain churning and palms sweating, don’t worry. All you have to do is work really hard, pay off debt, live frugally, save aggressively, invest wisely, protect your assets, oh and make money. My point here is, the American dream is very costly if we try to live up to the traditional definition.

 Instead, we need to adjust the American dream to suit our needs both in terms of our finances and lifestyles in order to truly make us happy and personally feel successful. Everybody wants to live beyond their means, but let’s do so within reason. 

About the author


Brooklyn-based Margaret Skowronska is a St. Francis College Communications and Business graduate with an intense curiosity that fuels her drive. She strongly follows the inspirational words of Norman V. Peale, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

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