Your financial age: How to avoid spending pitfalls throughout life

Family discussing how spending habits change as you get older.

Life changes as you age. And as you’re probably well aware, spending does, too. Learn how spending habits typically change through life, and discover ways to help you stay on track with your financial goals. 

How spending priorities change as you age

Age 25

Spending is still relatively low in young adulthood, especially on housing and utilities. But you may want to curb spending at bars and clubs during this time, as it usually peaks at age 25.

Age 40

Skipping ahead to age 40, spending increases but is still well below its upcoming peak. Peak spending on clothes, along with higher spending on housing, utilities, sports, movies, and travel contributes to a great deal of this increase.

If you are at or nearing 40, be aware of potentially sharp increases in spending over the next decade and a half.

Age 55

Overall spending peaks just before age 55 and then starts to dip. Around this age, the likelihood of earning a high income, in general, begins to decrease. So spending on dining out, gasoline, and clothing begins to drop.

In addition to looking forward to upcoming savings on these items, you may also want to look at cutting items for which spending reaches its peak—sports, movies, and travel.

Age 70

While overall spending gradually drops, it's still higher than in young adulthood or even age 40. Housing and utilities spending remains high, but the drop in dining out, gasoline, and clothing expenses continues, along with a big dip in sports, movie, and travel expenses.

By maintaining a consistent savings strategy throughout your life—and being aware of common spending pitfalls as you age—you can make sure your finances age gracefully, right along with you.

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