While 20-somethings may be known for frivolous spending and short-sighted financial decisions, it's actually the 40-somethings who blow out their entertainment budgets every year. According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people aged 25 and under spend an average of $1250 per year on entertainment, compared to almost $3000 for the mid-30s to mid-40s age group.
This trend rings true across the food, housing, and healthcare spending categories as well, reminding us that life doesn't necessarily get cheaper just because we get older. In fact, quite the opposite is true: According to CNN Money's Maurie Backman, people in their 40s tend to spend more money because they make more money, in addition to supporting families and dealing with unexpected household repairs. Between supporting middle school–aged children, saving up for college tuitions, and paying to repair the roof, 40-somethings have a lot on their plates financially—even more so than 30-somethings.
Fortunately, a few simple financial tricks can prepare you for this costly decade, the first of which is just being aware of it. "If you’re able to anticipate your expenses increasing over time, you can take steps to prioritize saving while keeping spending to a minimum," says Backman. "You can start by pledging to consistently live below your means so when your earnings increase, so too can your savings. Get into the habit of paying yourself every month before you spend a dime."
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