How Your Age Affects Your Spending

Card In Pocket Ronaldo Taveira

Some things are not surprising: older people spend more on prescription medication and hearing aids. But would you have guessed that an 85-year-old would spend more than an 80-year-old on loungewear?

Maybe by 85, the value of good loungewear is finally realised. (And if so, then we're wise beyond our age.)

We would not have guessed that 50-year-old men spend more on new underwear than any other age group. (Is that related to mid-life crises leading to affairs with younger women?) Or that as you age, you buy more magazine subscriptions and make fewer one-off magazine purchases. (Is this because we get less adventurous as we age?) We weren't too surprised to see that alcohol consumption remains constant from one's 20s to one's 70s.

Many of the graphs from The Atlantic's article, 35 Amazing Graphs that Show How Your Spending Changes With Age, are not that amazing. Spending generally peaks between 50 and 60, when kids are leaving then nest and salaries are at their highest.

But some things are sort of interesting: the use of plastic cutlery peaks at 30 and declines thereafter. Men spend less on grooming every year after 40. (There goes the midlife crisis affair. Must be the paunch, then.) Calculator purchases peak at 20 (in college), then have a secondary peak at 45 (as you help your teenage kids with homework)?

Turns out we're pretty predictable creatures after all.