You’re in your 40s.
You don’t care what people think. Your income is higher than ever. And your kids can finally feed and dress themselves (if you can manage to wake them up, that is).
In other words, life is good.
But you’ll still have some big financial decisions to make. So keep your hands on the wheel during this decade. Here are 40 common expenses you can expect in your 40s.
- Debt Repayment—Don’t let debt follow you into your retirement years. Get rid of it now.
- Home Repairs—If you bought a house in your 30s, it’s probably time for a new roof and some fresh paint. Find out how to keep 3 common home repairs from busting your budget.
- Remodeling—Happy with your home except for the kitchen and bath? Renovations always cost more than you think so keep a contingency fund on hand.
- Dream Home—If you’re ready for a nicer home, why not buy it without debt?
- Property Taxes—Now that your house is worth more, you get to pay more taxes. Fun.
- Children—While your diapering days may be over, kids still need shoes, clothes and anything else they outgrow at lightning speed.
Related: 10 Ways We Waste Money on Our Kids
- Medical Insurance—Between sprained ankles and torn ACLs, you never know when the next accident will happen or how much it will cost. Keep your family covered at all times.
- Term Life Insurance –Take care of your gang with term life insurance. No excuses.
- Gym Memberships—Your body isn’t what it once was. Unless you plan on pounding the pavement, budget for a health club.
- Retirement Savings—You can’t afford to put this off! Invest 15% of your household income (or more if you’re playing catch-up) so you won’t be living off Social Insecurity later.
- College Funds—As your kids near college age, bump up these tax-advantaged contributions.
Related: Retirement or College Funding: Which Comes First?
- Real Estate Investing—After saving for retirement, you may want to invest in real estate or rental property. This is a great idea if you have cash.
- Glasses/Contacts—It’ll be nice to read a book again without squinting.
- Furniture—Good-bye worn-out armchairs. Hello classy sectional.
- Car Repair—If you bought a car in the last decade, it’s probably time for some major maintenance or a new-to-you replacement.
- Teen Car—Instead of buying your teen’s first ride, why not motivate them to save? Match their car fund up to a limit. Don’t forget about the insurance! Find out how to save big dollars on your teen driver.
- Accountant—Now that your taxes are more complicated, a good CPA is worth your money.
- Entertainment—As long as you have the cash, it’s okay to splurge on season tickets to the theatre or your favorite sporting events.
- Moving Expenses—If you relocate for a job, buy that new house, or move to be near family, expect to part with a nice chunk of change.
Related: Save Your Sanity With These Moving Day Tips
- Milestone Anniversary—Big wedding anniversary coming up? You probably want to put a little something aside for that special trip or precious stone.
- Gardening—Pay once in the spring and enjoy your flowers and veggies all summer long.
- Kids’ Educations—From school supplies to class trips, your kids’ educations will cost you.
- More Food—You’ve got more mouths to feed. Budget more money to feed them.
Related: Ways to Cut Down Your Grocery Bill
- Better Clothes—Ready to get rid of those fall-apart pieces? Prepare yourself. Nicer clothes cost more cash.
- Family Portraits—Kodak moments may be free, but professional photo sessions are not.
- Dentist/Orthodontist—If you need a root canal or your kiddos need braces, you’ll probably pay out-of-pocket.
- Kids’ Commissions—As your kids continue to do chores for money, remember: That money comes from you.
- Side Business—Always wanted to turn your hobby into a business? Save up and start small. Never go into debt for a startup.
- Kids’ Extracurriculars—Dance. Soccer. Music lessons. All that talent costs money. And time.
- Annual Vacations—From additional plane tickets to extra hotel rooms, a week at the beach ain’t cheap.
- Lawn Care/Housekeeper—You can finally afford to pay someone else to do some of those dreaded household tasks. Yippee!
- Professional Organizations—Pay your dues. That’s all.
- Date Nights—While delivery pizza will always hold a special place in your heart, your palette’s probably a little more adventurous by now. Budget accordingly.
- Continuing Education—If you’re ready to advance or change your career, college may be calling. Cash-flow it or don’t go. Ask yourself these questions before going back to college.
- Electronics Upgrades—New computers, tablets, TVs and cell phones are probably in your future.
- Celebrations—As your friends and family members expand their broods, you can count on a lot more wedding showers, baby showers and birthday parties. Gifts are appreciated.
- Toys—Always wanted a boat or motorcycle? Craigslist, baby.
- Pet Care—Save for routine pet care and surgeries as your pup ages. Here are 4 practical ways to save on our pricey pets.
- Memberships—Don’t forget about your annual memberships to Costco, Sam’s Club or AAA.
- Extra Giving—You should have some extra cash to give away by now. Be thoughtful and intentional about how you give it.
Your 40s are a prime time to get your money in working order. Don’t miss out by living in the past or waiting for the future. We’re here to help you no matter where you’re coming from, where you are, or where you’re going. Take the first step today!