31-year-olds spend up to $60K in one year
Turning 31 is going to cost a pretty penny.
That’s the age when people are likely to spend the most money in their entire lives, shelling out up to $60,000 in that single year, according to a recent survey by credit score company ClearScore.
ClearScore surveyed 3,000 people aged 25 and over, and had each outline their expenses for that year. They found that 31-year-olds spent the most money, with the biggest expenses being getting married (27%), buying a house (25%), having a baby (20%) and paying for a honeymoon (14%). (Worth noting the average U.S. worker’s salary is $44,564 a year.)
Nick Pennebaker, 31, is living his most expensive year right now after moving across the country from Chicago to Denver. He bought a new house, got engaged and traveled to Europe, and will have spent well over $65,000 of his savings by the time he turns 32.
“This year has been obscenely expensive in terms of what I spent,” Pennebaker tells Moneyish.
Moving cost him about $6,000, and renting the new house alone will run up to $30,000 for the year. After the move, Pennebaker proposed to his now-fiance Anna, and says he’s already spent $10,000 on wedding planning, as well as flying back and forth to Chicago, where they’ll tie the knot next year. Then there’s travel and leisure, like a trip to Amsterdam which racked up a $5,000 bill, and weekend escapes around Colorado that have totaled around $3,000.
Spending on travel and experiences in their new city, coupled with life events, is a priority over budgeting right now, says Pennebaker.
“Thirty-one is an interesting age, because you’re well into adulthood by having a real job, paying bills on time and balancing a checkbook, but there’s also a touch of immaturity,” he admits. “So what if you pay a bit extra for a nice meal … a weekend trip to the mountains or New Orleans? We definitely have a good amount of responsibility on our plate, but not having kids or people truly relying on each of us does give some more wiggle room.”
That means room for going out to dinner four times a week, and splurging on golf and brewery outings that stack up to about $300 a week, Pennebaker says.
According to the ClearScore study, 60% of the 31-year-old participants said they had enough savings to cover the added expenses themselves at that age, while 33% of 25 to 34-year-olds had to ask their parents to loan them the money. In contrast, just 14% of people over 55 said their parents helped them financially at 31. The findings also show that 31-year-olds still worry about saving money, particularly for retirement and having children, with 20% admitting they use credit cards for big purchases, compared to just 8% of people over 55.
Other 31-year-olds are investing in their futures. Sachi Lee, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur who runs her own jewelry business and works part-time as a DJ, has invested thousands of dollars in business ventures and living alone.
“At this age, you’re making more money, but you’re also reinvesting in yourself because you’re on an upward career trajectory,” Lee says.
Her first splurge was getting her own two bedroom apartment sans roommate so that she could have a home office space for work, which costs her $26,000 a year for rent — a little over $10,000 more than what she was paying to live with a roommate. She’s also spent $3,000 in new DJ equipment to host private events and pop-ups for additional income.
Lee, who prides herself on being an independent working woman, has also committed to self-care at any cost. That includes: A $2,400-a-year gym membership; $1,200 preventive botox sessions she said she never had to worry about in her 20s; and around $3,600 a year on hair, makeup and manicures to look presentable at work events. She’s also spending around $5,000 on travel for the year, including an upcoming trip to Las Vegas with family.
“I definitely have prioritized my career my whole life, and now everything I’m spending is an investment in the future,” she says.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved