From the UK: How Much Money Do We Spend In a Lifetime?

We go to work everyday, and we earn money, and we spend money, almost everyday. Can you think of a day when you did not spend money? Those days are few and far between. It maybe you need to get petrol, pick up a loaf of bread, milk, money for the kid’s school lunches, a pint in the pub, face it, we spend money almost everyday.

So how much do we spend?

Naturally how much we spend will be dictated by how much we earn. Depending on your earnings you could earn £1 million pounds by retirement. If you began working at age 20, and on average earned £25,000 a year, that would give you £1 million pounds. The real question here is how much of it did you save?

When you look at it over that period of time, a lifetime, it does look like a huge sum of money.

Let’s see where some of that money was spent.

shutterstock_153481835Let’s Do Lunch

The average worker will spend £90,000 on lunches during their working career. That is taking into account they spend £7.81 each working day, which is not difficult to do. Even if you have the Tesco “Meal Deal” at £3, you may get coffee in the morning on your way to work, a snack in the afternoon. If you just spent half of this you’d save £45,000 over your lifetime.

shutterstock_174063083Your Car

We love our cars, and why not. They represent freedom, movement, and in some ways are an extension of ourselves. If you have a car on average you will spend £200,000 on it in your life time. And that does not include the price of the car.

The largest expense is fuel, with insurance being the second largest expense.   You can see why if you drive just a little bit less, or find a cheaper insurer, the savings over the years can really add up.

shutterstock_245455036The Face

In particular, a woman’s face. Women will spend £18,000 on make-up, cleansers, and moisturisers, over the course of a lifetime. This averages out to just under £300 a year that is spent.

If you have never priced women’s make-up and beauty products, you should, as the prices will shock you. Why do you think many women’s make-up products have those security tags attached to them. 

If you add in the mix what women spend on their face, hair and body, the bill rises to £133,000 over a lifetime. We all want to look good, but that’s a bit pricey.

shutterstock_182175482Our Gardens

On average we spend £30,000 on our gardens over a lifetime. I have seen quite a few gardens viewing from a train journey, that the owners have not come anywhere near this mark.

Between the landscaping, lawn mowers, and other tools required to keep the garden nice, it can all add up.


Here’s where the ladies win again as they can spend up to £80,000 on clothing over the course of a lifetime. Men spend around £34,000.

Women need new outfits for everything and then they also need the right shoes, necklace, bracelet, etc. Imagine how much you could save if you reduced this by 15%. 


The amount our pets cost us over a life time can really vary according to the type of pet, dog, cat, bird, etc, and how long they live, and how healthy they are. On average a pet can cost £833 for dogs and £675 for cats, which can add up to around £10,000 over the course of the pet’s life. If you have multiple pets, or always have a pet, replacing one after its death, that cost will increase.


Takeaways: On average we are spending £1,320 a year on takeaways. If you take that average figure and use say 50 years of takeaways, you will have spent £66,000 on takeaways over the course of your lifetime.

Not only think of what you’d save if you cut back, but also your health and waistline.

Groceries: If on average we spend £56.80 a week for food, this is £2,953 a year, which over 50 years would equal over £147,000.   Between food and takeaways that is over £200,000 in a lifetime. 


Let’s not forget the cost of gas and electricity. The amount we pay each month and year can really vary here due to the size of your flat or house, and also how you monitor your usage. If we use an average of £800 per year, for 50 years, that is £40,000 spent on utilities over a lifetime.


When you look at what we spend in a lifetime it can be staggering, however, through having kids in the mix and you may faint.

If we are to believe an annual survey that is done which accounts for raising a child from birth and through university, as of 2014, that cost has risen £5,000 over last year to over £225,000!

This takes into account food, nappies, etc, with education and childcare being the two largest expenses.

The annual report which started in 2003, has shown that the cost of raising a child has risen over 60% in the past 11 years.

It is easy to see why some people may be putting off having a family, or not having more than one child.


“What were once vices, are now habits.” 

We cannot look at money spent in a lifetime without taking a look at what we spend on cigarettes and alcohol.

We are constantly told that smoking is bad for our health, yet people continue to smoke.

We are told the health issues we can experience if we consume too much alcohol, yet we still drink.

Maybe if we look at the costs in terms of money out of pocket, we may slow down with the booze, or stop smoking.

It has been stated that through alcohol abuse, it may be costing the NHS £6 billion a year! This isn’t just through illnesses, A&E related treatments, but also premature births and absenteeism, and unemployment.

As for you and I, if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, you could save £91 a month, or £1,095 a year. If you project this out even further to 10 years, you could save £10,950.

That’s a fair amount of money.

 If a person were to buy a bottle of wine for say £5, and do this three times a week, that totals £15. This adds up to £780 a year, or £7,800 in 10 years. 

However, the average drinker in all probability spends more than £15 a week on booze. A research study conducted by Onepoll found that the amount spent is higher and on average we spend £50,000 on alcohol in our lifetime.

By reducing our alcohol consumption, not only we preserve our health, but also save money.


OK all you javaheads or caffeine junkies out there, what is that cup of Joe costing you in a lifetime?

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Depending on how much you spend daily, it could cost you over £52,000 in your lifetime.

In Briton, coffee shops and speciality coffee houses are a £6 billion pound industry!

It seems to me you see coffee shops everywhere you go. So you don’t have to wander far to get to one.

Just by taking a flask with coffee made at home, or reducing the number of cups a day, you could save big. 

When you look at these figures it can be staggering, it also may help to put things into perspective, and maybe cause a slight change in our spending. And this is not the end of the list!

,We go to work everyday, and we earn money, and we spend money, almost everyday. Can you think of a day when you did not spend money? Those days are few and far between. It maybe you need to get petrol

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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