How much money you spend in a lifetime?

I’ve developed a habit to look into my financial statement at least once a month. It reveals that the expenses area keep inflating, year after year. And it makes me wonder how much we are going to spend in our lifetime?

Let’s estimate what the total amount is going to be.

Life is basically divided into four major phases:
1. Childhood (age 0-23)
2. Young Adulthood (age 24-40)
3. Midlife (age 41-60)
4. Elderhood (age 61-??)

To simply estimate how much money we spend, we shall just use the current value of money. In other words, we won’t look at the effect of inflation. Technically, inflation can be offset with the rate of return. Let’s just look at the amount of money in the current economic value. All the number shown is only an estimation based on a medium income family.

Childhood (age 0-24)

During your childhood, you spent your parents’ money. They pay for your milk powder, your toys and the biggest expense of all – your education fees.

Living expenses: RM10,000/yr x 23 = RM230,000
Education fees: RM50,000
Total: RM280,000

Young Adulthood (age 24-40)

You started making money after graduation. You bought at least a car and a house. You are not only paying for your own living expenses. You also give allowances to your children, and your parents.

Living expenses: RM20,000/yr x 16 = RM320,000
Car: RM50,000
House: RM200,000
Total: RM570,000

Midlife (age 41-60)

After years of working experience and networking, your income will be more solid at midlife phase. Most people have a few children still studying in schools and colleges. You might buy a bigger house and a bigger car. The standard of living also increases to include hobby and travelling.

Living expenses: RM30,000/year x 20 = RM600,000
Car: RM150,000
House: RM500,000
Total: RM1.25 million

Elderhood (age 61-80)

At old age, you may spend most of your money on medical fees, nursing care and also some travelling if you are still fit enough to do so.

Living expenses: RM10,000/year x 20 = RM200,000
Medical expenses: RM15,000/year x 20 = RM300,000
Total: RM500,000

Total Lifetime Expenses

So, the total estimation is about RM2.6 million!
If you are earning RM50,000 annually, it will take you 52 years to earn RM2.6 million.

How much do you estimate you will spend in your whole life?
Take the poll below and tell us what you think about the figure:


(Please visit this blog post to take the poll. Thanks!)

About The Author


personal finance author and trainer


  • The 8th Voyager

    Reply Reply September 30, 2009

    Everyone got their own different figure.

    My childhood spent much lesser as my father’s salary was just a few hundred ringgit and my mom’s earning as babysitter was half of my father’s.

    RM10,000/yr was probably the whole family spending for us.

    • KCLau

      Reply Reply October 9, 2009

      yeah .. my father used to earn RM20k+ a year 20 years ago, during his career peak.
      That is amazing that they can still raise four children and save money for retirement.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply October 11, 2009

    wow.. what a stat! i believe the amount will be inflated much more in the next ten years.. how to over come this problem if our salary still the same!

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