Making money mistakes when you’re in your 20’s or 30’s can’t be very devastating. However, when you’re forty, the world anticipates you should have been equipped with a lot of money management skills. Much is expected as you come near the early stages of retirement and although there is still a lot of room for improvement, the impacts of wrong financial decisions may not be easily reversible at this stage in your life. 

So, to avoid regretting investments, debts, savings, and spending, here are 8 money habits to start doing on or before your 40th year. 

1. Stop lifestyle inflation

The onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic has taught everyone that we can all survive without luxuries on our hands. People stopped using cars, buying pieces of jewelry, or even eating at fine dining restaurants. When you’re forty it’s expected that you’re probably making a decent amount of money and that you are spending it wisely. It is but natural to think that you need to reward yourself for your years of hard work. The problem is, inflating your lifestyle at this stage may also drain your net gain and it may be difficult for you to go back and be as productive or competitive as you were in your younger years. 

walking with bicycle

2. Teach your kids to make good financial choices

Your children’s mindset and attitude about money could be one of your most priced legacies. You might not have a lot of assets to endow them with but inculcating the value of financial health is a treasure they will appreciate as they grow old. 

Forty is not too old a number to be involved in your child’s financial decision. Start by helping them open a savings account where they can save little amounts of money each month. Let them understand the principles of interest rates and fees and what frequent withdrawals can do with their money. 

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Engage in small talks to let them understand how smart money choices can affect their lives. Above all, be that great example of someone who handled his money well.

3. Take care of your health

Forty is the time when you might easily gain weight and experience hair loss, teeth insensitivity, and lactose intolerance. Experts say the age 40 is a milestone when the risks of becoming unhealthy increases. Whether you’re not there yet or you start experiencing health deterioration symptoms, it is important to learn ways to stay healthier. 

At forty, start looking into your health numbers including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and weight. Watching these numbers can help you identify potential risks and can save you from spending a lot of money on treatments, medicines, and hospitalization. 

health cta

Also, remember how important it is to muscle up and be friends with fiber. Your metabolism slows down at this age and your only faithful friends are fluids, exercise, fruits, and vegetables. 

4. Review your savings

How long have you been working and how much money were you able to set aside to help you survive during your retirement? If the pandemic has drained all your savings, maybe it is time to start filling out your accounts again. If you have a considerable amount of money secured in a bank account, make sure it could sustain you in your aging years. 

Forty is the peak of anyone’s career when you already become an experienced authority in your craft. You can ask for a raise or engage in some side gigs to earn from your expertise. 

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5. Finish off your debts

It doesn’t sound easy to pay off all your cash loan debts at once and be financially healthy at forty. However, it would help to make it a goal to close all your borrowings at this age. You wouldn’t want to grow old answering calls from bank agents who follow up on your missed payments and unsettled loans. You would never want to sleep on ballooning credit card bills and deteriorating credit scores. 

6. Check your retirement contributions

retirement jar


Instead of putting your money into travel and lifestyle expenses, it would be more beneficial to start or boost your retirement contributions. It is not yet too late to think about the next ten or twenty years of your life. Don’t wait for fifty or sixty before investing. It is also good to review your insurance plans. Whether it’s a life insurance, health insurance, or investment insurance, make sure that your coverage is sufficient, and your premiums are paid on time. 

7. Consider home improvements, repairs, and ownership

Have you been renting all your life? When was the last time you checked the shingles or the pipes? Have you considered planning where you settle after retirement? Preparing your home for old age is important. You won’t be renting for the rest of your life so it is better to decide where you plan to settle in your golden years. 


Moreover, if you currently own the house, it is good to set renovation and repair goals at this age. Allot enough budget to prepare your house for any calamities and to make it more comfortable for your kids and grandkids to stay during their visits. 

8. Set your priorities and align your resources

Set what you want to achieve at this age. You might need to save for retirement, college, home renovations, or business. Each month identify where your money goes and if the money doesn’t go directly to fund your goals, it is time to make some realignment. You need to track your budget, categorize your expenses, and fund your priorities. 

woman computing


Financial experts suggest that 20% of your income after deducting the tax should go to your financial priorities. It is recommended that you strategically break up your income as 50% for basic needs including transport and food, 20% on your goals, and 20% on your savings and 10% on your wants. 

Final thoughts:

They say age is but a number, however, being forty is a milestone you shouldn’t waste. You should be congratulated for reaching this age and achieving a lot more than what you planned. Forty represents how smarter you have become when it comes to financial decisions. At this age, take advantage of the gift of confidence, wisdom, and experience to make the most of your opportunities and resources. Start gradually bridging all gaps of youth and retirement financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually. 

Ailene Amaro

Ailene Amaro

Ailene is a history major turned language teacher turned finance writer. Stern and strict as she may seem, she spends her time away from her lesson plan with music and lyrics.