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Aging is Expensive Even When You Aren’t Old

aging is expensive

We all know that we’ll likely face increased costs as we age. Most of those will come from healthcare costs as we fight diseases ranging from cancer to arthritis to dementia. While we’re aware of those increasing expenses, we assume that life won’t get more expensive until we’re “much older.” However, I’m finding that life is already starting to get more expensive as I age, and I’m not “old” yet.

It’s the little, subtle things that are starting to weigh down my bank balance. Subtle changes in my body are starting to require that more money be spent to keep me operating effectively and looking halfway decent. No longer can I just buy the cheapest thing on the shelf and know that it will work. As I age I’m finding that I’m becoming higher maintenance, and I’m not thrilled about it. Here are some things that are starting to get more expensive.

Shampoo and Conditioner

I used to be able to buy the cheapest shampoo and still have good looking hair. As I’ve aged, however, my hair has changed and it now requires “better” shampoo and conditioner to prevent breakage and keep it from hanging limply. The cheap stuff no longer works for me and I’ve had to start buying a more expensive salon formula to get good results.


I hardly ever used lotion when I was younger. As I’m aging, though, my skin is getting drier. Not only that, the cheap lotions can’t even touch the dryness, especially in the winter. Now I’m not only paying for lotion on a regular basis, but I’m having to buy the more expensive formulas to get any results.

Better Food

Like many people, when I was young my diet wasn’t the greatest. During college it was especially appalling. I can no longer get away with that. If I eat too much junk food, it no longer simply disappears. It tends to stick around on my hips. I’m also less tolerant of unhealthy food now. I don’t feel well after eating it. While I don’t buy “organic everything,” I do find that I spend a bit more now on fresh produce and seafood. On the plus side, I rarely eat out anymore because I can’t tolerate the high sodium and spice content in many foods, so this one might be a wash cost-wise.


While I try hard to get everything I need from my diet, I find that I function better when I include some supplements in my life. I never used to bother and I was fine. My doctor has also recommended a couple of supplements due to medical conditions in my family. Different people will take different things, but as you age you may find yourself visiting the pharmacy for various vitamins and minerals.

More Medical Screenings and Checkups

As you age you start coming up on medical milestones. Mammograms for women starting at forty. Colonoscopies at fifty. Yippee. I used to go to the doctor once per year for a physical. Now I go to the ophthalmologist (my eyes are aging, too), dermatologist (thanks to all those years of ill-advised tanning), gynecologist, primary care doctor, and radiologist for my mammogram. All of that every year. And that’s just to keep me healthy. Since each of these carries a co-pay, I’m paying five times more in co-pays than I used to, and I’m healthy!

More Hair Cuts

Back to my hair again. I used to go eight weeks between cuts and my hair would still hold its look. Now, thanks to hair that refuses to cooperate, I’m having to go every four weeks to keep from looking like a sheepdog. That’s twice as many cuts in a year. Thank goodness my stylist is cheap.

Temperature Control

I think this one is uniquely female, but I’m doing battle with my internal thermostat these days. Some days I have to chill the house down until the penguins move in, and other days I’m turning the heat up because I’m freezing. My days of careful thermostat management have been suspended while I seek an ever changing level of comfort. Sadly, the electric bill is a casualty.


Back to the ever changing skin. Somewhere along the line, my skin went from normal (which meant that I could use any kind of soap) to sensitive which requires special soap. No longer can I just buy whatever’s on sale. I have two brands that work for me and I have to get one of those. I pray for sales and stock up because those soaps are almost twice as much as what I used to buy.


Women will know that as you age, there is a little more work to do on the face. I don’t wear much makeup since I work from home but when I do need to look my best, I can no longer get by with drugstore cosmetics. Thanks to the skin sensitivity, I’m limited in my choices, plus I need a few more products than I used to. It isn’t cheap.

This is another one of those reasons why it’s so important to save money while you’re young. It’s not going to be just the bigger things that cost more as you age, the little things are going to start costing more, too. Thank goodness I saved a lot when I was young because just getting me up and out the door every morning is starting to cost more.

(Photo courtesy of Unfurled)

7 thoughts on “Aging is Expensive Even When You Aren’t Old

  1. Oh, you are so right. I don’t know how I forgot about the shoes! Nothing fits right anymore. The only running shoes I can tolerate anymore are Brooks and they’re pricey. Gone are my days of just going to Kohls and getting what was on sale!

  2. Shoes…yep…& various inserts for what is hurting that day. In addition to my “Good Feet” inserts, now I need a cushion pad for the front of my feet.

    Great article!!

  3. I have always had dry skin and evensome expensive stuff won’t cut it. I’ve discovered a product that does. I’ve just ordered six months worth and paid over $100!

    I find basic unscented soap is the best for me, but I balance that with a product my doctor prescribes – fortunately being over 60 means the prescription is free so that saves. I cannot use the liquid handwash or shower products because they make my skin very sore.

    Shoes, Jennifer you are so right there. And all of those tests, they are worth having. My colonoscopy discovered nasty polyps so colonoscopies are now a regular feature in my life.

    I do find cheap shampoo is okay if balanced by decent conditioner, but I do have five weekly haircuts. I keep mine short, wash it every day and it always looks passable.

  4. I see vanity items here, ha-ha. Learn to do your own haircuts, not difficult if you keep it simple and learn a few new tricks as you age. Check out organic coconut oil for a hair conditioner. This stuff lasts forever, smells great and is also edible. My doc is impressed with my cholesterol/triglyceride levels, and the only change I made was fixing an egg in organic coconut oil daily (yes, eggs ARE good for you, no matter what uncle sam says). Quit washing your hair so often, which dries the daylights out of it; I’ve let my hair grow a bit and only wash it once a week, made a huge difference, and I refuse to cover my greys. Absolutely quit blow drying. You don’t have to blow a lot of money on vanity items; you need to change the way you think sometimes. I understand the better food, but that should translate as more veggies and fruit; you can grow some of that. Read up on the oil thing – the right ones are good for you inside and out. You need to educate yourselves and be not afraid to stop following the crowd (media) so much. I don’t think we fool people most of the time when it comes to trying to hide our age. I refuse to purchase the expensive face junk and use a dab of petroleum jelly on my face in spots, even in summer; it’s truly been good for dryness (yeah, I know, the petroleum thing, but I’m amazed how well it helps over a more expensive moisturizer I used to use, God knows what’s really in that stuff that ain’t good for you over the long run). Maybe you guys should run with a different crowd (?)

  5. Nope some of those things aren’t vanity things. It has been at least 10 years since I could blow dry me hair if I wanted to. I can’t hold my arms up and over my head which means I certainly can’t cut my hair either. My medication makes my hair fall out so I have to take more medication to keep it in my head and that is a cost to pay–an no it isn’t vanity for a woman to not want to go bald just because she is routinely on chemotherapy type drugs! You said it with shoes. I have a pair of sandals that I have managed to get 10 years out of but they are starting to really fall apart. I can’t find shoes that I can AFFORD that are comfortable and it isn’t vanity to want comfortable shoes. I am in constant chronic pain daily. Why should I wear shoes that hurt to top it off? Since my knees were replaces I can’t wear anything with heels, and the last pair of sneaker I bought were men’s and even then they hurt my feet.

    Lots of things start taking more time and attention as we age. Because of how exhausting a 10 minute shower is to me, I have to go sometime 3-5 days if not more between them. Let’s just say I would prefer showers to be a bit more close together. I don’t think it is vanity to be clean, have clean hair, non-scaly skin. When everything else is falling apart it gives a very significant emotional lift to feel like you look presentable in public.

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