The objective of this study was to determine if the presence and formality of spending plans (budgets) varied across the life cycle. Data were collected from a sample of non metropolitan households in Kansas. Stages of the life cycle were based on a modification of Duvall and Hill’s (1948) stages of family development. Results indicated that while most respondents in all stages had some kind of a budget, only a minority had written budgets. Respondents in the retirement age stage were least likely to have any kind of budget, and least likely to have a written budget. However, they were most likely to have a budget that covered a period longer than one month. Implications for financial advising and education are discussed. KEYWORDS: budgets, life cycle

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