Retirement Planning & Holiday Spending

Matthew Mullowney |

You've spent the better part of your working years planning for your comfortable retirement. As you celebrated your last official day of work, you already had a pretty good idea of the value of your financial investment portfolio and personal worth. And, you probably had a plan for how much money you would need every year to maintain the comforts of life that you were accustomed to. You either would have more than enough for a comfortable retirement or you would have to be careful with spending to maintain your lifestyle. Either way, a budget is always a good idea to make your money lasts as long as possible.

When budgeting, there's very little difference in living expenses from month to month except for the holidays. You'll want to make sure that you consider this extra expense when completing and following your budget. Whether you save a specific amount each month or have an emergency fund, you will want to ensure that the money you need is available to avoid adding any credit card debt to your future budget.

Here are some tips to help you have a great holiday without causing you any undue financial stress.


Determine how much money you will need.

Take the time to write down everything you need to have a happy holiday season. While the gifts may big the largest part of your budget, many other things can add extra expenses. Make sure to account for decorating, travelling, food, liquor, as well as any added expenses of having any family and friends spending time with you for a few days. Once you know exactly how much money you will need, you can decide whether to break it down into your monthly budget or plan for it every holiday season.


Think about trimming your budget.

As you get older and wiser, you find ways to save money. Retirement is certainly the time to keep honing those skills. You can always find different ways to save money on holiday spending. One way is to watch for sales throughout the year for the things that you know you will need for the holidays and buy them early. If you already know you will spend the money, why not save a little? Even if you have enough money to comfortably retire on, you may want to leave a substantial estate to your friends and loved ones.


Don't overspend.

Once you've decided what your budget is for the holidays, don't be tempted to overspend. If you see a gift that you know would be perfect for someone, but it's more than you budgeted, you could think about spending a little less on another gift to compensate for buying it. It's not always about how much money you spend on a gift. It's really about the inspiration behind what made you want to give the gift in the first place.

Planning for a successful holiday season while enjoying your retirement is a time of the year to look forward to. You get to see all of your friends and family and celebrate the joy of the season together. There's no reason why the added expense of the holiday season should cause you any stress as long as you have a budget and keep your spending within that budget.