Stay on Top of Holiday Spending

With Halloween behind us, the holidays are quickly approaching. Before you become tangled in string lights and overwhelmed by the red and green, first think about setting a holiday budget for the upcoming season. When you’re in retirement, without the steady stream of income from your paychecks, you find yourself having to plan further in advance for large purchases. The holiday season can be a hard time to stay on track with spending, and nearly three quarters of American’s fail to budget properly for it according to CNBC.This is something that retirees can’t always afford to do, so here are some tips to stay on top of holiday spending.

First, don’t wait until the last minute to make your purchases. It’s better to start saving early to stay on budget. Some people decide to start a separate fund just for holiday gifts and decorations. According to the National Redtail Federation, the average American spending nearly $1,000 on holiday shopping, that’s not a number that most retirees account for in their retirement plan. Planning early also helps avoid the last-minute scramble, where most people end up overspending on gifts because they’re out of time. And, it’s no wonder why planning is the key to your retirement masterpiece.

Keeping lists of all the people that you need gifts for on your phone, computer or a notepad, can help give you a clear and organized idea of what you’ll need to buy and how much you will be spending. Also, write gift ideas and potential stores down to keep things easier for you and ensure everyone gets a meaningful and affordable gift. This way, you won’t be stuck handing out bubble bath and socks to all your loved ones.

Lastly, you should budget for self-giving. If you like to “treat yourself” over the holiday season, you should account for that in your overall budget. This way you will be prepared for when temptation strikes, and you find something you have to have while finishing your shopping. Also, try to shop for sales, it makes a big difference buying items that you were going to buy anyways when they are on sale as opposed to full price.

If you’re worried about navigating your holiday spending this season, now is a great time to meet with a financial professional. At Madrona Financial, we can sit down and help you plan a full and complete retirement budget. We offer a comprehensive financial review that will cover your retirement finances, your lifestyle plans and your future goals. Click here to schedule your no cost, no obligation financial review and stay on top of holiday spending.