3 Steps To Spend and Still Plan For Retirement

If you are unwavering about your retirement planning goals do not let the holidays become counterproductive. Your actions speak loudly during the holidays.

The way you handle your money this time of year says a lot about your determination, or lack of.  If you put retirement planning on hold because of yuletide cheer you must not be very serious about retirement.

It’s A Financial Thing

If you want to retire some day you understand that retirement investing is a financial obligation which cannot be interrupted. The only money that will be waiting for you when you reach retirement age will be the retirement investments which you funded during your working years.

You only have so much discretionary income to go around. If you spend too much of that money on gifts and holiday cheer you will have much left to build up your retirement plans. Every year you remember to do your holiday shopping early in order to avoid long lines and stressed out sales clerks.  Too bad you forget to remind yourself to not spend as much as you did the prior year.

Seasonal Reality Strikes

Ahh, all good things must come to an end. The holiday season is over. Now comes the hard part, paying the bills. In a few weeks your credit card statements will begin to arrive. You always forget about this part because you get so caught up in the festive spirit.  You easily brush off the high cost of the holidays by convincing yourself it’s okay to splurge since Christmas only comes once a year.

Retirement Reality Strikes

Retirement only comes once in a lifetime. You only get 40 working years to earn enough money to pay for 30 years of retirement.  Investors who are serious about retirement have a different attitude about holiday spending.

Serious investors know that if they manage their money properly all year-long they do not have to choose between splurging or investing. They can to both just by changing a few financial habits.

3 Steps To Turn It Around

Step #1 – It’s The Thought That Counts

Spending the holiday without ruining your plans for retirement

courtesy of justcallmemissdi

It’s okay to trim back next year. You will not be considered a Scrooge.

Your family, friends and co-workers will still like with you regardless of the size or cost of the gift you give. Maybe those who judge your relationship on the size of your gifts should be eliminated from next year’s gift list? Or they should at least be reminded that it’s the thought that counts.

Step #2 – It’s Not What You Make

Tighten up your financial discipline. Planning for retirement has been made out to be such a complicated task when it’s really not. All it requires is discipline.

Your spending habits are more important than the size of your pay check.  If you can curb your spending and learn to live on less than you earn you will find extra money to invest into your retirement plan. When you are ready to retire it’s not what you made but what you kept that will matter.

Step #3 – Make A Financial Lifestyle Change

A new year is the perfect time to look at which of your financial habits need improvement.  If it’s your spending habits make it a lifestyle change, not just a change close to the holidays.

The main purpose for changing your financial habits should be to find more money for retirement investing. A secondary purpose can be to find a bit of money for the holidays.

You Can Have It All

Holiday gifts and festivities are important, be sure to keep it all in perspective.

If you feel the need to splurge a bit during the holidays, just don’t over do it. Instead of using all of your raises and bonuses for holiday gifts and festivities, invest some of it into your retirement plan. Your retirement is a 30 year investment so don’t loose your focus on preparing for it.