Does this sound like you?
You have just retired, and you’re exhilarated. Each day dawns with no schedule. You can sleep in or get up early. You can fiddle around the house all day or go out with friends. You can stay out late, enjoy another glass of wine and not worry about being alert for a meeting the next morning. You answer to no one but yourself (or your significant other).
You start to enjoy yourself. You start traveling to places that you have always wanted to go and you find wonderful treasures that you want to bring home. You go out to eat more often because you like being out of the house and you don’t have to get up for anything in the morning. You go to plays, concerts, and other live entertainment more often.
After about a year of pure fun, you want to feel productive. So you volunteer and donate your time and money.
You’re having the time of your life.
What Happens After the Honeymoon Phase of Retirement
Then, the credit card bills start to come in, and the balances due are large. You deplete a savings account and maybe have to sell some investments to pay bills. You start to get worried that maybe you’re spending too much. The stock market is in sideways mode, and you don’t see any growth in your portfolio. You realize it’s time to slow down and take stock of the situation.
If this all sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
It’s not uncommon for people to become accustomed to a certain standard of living or way of life. It’s not easy to adjust. It’s also not unusual to want to enjoy the new-found freedom that retirement brings. Yet, it’s a good idea to be aware and thoughtful about what is going on and try to bring things back under your control.
10 Ways to Keep Spending Under Control
Here are a few ideas about how to keep your spending under control:
- Presumably, when you retired, you had spending goals. At the beginning of each year, go back and check these assumptions to make sure you are still on track. If not, make adjustments in your spending.
- If you don’t want to cut back on your lifestyle, consider working part-time. Perhaps you can use your skills on a consulting or part-time basis.
- While traveling, consider renting out your home to bring in extra cash.
- If you have an appropriate space in your home, convert it to an Airbnb rental.
- Turn a favorite hobby into a business.
- Take more stay-cations. Be a tourist in your own town. It will save you on airfare and hotels, dining out and shopping.
- Reassess your need for new clothing and accessories. It’s likely that you don’t need as much now that you’re not going to a workplace daily.
- Consider selling items that don’t fit your new lifestyle at consignment shops or eBay.
- Let your friends know that you want to cut your spending back and ask for their support.
- Find things to do that don’t cost a lot of money.
Remember, sometimes the finest things in life are free.
Do you want to manage your money (and life!) better?
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