notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Spending Plan

A few weeks ago, Credit Card Insider reached out to bloggers with an idea they called “Financially Fabulous in 2016.” They were seeking some interesting insights for their readers about planning for retirement and saving money.

But I am incapable of writing an interesting piece about saving money.

I may have worked for nearly 40 years in Finance and Budgeting, but that does not mean I can give anyone interesting (or sound) advice about Saving.

I can however – give plenty of advice about Spending.

I’ve been a professional Spender all my life. I excel at it. And now that I’m 65, I can also look back and see where my spending was sound – and where it was stupid. And where it is heading in my senior years.

Oprah Winfrey closes her magazine each month with a little essay called “What I Know For Sure.”

When it comes to spending money after retirement, here’s what I know for sure:

1.  Basically, you have enough shit. (CCI Editor, you can change that to “stuff” for your website… but we all know what it really is.)  Collections. Hummel figurines, owls, teacups – half the time you started that collection because thirty years ago someone bought you one or two things and you said, “How cute” – and then that’s what you’ve been receiving for your birthday ever since. But you are old now. You have enough butterfly pins. And unless one of your kids – or whoever is going to have to clean your house when you are dead – has expressly said that your stuff is valuable, or they would love to inherit it, STOP collecting that stuff. Tell people to stop buying you that stuff. And then maybe pair down to the select items that have real worth. And by worth, I mean the ones that make you HAPPY.

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2.  If you are like me, you will never stop loving clothes. You’ll always want new clothes. You NEED new clothes. But NO. You don’t. But like me, you will buy them anyway. Since you are going to buy something you want, rather than something you need, always make sure it is something you LOVE. If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, watch a couple of her YouTube videos. She may be a tad overboard, but her core belief is one we can all take to heart:  Possessions should bring you Joy. So when I say to keep those collectibles that make you happy, that’s what I mean: Joy. And when I say buy only clothes you love: Joy. I know lots of folks who hate to shop or hate the way they look, and their central theme is “Good enough.”  I find this singularly true of older people. Treat yourself more kindly. Shop with joy in mind. Just think about it: If you only buy clothes you love, then everyday you will be wearing something you love. How nice will that feel?

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3.  Food. Good food. Spend your money on healthy food. It will taste fabulous and be better for you. Good food simply prepared is delicious. I am certainly not the first one to say “You are what you eat.” But you really are. If you are 50 or over, think about how old all your bones and organs are right now. Do your car parts last 50 years?  I want my stomach to last at least 90 years. And although we are lucky to live in an age where you can get spare knees and hips if you need them, there are lots of parts tucked inside you that really need to be original equipment.

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4.  I’m a homebody. There’s nothing I love quite so much as sitting in my own kitchen. But as I have aged, I have also become aware that the world is overflowing with beauty and experiences that enrich my mind and my memories. Invest some of your savings in your memories. Travel.

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5.  Sometimes we all need a treat. I learned when I was broke that I didn’t need a new coat when I felt like some retail therapy. A new nail polish would do it. Find something inexpensive to satisfy that need to indulge yourself once in a while. My husband and I go out for frozen yogurt on Friday night. I like drugstore lipstick. My best friend likes crazy socks. Another friend likes pretty post-it pads. My mom likes $2.00 lottery tickets. Keep it small – but enjoy the frivolous.

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6.  I’m a book lover. I love my books. I love my Kindle. But most of all – I LOVE the library. What a magnificent institution. You can read whatever you want FOR FREE. That is like one huge miracle. And you get a little socialization at the same time, which can be a rare but good thing for bookworms. Go to the library every week. Spend the money you save not buying books on frozen yogurt.

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7.  You need a best friend. Of the furry kind. If you do not have a dog or cat, go to the shelter and get one. Early in my career, I worked for several years for an organization that provided services to the elderly. The healthiest clients had pets. The happiest clients had pets.  Pets give you a reason to get up in the morning. They provide you with exercise. They make you laugh. They don’t care if you have wrinkles. They bring you JOY. (And dead mice.)

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selfie w theo 3-22-16

 

56 Comments

  1. You’re so smart to turn the budget debate into advice on how to SPEND. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. These are wonderful tips, a good reminder to spend only on what is important, especially what makes you feel good..

    Like

    • Thanks.. I always ask myself now, “How much do I love this?” It has to be A LOT before I spend money now.

      Like

  3. Great thoughts on how to save by spending. You’re my kinda peep!

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    • I know very little about saving… but spending well….oh yes!

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  4. Great advice. I have some Pendelfin bunnies collected in the 80s that I’m looking to re-home and I work hard to get people to give me Starbucks gift certificates as gifts instead of tchotchkes. I really don’t need stuff. I’ve even cut way back on shoes. They have to be perfect to get a home in my house.

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  5. Great advice, and that picture is adorable!

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    • Thanks. It’s a trick to get a selfie with Theo… he keeps trying to eat the phone.

      Like

  6. You’re right! The things we need to spend money on are things that bring us joy. My favorites are good food and my dog. Thanks for the post!

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  7. We have a really tight budget and if we ever spend a dime outside of it, it’s on something we really love. I love this post. I nominated you for an award by the way. The Entertainer blogger award. It’s on my blog. 😋

    Like

    • Thanks for the nomination. If you spend your money on something you love, you can’t go too far wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this and agree with all of it, except the pet part because I live alone and work all day. I don’t think that is fair on a pet. ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

    • I totally understand. Maybe when you retire. Our cats were always pretty independent and easy to take care of. We got Theo (the doggie in the photo with me) 6 months ago – my husband was already retired, and I am semi-retired. We never would have been able to manage otherwise, but now I don’t know how I lived without that little dog.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Helen

    Wonderful ideas! I really need to get a furry friend…I love dogs.

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    • If you can, go for it. Theo is my first dog in forty years… and I love the little guy. He’s an enormous amount of work, but what a great companion!

      Like

  10. Great post. I recently read a book about the Kon-Mari Method and found it fascinating. I’ve been retired for a few years and find all your suggestions excellent and have been doing many of them myself. EnJOY life and keep writing great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just reorganized my bureau the KonMarie way. I gave away a ton of clothes, and I seem to have more outfit choices than ever – because I can see all my clothes, and they loo so appealing.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We reach an age when a bargain or the best bang for your buck is an adventure. 😀

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    • Oh yes, it’s quite exciting to get a great deal on a nice ham.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha ha. Only a ham? I like a bargain on anything. Makes me feel I’m getting away with something.

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  12. I love all the advises! Especially for travelling and buying new clothes! We need to be spending most on the memories and not for the fancy living!

    Like

  13. Fortunately I grew up in a family that wasn’t very keen on showing status, far more important were knowledge, travelling and fun. And in times when money was scarce I learned to really buy things that bring joy- and last! Now I use that knowledge- mostly. Only a pet… with sharing my time between two households and being allergic to all kinds of animal hairs, better not!

    Like

    • I know that not everyone can have a pet. I feel bad though – not only because of the love that you must unfortunately miss, but also because of the pet that will miss getting to know that special person who is you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • well, I raised two children, maybe this counts for something too. And maybe there will be grandkids someday…

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        • Regretfully, I never had children… maybe that’s why the pets are so special to me. I get to be “mommy” to somebody.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. iamsallyrose

    I cringe when people still give me “stuff” as gifts unless I can eat it, drink it, or soak in it. As an expat who’s about to get rid of everything for the third time, for me, minimalist is the way to go.

    Like

    • I have to be honest when I say that I have enjoyed accumulating all this junk. But now I have reached a stage where I am very excited about the prospect of getting rid of it all.

      Like

  15. I have been begging people for years to stop giving me “stuff”. Stuff I don’t even like (never mind love) but somehow have to find a place for to not offend the giver. You would not believe some of the collections I have had to find a home for.

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    • My oldest sister asked a few years ago if we could stop exchanging presents at Christmas and instead have a wonderful dinner together in January – I’ve been loving it!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. I’m the opposite, a constant budgeter and saver. However, I do like the occasional (OK often, OK OK VERY OFTEN) treat as does Hubby. Today we are treating ourselves to a chinese takeout. Why? Because we have a bit of extra money left over at the end of the month before payday, and haven’t had one for a while.
    I did take a month off from saving once and having wasted the money somehow and somewhere, but not knowing either, I cried!
    I love your frivolous treats though. Mine would all be edible. Hubby’s would all be chocolate, so we’re compatible!

    Like

    • There’s nothing like an edible treat! And I always say, “If you’re going to eat empty calories, make them the BEST empty calories possible.” No cheap candy bars for me… Belgian truffles all the way!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ray G

        In case you didn’t know, chocolate has been declared to be a healthy food (as if we cared).

        Liked by 1 person

  17. RavenTheRambler

    I love this post! Such good advice….and I (of course) thoroughly agree with your last one! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    https://ravenrambling.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/book-club/

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. LOVE love love love this. I will be 60 next month. I was lucky enough to retire last spring. This is my first year of being free of a daily job and I can tell you that everything you said is spot on. Exactly. Excellent advice, fun read. Thank you very much. And my dog Katie says Hi too.

    Like

    • Thanks! And Hi to Katie from Theo (my puppy) and me!

      Like

  20. Christine

    As you can tell from all the trips we have taken since retirement, we agree that experiences are a better way to spend money than things. But I have to confess: while killing time today between a trip to the dentist and picking up some grilled hot dogs for lunch (one of our cheap treats to replace the usual sandwiches), I went into a shoe store and saw some blue shoes with sparkles that were actually comfortable and on sale. I couldn’t resist.

    Like

    • Good for you! You still have to buy things when it’s love at first sight!

      Like

  21. So agree with all these! We need more love, good food and pets and less objects and stuff.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Like

    • Good food, good pets, good friends to love. That’s all Life is about.

      Like

  22. Great advice, and I laughed out loud at the last line: “…And dead mice.” Yep, yep, yep. I miss my furry friends, but I don’t miss that part. 😉

    Like

  23. Tim and I are not at retirement age but we have lived on a tight budget all our adult lives, I love the library as I love to read but have no money for books as such. Although my days of having pets are over, I no longer like the idea of a pet they are too much work and hell Tim and I have been taking a lot of holidays the last few years and a pet means finding someone to care for it when we are away, so not having a pet is the right choice for us right now.

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    • That’s true… Travel and Pets are hard to manage at the same time. So far we have been lucky.. we don’t travel a whole lot and we have great babysitters.

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  24. Great tips for retirement! Husband and I are both retired so we spend wisely,

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    • We don’t spend as wisely as we should… but we’re working on it.

      Like

  25. I spent my entire career in the 401k area so was ever surrounded by savings advice. Now that I’m retired I have found less thinking out there on what to do with that hard-won cash and how best to ENJOY it. Loved this post – so well said and so needed!

    Like

  26. Sally Habib

    Loved this post ! I worked with a Dr. who
    couldn’t retire cuz “he didn’t have a million
    $$$ saved …” Well I retired with way less
    and it’s fine ! I so agree with the buy small treats
    and things that you love … And the only downside
    to the pet thing is when you travel getting
    reliable pet sitters … We had 6 kids so couldn’t
    really save as much as I would have liked
    to but after all the investment disasters
    worked out okay!

    Like

    • I remember back when I was just starting out on my own. I lived so happily on so little. I think I can do it again.

      Like

  27. I know what you mean about joy. And dead mice (!) Thank you for an inspirational post that’s fun at the same time. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  28. One smart cookie.
    Enough stuff – buy only what will last and is timeless. Libraries are treasure houses (donate all your old books there – many libraries now have book sales or sell books on ebay – so you can help support them even if you don’t have much money to give)
    And travel – before anything else, travel and eat cheaply locally. Plenty of time for sitting later.

    Like

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