Breaking Spending Habits and Protecting Resources

Jun 29th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It is so easy to get into the habit of spending unnecessarily.  For seniors who have lived a rather comfortable existence up to and including retirement, our spending habits have been predicated on seeming to have plenty.  Now, we are facing a downturn in the economy that nudges us to be more alert to our spending habits and need to protect our resources.  Favorite habits of spending include things we think we deserve, eating out on a whim, buying new clothes that are on “sale,” taking another cruise this year, purchasing a new vehicle every 3 years, redecorating our home, installing the latest gadgets, whether electronic or appliance.  These are just a smattering of  our being lured by the temptation of spending.   How does one put limits on such prodigal behavior? 

  • Discontinue receiving all kinds of catalogs and magazines, whose advertising is designed to draw you into the trap of wanting, having to have and acting on the temptation presented.
  • Determine that you are satisfied with your current situation and do not need to change or add to it, by spending your way to satisfaction.
  • Set boundaries for the year that will enable your breaking spending habits and protect your resources.
  • Learning to say no will be among the most important exercises and disciplines you can develop.
  • Helping your spouse and agreeing that your spouse helps you to impose ways to reduce either of your giving into temptation.
  • For big purchases, i.e. appliances, remodeling, an automobile, give yourself ample time to consider the pros and cons.
  • Decide only when you have exhausted all the reasons why to proceed with a purchase.
  • Determine what is really important.  Is having a comfortable savings more assuring than purchasing something of questionable or temporary need?

Such decision-making  tensions as these will enable you to reduce the greater tension of conflict and the struggle to resolve issues.  Protecting your resources (and your relationship with spouse/partner) should always be a priority in retirement.



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