Retirement Answer Man

The end of days is coming! Well, at least the end of days in 2018. This can be a time of year of frantic holiday spending, but you shouldn’t let holiday shopping blow the budget. On this episode of Retirement Answer Man, you’ll learn how not just to rock retirement, but to rock the holidays as well. In the Hot Topic segment, I’ll give you some strategies on how to control your holiday spending. And in the Practical Planning segment, we’ll go over an end of year checklist to help you plan for the end of the year. If you’re ready to rock the holiday season listen to this episode for tips on how to prepare for the end of days in 2018.

You can’t let Christmas shopping blow the budget

Not surprisingly, Americans will be spending more on Christmas gifts than they did last year. The average holiday spending amount is between $800-900 per family. We seem to spend more and more on the holidays every year. There always seems to be the next new thing that you just have to buy. People (especially kids) have gift expectations that can really blow the budget. Do you have a Christmas budget? How do you plan your holiday spending? Listen to this episode to hear 5 ways you can prepare your budget and rock the holidays.

5 things you can do to prepare for the holidays and save your budget

  1. Avoid temptation. When you are out shopping a lot you tend to see things you want to buy. Shopping online and staying out of stores can help ease the temptation to buy more.
  2. Think personally. just buy to give, a random gift. Try and think of a gift that is meaningful for the recipient.
  3. Avoid the fallacy of the deal. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the day after Christmas sale--these are all just ways to get you to spend more money. You’re not saving any money if you weren’t planning on buying that thing to begin with.
  4. Pick one splurge. The splurge will depend on your specific financial situation. Choose where to spend your money. You can splurge, but do it in a meaningful way specific to your financial situation.
  5. Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for. Once you know who you’re buying for then set a dollar amount that you want to spend this year. Deposit that money in a separate account for Christmas. And be intentional on how you spend the money.

An end of year checklist to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities

The end of the year is a wonderful time to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities that can save you money and leave you more financially prepared for retirement and the coming year. This is the perfect time of year to revisit y our retirement contributions to your Roth IRA, 401K, and HSA. Analyze whether you can add a bit more. If you have a student in college now is the time to reimburse yourself for those approved college expenses from your 529 plan. You’ll also want to take advantage of your flexible savings account dollars. You need to listen to this episode to hear the entire checklist and learn more about donor-advised funds, tax harvesting, and tricks for the self-employed.



  • [1:56] Gift giving expectations can really blow the budget
  • [3:03] What can you do to control your budget and still rock the holidays


  • [7:43] Time sensitive opportunities for the end of year checklist


  • [14:56] What can we do to make interactions with people more enjoyable


  • [17:32] Create a list of those to buy for and preplan what you want to buy

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Direct download: RAM249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST