I’m Spending Too Much Money In Retirement

It’s as if an event moderator shot off a canon at the beginning of the race.

And they’re off!” he’d chant from the top of a bell tower. Only problem is that I am the only one in this particular competition. I’m competing against my old frugal self with the new spend-a-holic self who is playing catch up for being misery for so many years.

Whoa, horsee. Whoa!

Now that we know its New York State where we are going to retire, I had alloted myself to spend $5,000 on the upgrading of my home and property. Yes, yours truly picked the top worst state of the union to retire in. At least I came in first on something! New York is rated at the bottom of the barrel to retire in because of high property taxes, high sales taxes, yada, yada, yada. What people fail to realize is those figures are based on New York City. Who in their right mind would retire to New York City? Don’t answer that.

New York is a very big state. New York City (Manhattan and the other four boroughs) are just a pin drop on the map of New York State. Take a look at the map below. The only counties in New York State that financially choke you to death are: Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Richmond, Kings, New York, Bronx, Rockland, Westchester, Orange and maybe Putnam. Once you get as far away from Manhattan as possible, life in New York State is paradise. Low taxes. Low cost of living. Of course, the higher up you go the lower your wages and the nearer you are to poverty, but that’s another post. (Pssst: the high taxes the NYCity slickers pay, the more handouts you get in upstate New York. Just sayin’)


Anyway, I digress. I’ve been on a spending spree, with no end in sight. I’ve been revamping my home, getting the exterior power washed, the back deck sanded & painted, the exterior windows cleaned (after 17 years!) new bedroom flooring, new modern furniture, expansive landscaping, decluttering, shredding, donating, reselling and purging whatever isn’t nailed down. We’ve been going out to lunch. We’ve been traveling (I got the travel bug now fellas!) We’re buying better grades of coffee, more organic foods, better quality shoes……..heck I just ordered a pillow-top memory foam mattress for my RV because I like living this new good life!

I don’t think I can be reeled back in! I’m liking this new lifestyle.

Once you get a taste of this lifestyle inflation, it’s hard to cut back. The reality of the numbers, however, don’t lie. Thankfully, I’ve been tracking my spending and I’ve noticed I’ve been going a little bit overboard. Oh well. I’m gonna stop. Soon. I hope. Since I know myself very well, I know what I am going through now, if not checked, can be a problem. Luckily, I took precautions to make sure I don’t bleed myself dry. As I said, I only allotted myself $5,000 to revamp our home. I took this amount out of the proceeds from the sale of our Florida condo and then I locked every other single penny away in investments that are either difficult to withdraw from or near impossible.

In other words, I am forced to make do with what I have been allocated.

Here’s my total run down, so far:

$5000 clean up

I’m over-budget by $230.10 and the well is dry. No more dineros to complete my madness. So, I have quietly slipped back in to my frugal ways and will have to make do with what already is. I almost finished my bedroom remodel. The last thing I purchased was a new bed spread with matching pillow shams (not pictured yet because the set is king-sized and I need to buy 2 king sized pillows for the shams). I was just about to buy two new side table lamps when I realized I had just better stop spending money. Instead, for the lamps, I learned a frugal tip of just spray painting the old lamps with a new color (teal blue to match the new recliners) and voila, I spent $3.97 for a can of rust-o-leum vs $79.42 for two (beautiful, dreamy) blue glass lamps. Le sigh. I was soooooo close. Also, I re-used an area rug from another room rather than buy a new, blue matching rug at $129.

DH and I spend a lot of time in our bedroom. It’s where we watch TV (we like to keep our living room ‘company ready’ even though we hardly ever have guests over). We keep most of the heat low in the home and have a small electric heater that heats up our bedroom just fine, thus saving us money on propane. As I said, the carpeting was 17 years old, the recliners dated back to the late 1990’s (and were both broken). Most of the stuff in there was el cheapo, since we really never had much money to decorate AND the bedroom is always the last room to be decorated anyway. Our tem-pur-pedic mattress will need to be replaced in a year. Our headboard was a $99 catalog special many, many years ago. The wood furniture is top quality, however. It’s from Broyhill and I bought it in 2005 with some of my inheritance money. Inside the armoire is a 42 inch Vizio, wireless, top-of-the-line flat, smart screen TV (naturally, of course!)

Here’s a before picture of the bedroom (laughing not tolerated!)

old room
I know. I know. Tacky. Tacky. Tacky. Dog not included.

Here’s a video of my almost finished bedroom. Please note: I already bought a new taupe bedspread with two matching pillow shams but I need to buy two king sized pillows to fill the shams. My hubby is spray painting the two rose side lamps this weekend a solid teal blue to match the two new (super comfy) matching recliners. I still need to get a few teal blue throw pillows for the bed and one day a new area rug. Things today are very, very expensive. We’re lucky and fortunate we were able to do what we were able to do.

Many of the new items I purchased are from WayFair.com. Art work is from Home Goods (closeouts) Wayfair.com had a one day, 24 hour, 80% off sale and I bought as much as I could at the discount (including the new bedspread….stay tuned) I made one mistake with the curtains. I thought two panels came to a pack. Only one did. When I went to re-order two more panels I had to pay full price. Ouch!


Anyway, my spending spritz is over. It was fantastic while it lasted. I had a great time. I don’t think, however, that DH and I will stop going out to lunch. We’ll just do it less often. We’ll still do little splurges every once in a while. A spritz sometimes does a body good.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.



  1. Same here, we have been spending on our house like money was raining from the sky. But it is budget-covered. We had/have a very large travel budget, and we traveled over a lot of the world for about ten years. Now, we’re over it, at least long flights to Europe, we still love Hawaii once a year. But the travel budget was so lush I just started syphoning money over to the home improvement area.

    We live in retirement housing and our backyard it quite small, but it was hideously covered in rocks. We finally relandscaped the yard with room for flowers, and have found we are both kids-in-a-candy-store every time we go to a nursery. The flowers are jammed in cheek by jowl and we are enjoying it immensely, my husband as much as me. Every time we see a tiny bare patch we run out for more plants. It has been fun and lifted our spirits. We also have a new recliner coming tomorrow, and next I want to replace everything in the guest bathroom.

    Again, it’s money being taken from the travel account.


    • Hi Anne. You guys sound really busy with your garden. Kudos to you! I love a nice garden. It’s very rewarding ‘work’ that pays dividends. It must be so nice to sit and relax in your garden.
      Glad you’re getting anew recliner too! And good luck remodeling your guest bathroom.
      I think spending money on our living spaces, within reason of course, is money well spent.
      Thanks for sharing and for your comment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.