It’s that time. The time of year when everyone is making a New Year’s resolution. I’m not making any resolutions but I have pulled out my vision board for revamping. First I’m going to increase my automatic savings. It’s never too late to save and it adds up so fast, when you don’t touch it. Take a look at your 401(K) and see if you need to make any adjustments. If your contribution is low increase it to at least the amount that your company is matching. That is if you’re lucky enough to still have a company match. If you don’t take advantage of this offer you are leaving money on the table. Many of the readers of this column are close to my age and I’m sure you’re thinking about retirement. I know I am, I want retirement to be pleasant, exciting and stress free.


I’ve been watching the show “Hoarder”s and I’m blown away by these sick people and how they hold on to the most useless of items. Surely I’m not suggesting that you become a minimalist but really do we need all of the stuff we have? I know I don’t. However, I don’t think I’ll find any dead flat cats buried under a pile of clothes and magazines. This brings me to the title of this column, Buy less, live more. I haven’t stopped buying, but I am thinking more about what I buy.

Do you remember when I said I wouldn’t buy any gift-wrap until I exhausted what I have on hand. I’ve kept my commitment and it feels good. I’ve been able to give birthday and Christmas gifts since that pledge and haven’t had to buy anything. I hope the paper doesn’t dry rot before I get a chance to use it. At the end of the season I’ll pick up a wrapping paper container on sale that should add some life to the gift wrap. There were some gift bags that I liked so much that I refused to use them. Sounds like the start of a collection. Often I find such unique gift bags I hate to give them away.

I met a guy who framed beautiful shopping bags and hung them on his wall as art. It was a very interesting hobby. Heaven knows I don’t need to start framing shopping bags, I’d run out of walls. While I’m buying less, I’ll also be eating less and moving more. It’s so easy to let the pounds add on during the holiday time. I’ve been nibbling at work on cookies and homemade candies. They sure were good but the excess is showing up on the scale. In planning for those golden years we have to take time for ourselves and learn how to say no without guilt. You can’t be every where and appease all people all the time. Sometimes you just have to make yourself happy. Take some time for you and enjoy it.

I just received a new book, “A Purse of Your Own: An easy guide to financial security” by Deborah Owens. While I’m relaxing I’ll read it. Watch this column for the review. Have a happy New Year, no resolutions, just do it.

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