The good news is you’ve put in your time and earned the right to a life of leisure. The other news is your new-found free time generally goes hand in hand with…well, less money in your hands. This is the moment you’ve worked and planned for. But it never hurts to find creative ways to stretch your retirement bucks to meet the challenges of everyday life.
Here are a few common-sense budgeting tips for seniors.
Revise and Revise Again
If it’s been more than 6 months since you’ve reviewed your household budget, it’s time to look at it with fresh eyes. There may be changes that allow you to cut expenses in some areas and reallocate those funds elsewhere. Schedule regular budget meetings with your spouse, financial advisor, or trusted friend or family member to make timely budget adjustments that reflect your current lifestyle.
If you’ve studied the budget and can’t figure out why the numbers aren’t working, try tracking your daily spending for a month. Keep a detailed report to compare the plan to what you actually spend. A realistic budget will give you confidence going forward.
Such a Deal
Celebrate your senior status by taking advantage of senior deals and offers. There are tons of proprietors who realize you are on a fixed income and are willing to slash their prices to keep your business. Opportunities for senior discounts range from medical alert systems to internet services to dining and entertainment venues. The trick is to know where to look. Websites like Seniorliving.org offer long lists of possibilities. You can also check out senior coupons from sites like Retailmenot.com. When it comes to money management tips for seniors, a little creative web surfing may lead to big savings.
Cut the Cable
Remember when there were three channels and June Cleaver always wore pearls with her shirtwaist? Well, TV has come a long way, baby. In fact, thanks to leaps in technology, these days basic cable offerings can be the last place to look for entertainment. It may be possible to do away with the monthly cable charge in favor of less expensive streaming services. It will take a bit of research to make sure you choose a service that is compatible with your television, but when the bills come in, it will be worth it.
Dial-Up Your Phone Provider
Before you just automatically renew your current phone contract, take a moment to look around for a senior-friendly plan. You might be able to save a good chunk of change. Verizon and Jitterbug are two on the list of phone providers that offer sweeter deals for seniors. Check out their options for unlimited texting and calling to make sure you don’t miss a minute of quality grandkid time.
Changing the plan may come with the opportunity to upgrade your phone at a discount. You may love a more senior-friendly phone, like one that comes with a larger screen.
Rightsize, Rightsize, Rightsize
Nothing eats up retirement funds like home maintenance. Staying put in your family home may necessitate coughing up mega bucks for big-ticket items like roofs, kitchen appliances, and air conditioning. Picture a world in which you sell the house, rent a maintenance-free apartment in one of Overture’s premier active adult communities, and free up funds to enjoy retirement life to the max. Now that’s an equation that works!
Budget management is important at all stages of life, but critically so during this chapter. Outline your priorities and be proactive about your budget on a regular basis.