Retirees face the unique challenge of living on a fixed income. With no extra income from work, seniors must be very diligent about how they spend their money. This doesn’t mean that you have to forgo a good time, however. It just takes a little bit of self-control, management, and creativity. Here are some budgeting tips for seniors living on a tight income.
Keep track of your monthly living expenses.
The most important part of budgeting on a tight income is taking care of your monthly living expenses. These costs would include your rent or mortgage, groceries, utility bills, etc. Every necessity should be grouped under this category and kept track of on a monthly basis.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to easily and quickly see how much money you have left over to spend on fun activities. If you forgo this basic budgeting tip, you could find yourself coming up short on some of your necessary expenses. This should always be your first step when budgeting for the month.
Double-check your insurance.
For those seniors who are still on the road, it may be helpful to double-check your auto insurance to make sure you’re getting the best rate. There are certain qualifications that could give you discounted rates for full coverage. You may be eligible if you have a clean driving history, own an anti-theft device, and bundle some policies.
If you’re a dog or cat owner, you can also save on vet bills by purchasing an affordable pet insurance policy. There are policies available with reasonable premiums and deductibles, and some policies don’t have an age restriction.
Host friends and family at your house.
Going out to eat can be very expensive. If you’re the sociable type who likes to see friends and family as much as possible, going out could be hurting your bank account. With a fixed income, it might be smarter to host your own get-togethers at your house. You’d be saving a decent amount of money and could even encourage your family and friends to visit more often.
If you’d like to make it a regular thing, ask around to see which day works best for everyone and have these get-togethers be a weekly or monthly occurrence. You can also take turns hosting the event at each other’s houses, and to help relieve some of the financial burden, everyone can pitch in and bring potluck dishes instead of takeout.
Take advantage of senior discounts and freebies.
If you’re over the age of 65, the U.S. government views you as a legal senior. While this may sound pejorative to some, this label actually comes with a lot of benefits. One of these advantages is receiving a discount at many restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, grocery stores, and many forms of public transportation.
These discounts and freebies can really come in handy for seniors who want to have a little fun on the weekend without spending too much money. Taking advantage of these offers could end up saving you hundreds of dollars each month. Make sure to ask when these discounts aren’t advertised. Some places only offer upon request.
There’s no reason why seniors shouldn’t be able to enjoy their golden years, even when operating on a tight income. With some of the right tweaks and general management of your personal finances, you can stay on top of your living expenses while still having some fun on the side.
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