Around the world, people are living for longer. In addition, life expectancies are ranging well into the 80s for many countries.
If you’re retired, you’re no longer generating income from working. You’ll want to make sure your retirement nest egg goes as far as possible.
You can generate money from investments or part-time work. You can also stretch your dollars by living frugally.
Thankfully, frugal living doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make huge compromises. Check out these strategies for saving more money while enjoying your lifestyle as a senior.
If the kids have flown the coop, downsizing can save you a lot of money. Moving to a smaller house in a cheaper location can free up equity in your home. This gives you more cash to invest or spend for retirement. A small house will also be cheaper to maintain.
When looking for a new location, remember amenities are important. Local medical practices, dentists, shops, community centres, libraries, parks, and public transport means you won’t have to drive hours to access basic services.
- Cook at home
Eating out can get expensive very quickly. Depending on your budget, consider limiting dining out to no more than several times a month. Instead, prepare your own meals.
- Buy in bulk – Save more money by buying ingredients in bulk, on special.
- Meal planners – Plan your meals using free meal planners you can find online. These have shopping lists and recipes.
- Cheap meal plans – Look up $5 meal plans online and other similar recipes for delicious and cheap meals that are easy to make.
- Freezer meals – Freeze ready-to-go items like pasta sauce, lasagne, and hearty bean soups. These quick and easy meals can be heated up whenever you don’t feel like cooking.
- Keep an edible garden
Save money by growing your own herbs and vegetables. Leafy greens like kale, root vegetables, and peas are some of the easiest crops to grow.
Plant fruit trees if your yard space is sufficient. Plums, apples, and stone fruits grow well and produce plenty of fruit you can eat fresh or preserve.
- Discounts and freebies
Don’t hesitate to use your seniors card to access discounts and freebies. You can dine out at reduced rates, get specials on travel and accommodation, and get seniors-only pricing on a whole range of goods and services.
For activities, look for recreational venues with free admission, such as museums, galleries, and local events. Your local library, parks, and beaches are also free to use.
- Shop around for deals
When making a new purchase, always shop around for deals, whether it’s pantry staples or utility plans. Comparing and switching on electricity, gas, and water can end up saving you a lot of money.
Review your phone plan. Do you need that expensive contract if you’re not using all that data? Prepaid phones and SIM-only plans can be much more cost-effective.
- Review subscriptions and insurance
Don’t pay for subscriptions and insurance policies you no longer need. Watch movies on free-to-air TV instead of subscribing to streaming sites. Review your health, life, and other insurance and check they still meet your requirements and goals.
- Fix, repair, and DIY
Learn to fix and repair what you can instead of buying new replacements. Make your own cleaners with natural ingredients, which include vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon, baking soda, and castile soap.
- Go green
Go green around the home and save on your utilities bills:
- Use LED light bulbs
- Install water-saving showerheads
- Create your own compost
- When replacing appliances, choose models with high energy efficiency ratings
- Wear extra layers of clothing and reduce your heating requirements
- Fix leaking faucets
- Dry laundry on the line rather than in the dryer
- Walk and cycle
Instead of taking the car, walk and cycle to the shops. You’ll stay active and save money on gas and car maintenance. Taking public transport, especially with senior discounts, is also a more cost-effective way to get around.
- Stay healthy
According to research, the majority of seniors believe staying in good physical health is essential for quality of life in retirement. Staying healthy by eating right and keeping active and engaged are excellent ways to save money by preventing expensive medical bills and hospital stays.
Also, take the opportunity to do some inexpensive safety upgrades for the home. Cost-effective additions such as grab bars for bathrooms, slip-safe mats, and ramps for entries are good investments, given that they can prevent falls and injury. Find out whether you can get government subsidies and grants for making these improvements.
- Swap and barter
Join buy-nothing, swap, and barter communities in your town or city. These let you trade in your unwanted items for things you need.
For some items, buying pre-owned can be just as good as new. Books, bikes, exercise equipment, tools, and furniture are some of the things that age well. With these types of items, their quality and condition are easily ascertained with a visual inspection.
- Pay with cash
Paying with cash is one of the best ways to prevent overspending. Withdraw a given amount each week and spend only that. Avoid paying by credit.
Take the opportunity to simplify your finances by cancelling credit cards with reward programs you’re not getting value from. You’ll save on the annual fees too.
- Use the 72-hour rule
Tempted by a flashy gadget and or amazing appliance? A lot of shoppers buy on impulse only to regret it later.
Before making unplanned purchases, wait 72 hours. This way, you’ll have time to think over your purchase rationally and decide if you really need it.
If you still want it after thinking it over for three days, chances are it’s a sensible buy that will enrich your life rather than lead to regret.
You can live well yet on the cheap during retirement just because you want to get the most value from your money. Nevertheless, you might live much longer than you expect, so being smart about your finances as a senior is a great approach to take.
Your golden years should be about pursuing your interests and making the most of life. These activities don’t need to cost you a lot of money, and you can maintain a good quality of life without worrying about running out of funds. By applying the strategies above, your cash will go a lot further than you might expect.