Article Note: This is a guest post from Karen Weeks.
A limited income can make you feel like your options for living comfortably in retirement are limited as well. This doesn’t have to be the case, especially since there are some simple ways to stretch that income even further and still have a happy, healthy life during retirement. What are these budget-friendly tricks? Keep on reading to discover some easy steps seniors can take to squeeze more out of a tight retirement budget.
Get Auto Insurance Discounts
You shouldn’t have to stress about saving money and you also shouldn’t be paying an arm and a leg for full coverage insurance and full protection on your car. Especially when you can get discounts on your policy for driving less (which usually means less than 12,000 miles per year), bundling policies, installing anti-theft devices, and just being a safe driver. That way you won’t have to strip your policy down to the legal minimum in your state and you can rest easy knowing you’re protected no matter what may happen out on the highway. So, if your policy is nearing a renewal period, check around for these discounts, check around for lower prices and compare policies between different insurance companies.
Use Low-Cost Transportation
Putting fewer miles on your car can help you snag discounts on insurance, but you still need to get around. If you want to save those miles for retirement road trips and other travels, think about using public transportation to travel locally. Most cities that offer public transportation, including the Denver area, offer free or drastically discounted fares for seniors to help them get around town safely. If you need to travel even farther, you can also look into other transportation deals such as Amtrak discounts, including those for riders who are 65 years of age or older.
Reduce Utility and Energy Bills
Energy costs can also eat into your retirement budget, but you can take simple steps around your home to lower energy costs each month. Try to keep your refrigerator and freezer full stocked, unplug electronics when not in use, and be sure to have your home’s filters changed on a regular basis. You can also request an energy audit from your power company, to find more potential power savings. If you are struggling to pay your bills, you may also want to look for local utility assistance from organizations and companies that can help with those costs.
Stop Spending Money at Restaurants
Eating out, even if it’s fast food, may seem like a budget-friendly way to get meals for one. In reality, though, the total cost of eating out too often can cause some serious damage to your finances. If you’re not tracking that spending, you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands more to eat at your favorite restaurants instead of cooking at home. Not to mention the costs to your health, which can increase your medical expenses. So, try to break away from your fast food or restaurant habits and find budget-friendly ways to eat at home more often.
Find Easy-to-Use Budgeting Tools
These helpful tips and tricks can help you trim your spending. But to truly stay on top of your finances, you need a budget for your retirement. So, if you have not done so already, find a budget template that will allow you to visually track your income and expenses so that you can get a better idea of the things that are costing you the most. Be sure to check in with your printed budget often or, if you have a smartphone, think about downloading a budget app that will track all of this financial information for you, and even offers additional savings.
Making retirement work on a limited income takes some savvy, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. If you know the right moves to make in order to maximize your savings, you can still enjoy your golden years on a limited or tight budget. So, keep this guide handy and keep your eye out for additional ways to save on your retirement expenses and still live your best life.
Article Note: This is a guest post from Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net. Karen created Elder Wellness as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well. The views in this article may or may not reflect the views of Ten Talents Financial Planning, LLC or Kaleb Paddock, CFP®. Please consult with your tax advisor or financial planner before making significant financial decisions.
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