Money management during your retirement years may call for some changes to the way you are used to managing your resources. Unless you have a pension or you have decided to continue working, you may be living with a limited pool of money. Here are a few ways to make your savings last longer, without sacrificing your quality of life.
1. Create a budget. Your money is precious. You should always know where it goes. But it’s easy to become complacent when dealing with bills. Creating a budget of your monthly expenses can help you see where your money is going and if there are any unnecessary expenses you can cut.
Most people are surprised to see how much money they spend on eating out, buying groceries or entertainment every month. Look for some ways that you could help stretch your money a little further. For example, you could try cooking more meals at home to avoid expensive restaurant meals. If you do choose to eat out, consider doing so less frequently, but with an eye toward higher quality and more enjoyable meals. You will spend less in the long run, and find the experience more memorable. If you enjoy golfing or going to the movies, try going at a time in the day when the fees are cheaper and the venues are less crowded.
2. Cut some recurring bills. Reviewing recurring bills is another area where you can gain large savings in your budget. Some common examples of cutting bills include your cell phone plan, cable, gym memberships and insurance. Many people find they can replace their $80 a month cable package with a $12 a month subscription to a streaming video service, a digital antenna and the occasional rented movie. Most people can save from $50 to $75 per month by cutting cable.
Check your cellphone bill. You could be paying for extra data or minutes that you don’t use. Some cell phone providers, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, offer plans created specifically for senior citizens. These plans include between 200 and 500 minutes and offer free mobile-to-mobile calling for less than $40 a month. You could also look into prepaid cell phone plans, which are very affordable and don’t come with long-term contracts.
Insurance is another area to find savings. Insurance is a competitive market, and many companies are willing to give discounts when you switch providers. You may also be eligible for age-based savings for certain policies.
3. Find the discounts. Many restaurants, retail stores, hotels and golf courses offer senior discounts. While many of these discounts are only around 10 to 15 percent, they will add up quickly. Whenever you are at the register checking out, ask for a senior discount. Websites like Sciddy.com can show your which of your favorite stores, restaurants and entertainment stops offer senior discounts. You can also turn saving money into a game, seeing how far you can stretch your budget while maintaining your current standard of living.
4. Downsize your home. You might have more space than you need. Many retirees are empty nesters, but continue to live in four or five-bedroom homes, with some of the rooms sitting empty or converted to storage. Consider selling the oversized house and purchasing a smaller one that fits your needs. More here.