According to a recent Gallop Poll, some 43% of single seniors, and 21% or married senior couples depend on Social Security to provide 90% or more of their monthly income. Of course, depending on Society Security primarily for income isn’t ideal. If you can relate to this scenario, ensuring there is enough money to make it to end of the month is a regular challenge. The following are some helpful tips on frugal living, helping you stretch every dollar to the max:
- Consider Downgrading Your Home: Admittedly, it can be difficult to say goodbye to your family home, a place full of memories and love. However, when your house is costing you significantly as far as taxes, utilities and upkeep, there is simply no reason to hang onto it any longer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that seniors aged 65 to 74 spend around 32% of their income on housing. Therefore, you can see how downsizing your home or even renting instead of owning could save you significantly.
- Reconsider Transportation: When you arrive at retirement, you likely don’t need the same type of transportation as you did during your working years. Yes, you still need a reliable way to get from point A to point B, but you likely don’t need two cars any longer. You also could downsize your car if you have a larger model and opt for a fuel efficient, reliable newer model. This will help you save on upkeep costs if you go from two cars to one vehicle. If you live in an area where you can use public transportation, you can get rid of your cars all together and save even more.
- Take Advantage of Discounts: There are many hotels, drugstores, restaurants, and even auto service companies that provide discounts to seniors. Don’t hesitate to ask about discounts and inquire about times or days to visit said companies/locations in order to get the cheapest rate. You never know if you don’t ask. Remember, visiting a restaurant during “senior hour” or staying at a hotel during off peak season and combining a senior discount on top of the reduced rates during off-season time can save you a significant amount of money. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Keep Yourself as Healthy as Possible: Although some health issues cannot be prevented, many conditions are the end result of poor diet and lifestyle choices. Therefore, in order to save money when it comes to doctors’ visits, medication and hospital stays and the like, it’s a good idea to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Eat clean and healthy and keep your body stays mobile. Even taking a short walk daily can work wonders.
- Ensure Your Healthcare Costs Are as Low as Possible: If you are using government income based insurance, most of your doctors’ visits and hospital stays are covered. However, if you don’t have this kind of care, ask about paying up front at your doctor’s office for various services as this could save you money. Also, make sure you are getting the best rate on your medications by using an app like GoodRx.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most out of each hard earned dollar you earn as you move forward in your senior years.