You've worked hard your whole life, and now that you're retired, the last thing you want to do is budget. But the reality is, living on a fixed monthly income or Social Security benefits means finding ways to reduce spending wherever you can. The good news is, there are plenty of ways for seniors to save money without feeling deprived.
Small changes compound to some great retirement savings. In this blog post, we're going to be showing you some easy money-saving tips for seniors to lower their monthly bills and keep more cash in their pocket during these golden years.
Downsize Your Home and Possessions
The first thing on your to-do list when on a fixed-income is downsizing. Downsizing your living space and decluttering your life saves a bundle as you reach retirement age.
Move to a smaller home
The less space you have to heat and cool, the lower your utility bills will be. If the kids have moved out and it's just you and your partner, consider downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment or smaller house.
Sell excess furniture and knickknacks
Do you really need an extra couch and a formal dining setup for just the 2 of you? Have a yard sale or donate your unused furniture, decor items, books, linens and clothing to your local charity or thrift store. The less clutter you have, the less you have to clean and maintain.
Cut the cable cord
Cable TV and satellite are expensive, often $50-$100 a month or more. Switch to streaming services instead for just $10-$15 each month. Or consider dropping paid TV altogether and enjoying the beauty of life -- from state national parks to white sand beaches, there is plenty to experience away from screens.
Many businesses offer a senior discount to older Americans, often starting at age 60 or 65. Everything from dining out to transportation could be discounted for seniors. Do some research and start flashing that AARP card to save 10-50% or more on the things you enjoy.
Following these tips to minimize your living space, declutter, reduce unnecessary expenses like cable TV, and take advantage of senior discounts helps put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket each month. With extra money in your budget, you're going to have more freedom and flexibility as you age.
As an elderly individual, another noticeable expense in your budget is often transportation. Between fuel for your vehicle, transit fares, ridesharing services, and travel, the costs really add up. Here're some ways to reduce your transportation costs:
- Consider ridesharing with other seniors: If you live in a community with other retirees, think about coordinating to share rides for errands, medical appointments, leisure activities, and events. You can split costs like gas and parking, saving money for everyone involved.
- Explore volunteer driver programs: Some non-profits and community organizations offer programs where volunteer drivers will take seniors to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other elderly necessities. Check if any groups in your area offer these services.
- Look into senior transit alternatives: In many different places, there are specialized transit options for older adults including shuttle busses, wheelchair-accessible vans, and on-demand ride services. Fares for these alternatives are typically very affordable. Call your local transit agency or Council on Aging to learn about the options in your community.
- Review insurance premiums for cost savings: If you're paying for car insurance, you may be able to lower your premiums once you retire by adjusting coverage limits to reflect less frequent driving. You can also ask about discounts for senior drivers, low-mileage, or defensive driving courses. Every dollar you can save on insurance premiums helps.
Find resources available in your area at your local library or community center, you could find many ways to trim down on what you spend.
Trim Away at Food Expenses
Another easy way to reduce spending is by reducing your food expenses. Here are some simple tips to save money on groceries:
Shop store brand items
Brand name foods are often twice the price of generic or store brand items that are just as good. Stock up on store brand staples like rice, beans, oats, and canned goods. Buy larger sizes or in bulk when possible—it’s more budget-friendly.
Plan your meals around weekly sales
Check your local store’s weekly ad to see what’s on sale and plan your meals around those ingredients. Meat that’s marked down, day-old bakery items, and produce nearing its expiration date are fine if you use or freeze them promptly.
Avoid convenience and pre-made foods
Pre-washed salad mixes, cut-up veggies and fruits, frozen dinners and take-out meals are convenient but often overpriced. Buy whole ingredients and do minimal prep yourself. A homemade salad or stir fry and a pot of rice or grains on the stove can save you money and be ready in the same amount of time as a ready-made meal.
Buy in-season produce
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually cheaper since they are more plentiful. Buy lots of in-season produce and eat some fresh, then preserve some by canning, pickling or freezing for later. This ensures you have nutritious options even when prices rise out of season.
Following these tips can help seniors gain control over their food budget and keep more cash in their wallets.
Another significant expense you face as a senior is healthcare. Here're some ways to lower your healthcare costs:
Once you turn 65, you become Medicare eligible. Compare Medicare Advantage plans to find one with lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Advantage plans, like HMOs and PPOs, offer similar coverage to original Medicare but often at a lower cost. Shop around during Open Enrollment each year to make sure you have the most affordable plan.
Take Advantage of Preventive Care
Medicare covers many preventive services at no cost to you. Get regular health screenings like cancer screenings, diabetes tests, and blood pressure checks. Preventive care can help catch health issues early and avoid costly treatments down the road.
Consider Prescription Drug Assistance
The cost of prescription drugs can really add up. Look into prescription drug assistance programs to lower your costs. Some pharmaceutical companies offer discount programs for people with Medicare. You may also qualify for low-income subsidies (LIS) with Medicare.
Explore Additional Insurance
You may want to consider purchasing supplemental insurance to help pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses that Medicare does not cover, such as a Medigap policy. Or, you could get an affordable alternative like accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity insurance to offset specific healthcare costs.
Could Seniors Receive a FREE Phone With EASY Wireless??
With some financial planning, there are many ways to save money as a senior. But the best way to save some cash is by receiving FREE stuff. You don't have to spend your hard earned money on phone bills when EASY Wireless is offering free phone & data plans!
Thanks to connectivity programs like Lifeline & ACP -- as an elderly individual, you could be eligible to receive a bunch of incredible benefits. Such as:
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- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
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Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.