When you’re living on a fixed income, retirement can feel more like a burden than your golden years. However, if you can manage some simple tweaks to your budget and your lifestyle, you may be able to squeeze a little more out of your retirement savings and income. Wondering what those changes would look like? These tips can help:
Cut Out Your Cable Bill
So many people are cutting the cord with cable these days, and that’s for good reason! Canceling your satellite or cable service is one of the easiest ways to reduce your expenses in retirement. With a streaming service, you never even have to feel like you’re missing out on entertainment options. You can still watch your favorite television shows and movies, but you won’t be paying for channels you don’t watch, so long as you do not sign up for a la carte services you really don’t need. While a streaming media player is an easy and affordable option, you should carefully review devices and apps to see which will work best for you and which will be compatible with your TV.
Reduce Your Energy Costs
Being cozy in your home is important, but it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune during retirement. If you are looking for painless ways to curb costs, consider using a few energy-efficient tips to reduce your utility bills each month. Check for any leaky windows or faucets and have them repaired immediately, try to take shorter showers to lower power and water usage, and swap your old light bulbs for more efficient ones. If you have a little to invest in making your home more energy-efficient, you can also pick up a smart thermostat, which will help regulate the temperature in your home and help save you money with little effort.
Limit Your Food Waste
Are you constantly throwing uneaten food away? Well, you could be throwing a huge portion of your retirement savings out as well. According to The Guardian, American families toss out 150,000 tons of food a day, which is bad for tight budgets and even worse for the environment. You can help reduce your food waste, cut costs and shrink your carbon footprint by looking for simple recipes that come with minimal shopping lists to keep your grocery spending in check. If you’d rather not worry about shopping and measuring, you can also look into a meal kit delivery service that will fit your dietary needs and your budget.
Lower Your Travel Costs
Many seniors love to travel in retirement, but many are faced with limited budgets to do so. If you are struggling to balance your budget needs with your travel desires, know that you can always look for senior discounts that can make vacations and trips more affordable. You can use those discounts to reduce costs for hotel rooms, public transit, train tickets, and even air travel with select airlines. Another way to save money while feeding that travel bug is to plan a trip to a budget-friendly destination. You can save money while visiting several cities stateside, but there are also international locations that are senior-friendly and affordable on a retirement budget.
Downsize Your Home
All of the tips above are simple, small changes that can make a difference in savings. If you really need to trim expenses for retirement, though, you may need to make a major change by moving into a smaller home. Aside from reducing your housing costs, downsizing in retirement can also lessen the stress of maintaining and managing your home. Now, this step can require some investment upfront for things like moving expenses, but once the dust has settled from your downsizing move, you’re likely to emerge with fewer home- and finance-related burdens. Click here to learn more about some helpful tips for downsizing.
Living on a limited income in retirement doesn’t have to limit your ability to fully enjoy your golden years. You just need to decide what’s important for your happiness, what you can let go of, and what you can tweak to stretch those retirement dollars further for a better quality of life.
Guest Written by Karen Weeks
Karen created Elder Wellness as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.