Many people choose to live a frugal lifestyle, but frugal living can be especially important for seniors as many seniors live on a fixed income. Following simple tips can help seniors live a more frugal lifestyle while still living comfortably. There are many areas where seniors can cut back in order to be more frugal, and seniors can decide which areas are the easiest for them to cut back in based on their interests and income. In this article we would like to offer some frugal living tips for seniors who need to cut back on their expenses and do not know where to start.
The first area where seniors can cut back is on their home. Many seniors still live in the house that they chose when they had kids, but with their children grown up and out of the house most seniors do not need as much space. Seniors who find that their house is too costly or time consuming to maintain can sell their house and look for something smaller with a low monthly payment. Many seniors choose to rent an apartment or move to a retirement community so that they can enjoy their time and living area with very little house maintenance requirements. Selling the house and moving to an apartment or retirement community can be beneficial for seniors as the sale gives them extra money to help cover their living or medical expenses and it gives them a smaller living area to maintain on day to day basis.
Senior couples that have more than one car can consider selling one of their cars for some extra money and ride together. Many couples need two separate cars while they are younger and both work full time or have places to take their children, but many retired seniors find that they go out less often and therefore no longer need a second car. This might not be a good option for those who have regular appointments to go to with conflicting times, but those who do not might find that only having one car is not a problem for them.
Seniors can also live a more frugal lifestyle by monitoring their expenses and creating a budget. Living on a fixed income can take some getting used to, but with the right planning seniors can learn how to make a frugal lifestyle work for them. Creating a monthly budget can help seniors by giving them an idea of how much money they have to spend on certain items so that they will not fall short at the end of the month. Food and medications are usually top priorities, so seniors might find that they have to cut down on other expenses so that they will have enough money to afford the necessities. Seniors that enjoy dining out can try cutting down on their eating out and cook at home more. Dining out can get very expensive, and ingredients for meals made at home are usually much cheaper. Seniors that already cook most of their food at home can try growing some of their own food to cut down on expenses. Garden supplies can often be found very cheap and having a garden at home keeps seniors from having to buy expensive produce items at the store. While shopping seniors should also compare prices and choose the least expensive option. Many store brands offer lower prices than brand name items and buying large quantities is often cheaper as well. Seniors can decide which size item is the best value for their money by calculating how much each unit cost (the price per pound, ounce or number of items included). Seniors should also keep in mind how much of an item they will use if the item is perishable. Buying a large quantity of something for a higher price and letting it go bad does not help save money because in this case it is better to buy the smaller quantity and actually use or eat all of it. Seniors can also cut back in other areas such as subscriptions or memberships that they do not use like magazines or clubs. These expenses might not seem like a big deal while working full time, but once seniors are living on a fixed income these expenses can put a huge strain on their budget. Seniors that pay for a health club membership or magazine subscriptions that they do not use can cancel their membership and save a good bit of money each month.
Once seniors have set a monthly budget and decided where to cut back their expenses, they should keep up with their spending. Having a budget will not be helpful if seniors do not keep track of how much they spend when they go shopping. Many people make the mistake of forgetting expenses such as small purchases and then find out that they are short on money later on. Seniors can keep a spreadsheet of their expenses and add the total cost from their shopping trip to the list as soon as they return home from shopping so that they will not forget about their expenses. Online purchases and small purchases should be included on this list as well; many people forget about purchases if they do not get a receipt or if the total was not a large amount. Even if the purchase is small it can put a strain on the budget at the end of the month as all of those small purchases add up.
Following these tips is a good way for seniors to start living more frugally so that they can live comfortably and not worry about financial issues.