How to Live on a Tight Budget as a Retiree
Even though you have money stored away in the bank and have been preparing yourself for retirement for decades, you still need to be frugal with your spending. Luckily, your kids are probably out of the house and living a life of their own, your mortgage is paid off, and your car loans are settled. This makes more leeway for your expenditures, however you should still be smart and stick to a budget to prevent any uncomfortable circumstances.
Unfortunately, there are those who didn’t save enough for retirement. They may find themselves struggling to make ends meet. If this sounds like you, we’ve come up with the best ways to live on a tight budget as a retiree. You’ll still be able to enjoy as much as the next person – you’ll just need a bit more planning.
Track Your Spending
This one may seem the most obvious but is the most important. Write down everything you spend daily – groceries, gasoline, gifts, etc. Also factor in house, car, and other billing payments. Once you see what you’re spending on a daily basis in front of you, you’ll be able to cut back spending in certain areas and work from there.
Limit Housing Costs
Try and make it a priority to pay off your mortgage before you retire. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, then consider downsizing your living space. Sell your home and move to a smaller, more affordable home so you can stick to a budget and not have to worry about paying for a home – especially if you’re not using all of the space that you have.
Cut Back on Food
It’s always easier to order take away and go out to eat at restaurants. This can add up quickly. If you’ve gotten into the habit of going out to eat while you were at work, now is the time to take a step back and plan a little bit differently.
Try and cut back going out to eat to once a week instead of several times. Cut back again to once a month. Now is the time to learn how to cook – this is where you’ll save a ton of money. You’ll have plenty of time to cook now that you’re not working, and what better way to learn a new hobby than cooking! You can also support your local produce farmers by purchasing local and fresh vegetables they’ve grown themselves. You can even start your own personal garden in your backyard – the possibilities are endless.
There’s a reason senior discounts are everywhere! While you may cringe at the thought of finally having to say yes to senior discounts, you should take advantage of them. They will help you save those dollars to use elsewhere. You’ll find these discounts at restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, hotels, and more!
Even though you’ll be enrolled in Medicare if you’re over the age of 65, this won’t cover everything. You’ll still need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars put away in the bank to cover all areas of medical insurance. Before you retire, take advantage of getting your appointments in order and making sure you’re healthy before you retire. That way, you’ll be on a clean slate once you do retire and won’t have to worry as much.
These are some of the best ways to live on a tight budget as a retiree. The best way to be financially stable when you retire is to do some planning beforehand. If you’ve fallen into the trap of having not saved enough money by the time you retire, then these tips will help you live frugally and cheaply – while not giving up all comfort and still being able to live as though you have saved.