Frugal living means different things to us at various stages in our lives. When we’re young or have kids, we may think living frugally is more about scoring discounts and clipping coupons so we can save money. As we get older, living frugally as a senior tends to mean something completely different.
Frugal Living Benefits & Aging
A frugal mindset tends to develop as we age. On that note, there are various programs out there that the senior population can take advantage of. All you have to do is seek them out, research them and then choose the program right for you.
Take Advantage Of Discount Programs
A few examples of frugal living discount programs for seniors include:
- Discounts. AARP and AAA cards are accepted and provide savings at many places
- Senior Discounts. Restaurants, grocery stores and retail outlets often have discounts for seniors to take advantage of
- Travel. Car rentals, hotel stays and airlines are commonly discounted for seniors
- Free Activities. Many cities have activities that seniors can do for free such as museums, parks, and concerts
Be Frugal, Not Cheap
There’s a difference between being frugal and cheap. Think of it this way: Should you buy something two or three times because it’s cheaper or should you buy something more expensive, but something that will last for many years to come? Of course, you want to go for the item that is of high quality and will last for a lifetime.
Sure, at first you might be in for sticker shock. However, it almost always makes more sense to buy the item that is higher quality; you get more for your money and you’ll save in the long run.
Ensuring you have what you need in terms of your health care is important and though it may cost a reasonable amount, you need to be looked after. Your health is your wealth hence wed advise you to look into Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 now.
Pay Debt Off
You should pay off debt in order to increase your cash flow. This is especially true with your mortgage; try to pay it off before you’re ready to retire because debts and mortgages tend to be the biggest expenses people have. When you have no mortgage to pay, you can easily downsize. Not only that, but you can use your savings to add to your retirement fund. That being said, there are other expenses, such as insurance and property taxes that will always have to be paid.
Budgeting When You’re On A Fixed Income
Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend by creating a budget, which is important when you’re on a fixed income. Use the 4% Rule. For example, if you saved a million dollars, then you should withdraw no more than $40,000 per year to avoid running out of cash in retirement.
Be very mindful of how often you take out money from your savings. Track every single dollar you take out and spend. This may seem excessive, but in the long run it will be beneficial to you.
You don’t need to do anything special; if you’re not computer savvy, then even a pen and paper can be used to track everything. On the other hand, there are a number of online tools you can use, such as Personal Capital or Mint. As time goes on, you’ll have a better idea of what you spend your money on and you’ll be able to make adjustments when necessary.
Develop a DIY Mentality
If you can do something yourself, then do it yourself. Simply head over to YouTube to find out what you need to do to fix your issue. Sure, it might take a bit longer, but you can save money by doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional. There’s plenty of small jobs you can probably learn how to do yourself.
If you don’t like to use YouTube, then head over to your local hardware store and ask someone who can offer advice on your DIY project. You might even find it fun to work on these small projects.
Photo Credit: Christopher Michel