By Karen Weeks
It can be tempting to treat yourself in retirement, and after spending decades working, you definitely deserve to indulge in little luxuries from time to time. But when you’re a senior on a fixed income, you need to be careful when it comes to sticking with a budget and practicing frugal habits. After all, you can’t ask for a raise in retirement! With just a few financial tweaks, you can make the most of retirement and avoid draining your savings. These tips will help you enjoy your golden years without breaking the bank.
Consider Selling Your Home
When you were working full-time, you may have had no trouble paying the mortgage and utility bills for your family home. But when you’re on a fixed income, shelling out the money for mortgage payments, water, gas, electricity, and maintenance on a large property can take up a big chunk of your budget. You may be able to free up some cash and enjoy significant savings if you sell your home. And if you sell your home, you can move into a property that is perfect for this new phase of your life! For example, you can choose a house that can easily be modified for accessibility, which is especially important if you use a mobility aid.
You can get an idea of your home’s worth by doing local market research and comparing it to similar properties for sale in your area, or by hiring an appraiser. Work with a qualified real estate agent who can help you determine a reasonable listing price and find the right buyers. You should also take some time to calculate your home’s equity. To do this, subtract whatever is left on your mortgage balance from your home’s value.
Cook Healthy Meals
When you’re retired, you want to spend plenty of time relaxing, and you may catch yourself going out to eat or ordering takeout more often than you should! Instead of spending so much money on food from restaurants, make it a priority to spend more time cooking at home. Everyday Health recommends cooking large portions in advance and then prepping and freezing your meals for later in the week. This will help you eat a healthier diet without spending too much time in the kitchen!
Look for Senior Discounts
Before you book a hotel, eat at a restaurant, or even shop online, see if you can find a senior discount that will help you save on your purchase. Many companies offer senior discounts, and you can often shave about 10 to 15 percent off of your final purchase price. You never know which brands would be happy to give you a discount, so don’t hesitate to ask about promotions and deals for seniors!
Choose Free Activities
You would be amazed at how many free things you can do in your area. If you often find yourself spending more than you would like on excursions, do some research to see what’s available to do in your city for free. See if local aquariums, museums, or zoos offer free admission on certain dates, or head to the library to grab a good book and check out an event!
Try Thrift Shopping
Need new clothing, kitchenware, shoes, or even home decor? You don’t have to buy these items at full price. Head to your nearest thrift store instead! To find high-quality items at low prices, The Spruce recommends asking the employees when they put out new merchandise for sale so that you can get the best deal!
You have spent your entire life saving portions of your paychecks for retirement. Now that you have finally clocked out for the last time, you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. When you practice smart money-saving habits, you can make every dollar stretch a little further, and you’ll be able to embrace your golden years without worrying about your finances.