When you’re living on a fixed income, saving money is a must. However, sticking to a budget doesn’t have to mean giving up the things you love. There are a lot of painless ways that seniors can save money on everyday living expenses, like these!
1. Take advantage of senior discounts
Many of your everyday purchases could be eligible for senior discounts, but you won’t know if you don’t ask. Brad’s Deals points out Walgreens, Kohl’s, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, and Lens Crafters are just a few of the nationwide retailers that offer senior discounts.
2. Swap cable for low-cost TV
Cable packages are expensive and, odds are, you only watch a fraction of the channels you pay for. These days, more households are opting to get their TV fix from inexpensive streaming services. Not only are the monthly fees lower, but you don’t have to buy or rent costly equipment either. For less than the cost of a month of satellite television, you can buy a streaming stick that broadcasts your favorite entertainment apps right to your TV screen. Just make sure the device you choose is compatible with your TV before buying.
3. Borrow, don’t buy, books and movies
Why pay full-price for something you’ll only use once or twice? Instead of buying books and movies or ordering pay-per-view, visit your local library for free book and movie rentals. While some libraries still loan DVDs, many have switched to digital media libraries so that members can stream and download media from home.
4. Get rid of your landline
Cable TV isn’t the only overpriced service you’re still paying for. While many seniors still have landline phones, most households are transitioning to cell phones only. Doing the same could save you $30-$40 a month, but as The Nest suggests, consider the pros and cons before making the switch.
5. Save on utilities with a programmable thermostat
A warm house keeps the chill away, but cranking up the temperature 24/7 can lead to high utility bills. If you have trouble staying warm, use a programmable or smart thermostat to turn the temperature up during the day when you’re home, and down at night and when the house is empty. Used properly, a programmable thermostat could save 20-30% on heating and cooling costs.
6. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages
Choosing water instead of sweetened beverages like soda, juice, and sweet tea is good for your wallet and your waistline. However, you’ll lose out on the savings if you spend money on bottled water. If you’re not a fan of your tap water, buy a faucet filter to improve the taste.
7. Grocery shop with a friend
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries and household goods, but as a one- or two-person household, it’s sometimes hard to use up a bulk purchase before it goes bad. By grocery shopping with a friend or neighbor, you can split bulk purchases and save on transportation costs too!
8. Plan fun nights in
When shopping with your friend, why not pick up cocktail supplies and games for a fun night in? Socializing at home costs far less than going out for dinner and drinks, and it’s a great way to build a strong social network to carry you through the senior years.
9. Move closer to town
Does living in the suburbs make it hard to maintain an active social life? If your suburban family home is no longer working for your lifestyle, move closer to town. While centrally-located homes are often more expensive, downsizing can put you in a great downtown home, or senior community at a great price. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get rid of your car and use public transportation to save even more.
Think through these ideas and how you can apply them to your life. None of these tips require a major lifestyle change, but by following them, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year! That means more money to spend on the things you love, and fewer financial worries during your golden years.
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