Retired life can be great — you have more free time for pursuing the things you want to do, from traveling to spending time with family, working on your favorite hobby or picking up a brand new one. But that doesn’t mean being retired doesn’t require making adjustments, especially when it comes to money. You’re not earning quite like you used to, so now’s the time to reign in excess spending and start budgeting for any big expenses that could come up in the near future. With these smart strategies, you’ll be on your way to saving in no time.
Tips to Help Retirees Save Money
1. Stay active, but cut activity costs and frequency.
Say you love going out to dinner and a movie for date night with your significant other each week. You don’t have to quit doing that altogether. Just make some small adjustments to save money. Maybe it’s a morning movie and brunch instead, since many theaters offer half price tickets before noon, and lots of restaurants have special daytime deals. Make sure you’re utilizing your senior discount everywhere you can, too. If you like working out, that’s great, but are you actually utilizing your gym’s showers, pool, and sauna? Keep up the exercise, but consider finding a gym without all the bells and whistles so membership costs less each month. If you’re strategic about your activities and do things at off times or for discounted rates, you’ll start seeing those dollars add up.
2. Open up a shop online.
With all that extra time on your hands, start taking stock of what belongings you might be ready to part with so you can turn those items into cash. Electronics, clothes, furniture, toys, collectibles — there’s a secondhand market for all of these things if you know where to sell them. There are marketplaces which are great for books and tech, others for collectibles, options for kids’ toys and tools, and some which are perfect for selling larger home goods that are too expensive to ship. There are even websites specifically made to sell secondhand, lightly used (or brand new) clothes and shoes. Keep in mind that newer styles will earn you more than older items that need repair.
3. Decide what’s not so important to you anymore, and ditch it.
Not watching much cable lately? Cut the cord. Feel like your cell phone bill is out of control? You probably don’t need all that data anyway. Contact your provider to see if there’s a new plan that could save you money. If you’re not still excited about that subscription box you signed up for ages ago, cancel it. Make a list of these kinds of extraneous expenses, and think hard about what each offers you and whether you can live without it. Cutting out a lot of smaller monthly expenses will add up quickly, and you can stash away that money for the future.
4. Don’t buy in bulk.
Chances are you’ve downsized or are thinking about making a move into a smaller home. The last thing you need to be doing is stockpiling pantry items and toiletries. For one, excess items take up space. And if you don’t get around to using groceries before they expire, that’s money wasted. Better to coupon clip and shop sales at your local supermarket or online than at warehouse retailers that sell in bulk and require a pricy annual membership.
5. Create a special fund for big purchases and potential procedures.
It’s always a good idea to save for a rainy day — which you may have been investing in while you were still working with various retirement accounts. But now that you’re on a fixed income, you should keep up that saving mentality should any unforeseen expenses arise. Consider putting cash that you save by cutting back on activities and services, or that you earn through a hobby or by selling unwanted items, into an account specifically for big purchases. This account will come in handy for anything from house repairs, to a vacation, to a life-improving medical procedure, like a hip replacement or dentures. (If you do end up getting dentures, using Polident, the number-one dentist recommended brand of denture cleanser, is a simple way to keep them clean.)