Your retirement years are meant to be a time of restful relaxation. This is your opportunity to pursue the hobbies and activities that you just haven’t made time for yet. Retirees typically have a set income from investments, pensions, and other sources that needs to stretch to cover their remaining years. Don’t let money matters put a damper on your retirement. Use these simple tricks to keep your spending under control without sacrificing the things you love.
Create a Budget
Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013
Budgeting your funds mindfully is essential to both managing and saving money. It’s impossible to trim your spending if you don’t know exactly how it’s happening. Sit down and determine a reasonable amount for all of your monthly expenses. Make sure you include not only your fixed spending, such as a mortgage or car payment, but your variable spending, as well. Budget for entertainment, eating out, cosmetics, clothing, and anything else you like to purchase.
Go through your bank and credit card statements and tally up every penny over the course of at least three months. Are you staying within your means? If not, it’s time to reconsider your lifestyle habits and see where you can cut back.
Downsize Your Home
Your mortgage payment is probably the largest single expense that you have each month. If you want to minimize your expenses in retirement, downsizing your home is an efficient way to do it. Do you still maintain bedrooms for children who have moved out? Do you have a spacious yard with high upkeep costs? Exchange those empty childhood bedrooms for a single guest room. Consider a smaller lot of land that’s easier to maintain. Downsizing your home can cut back on both your expenses and your work.
Protect Yourself Against the Unexpected
While there are many places that you can safely trim expenses, insurance and warranties aren’t among them. Protect yourself against the unexpected in retirement so you don’t have to worry about a massive expense from illness, injury, natural disaster, or home repair.
Insure yourself, your vehicles, and your home appropriately. Top this off with a home warranty from a company like TotalProtect to cover additional incidences. While insurance covers you in certain disasters, a home warranty helps you manage repair and replacement costs associated with everyday use. With a combination of both, you’re safe from a variety of high expenses.
Watch for Senior Discounts
You may be surprised at the number of places that offer senior discounts. Stores like Ross, Kohl’s, and even Goodwill host special senior discount days when you’ll enjoy additional savings on your purchases. Entertainment discounts are available everywhere from movie theaters to cruise lines to national parks. Gyms, salons, grocery stores, and restaurants are all known to offer discounted rates. When in doubt, always ask. There’s no harm in checking for a discount before you pay your bill.
With smart strategies like these, you can stretch your retirement funds to offer ample enjoyment, covering all the things you love most during these golden years.