How to Make Work Your Income Work for You as a Senior

By | January 23, 2015

As a senior, you income has likely stopped. Unless you are living off of a large inheritance or you have a stockpile earning you money in the market, you need to spend less because there is no money coming in to replace the money going out. The days of irresponsible spending are (or should be) behind you. You can control your spending and you can learn how to live on less. Here are four, doable options to help your money last longer:

Shop Smarter

You don’t have to use coupons to save money. If couponing isn’t your thing, don’t do it. But, if you want to save money, shop smarter. That means don’t buy the latest and greatest as soon as it comes out. Shop around. You can find almost anything on the internet these days, this gives you more options for getting items you need or want for less.

Another way to shop smarter: Wait. If you see something you really want, wait a few days to buy, book or reserve. If you still want the item after 5 days, see if you can get a better deal and then buy it. Waiting on unplanned purchases will significantly cut down on impulse buys.

No Credit

Do not buy on credit. Credit cards are hardly advisable for anyone on a fixed budget or with irresponsible shopping habits, but as a senior it’s a huge no-no. Shopping on credit may seem like a good idea because you don’t have to pay now, but you will pay later—in interest rates. You’ll save a lot of money if you only buy what you can pay for with cash.

Interest rates can be close to 30 percent for some credit cards. If you don’t pay off your balance immediately, you could spend a lot more on that $50 sweater than the original price tag.

If you have unexpected finances pop up, avoid paying for these on credit if possible. If however you need a loan, avoid micro loans from pop up specialty lenders and utilise non-profit or government based loans. They may have zero to very low interest rates with little to no fees.

Save Money on Necessary Expenses

You can stretch your income by saving money on routine expenses. You can save money on nearly any expense by making smarter choices. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Move to a smaller home condo or apartment to save on rent and utilities.
  • Sell your car and take public transportation or car pool
  • Stop buying soda (drink water, it’s healthier and it’s free!)
  • Eat less meat
  • Rent out a room or your basement
  • Cut back on your utilities. If you have a little extra income consider investing in energy saving washers and driers. If that’s a little above your budget, you can still cut back on utilities by purchasing energy efficient light bulbs and adjusting your thermostat
  • Use public services that are available for seniors. There are a lot of free services targeted to help seniors including discounted transportation, free access to WIFI and a Seniors Card.
  • Repair old clothing and blankets instead of replacing.

Making a few smarter decisions with purchases and expenses every month can significantly impact your ability to spend less, keep more and live independently longer.