Seniors Living on a Fixed Income Should Try These Budgeting Ideas
By Karen Weeks
Many seniors face difficult financial decisions in a given year, including how to pay off debt and how to save for retirement. It’s no surprise, then, that living on a fixed income can lead to stress and anxiety as older adults try to figure out a way to prevent financial insecurity. The good news is, there are some budgeting tips that will help you save money throughout the year and remain ahead of the game while still enjoying this time of your life. You can start by looking for local resources that help seniors with meals and other necessities, such as the Athens Community Council on Aging. You can also think about ways to bulk up your savings, pay off debt, and/or save money on everyday items. Continue reading to learn more.
Work out a realistic budget
Earning money is great, but only if you know where it’s going. It’s difficult to stick to a budget that doesn’t work for your specific needs, so it’s important to tailor yours to fit your lifestyle. This will make it much easier for you to stay on track. Instead of starting by calculating your income, list your expenses first so you’ll have a black-and-white composite of how much you’re spending. This will allow you to make cuts in the right areas and create a plan that works for you. It will also help you get a picture of how much you’re spending on nonessential items each month so you can get a handle on impulse buying.
Get help where you need it
There are lots of resources for seniors these days, from loans and grants to assistance with paying rent. Think about where you could use some help and reach out. You can also consider utilizing as many free and discounted senior services as possible, such as rides to the doctor’s office that will help you save on gas, or grocery delivery. They may not seem too consequential, but working these factors into your budget will add up over time and help you save money.
While creating a realistic budget and looking for money-saving tactics are both hugely beneficial to seniors on a fixed income, sometimes it’s just not enough. If the care and upkeep of your home have become too much to bear financially, a downsize can be beneficial. You don’t have to give up all the comforts you enjoy; there are many homes, apartments, and senior living facilities (or senior communities) that offer plenty of amenities, social opportunities, and comfortable living spaces. Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration the state of your current home and how much work will need to be done to get it on the market. Consult a realtor or a family member who has the home-selling experience to find out what your next steps should be.
Living on a fixed income can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many opportunities for seniors these days to stay on top of their financial needs, and utilizing these resources can help you live your best life.
Want to learn more about Athens Community Council on Aging? Contact 706-549-4850.
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