Practical Budgeting Tips for Seniors

Practical Budgeting Tips for Seniors


Once people retire, they lose the regular source of income that employment brought. This can be a scary thought for many seniors. In fact, running out of money during retirement is one of the biggest fears expressed by older adults. For those on a fixed income, finding practical ways to minimize expenses can be immensely relieving. If you are among those looking for ways to cut costs—or have a parent or grandparent interested in saving—the below tips can help.


Invest in streaming TV and movies

The average monthly cost of cable television is $64.41. Compared to modern streaming services, this seems downright exorbitant. There is also the hassle of having cable repair people come by when the system goes down. If you’d prefer to avoid all of that, streaming is ideal. Just make sure you don’t order more tailor-made programs than you need or you’ll run the costs up. 

Take the time to comparison shop when choosing a streaming service. Study different devices to see what aligns with your budget and make sure whatever technology you choose is compatible with your television. You should also find out what level of picture quality each device delivers; the higher the quality, the easier it can be to watch movies and shows.


Take advantage of senior deals and offers

Check your local retailers for senior-friendly deals. Supermarkets like Harris Teeter give persons aged 60 and over a 5% discount every Thursday, for example. All you have to do is join their Very Important Customer program and inform the cashier that you qualify. In the mood to dine out? The Senior List has a roundup of restaurants offering senior discounts, from Ponderosa SteakHouse to Sonic.

For more comprehensive offers on all kinds of products, look to coupon sites. You can sign up for a platform like SwagBucks. Select which types of deals you are interested in and they will even send alerts directly to your email with the latest offers. If you’re new to couponing, DollarSprout offers a comprehensive guide to the different types of coupons and how to use them, such as “in-store cashback” and “printable manufacturer coupon.” 


Switch to a senior phone plan

If your phone plan is due for renewal, don’t just automatically renew. Look around for senior-friendly plans and you just might manage to save a chunk of money. Verizon and Jitterbug are just two of the providers that offer deals for older adults. If you have kids or grandkids out of state, an unlimited plan that allows for plenty of texting and calling is ideal and avoids extra charges on your phone bill.

When you transition to a new plan, you may also have the opportunity to upgrade to a new device for a lower cost than the retail price. Look for phones that are best suited for seniors. They come with advantages like a larger screen, which is ideal for those with vision problems.


Reconsider your car

Many older people lose confidence in their driving abilities as they age and get behind the wheel less frequently as a result. If this applies to you, reconsider your car. Does your area have public transportation or readily available ride services like Lyft or Uber you can use? If your car isn’t a strict necessity, selling it can be the most budget-friendly option (and also spares you car insurance costs).

Enjoying your retirement on a fixed income isn’t impossible. The above financial tweaks don’t take much effort and won’t detract from your daily quality of life. In fact, they may very well improve it—and alleviate financial-related stress. This will leave you happier and ready to make the most of your retirement years.


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Guest Author: Jim Vogel


Changing your plan may require you to select new sectors for certain stocks

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