For many people, retirement means a tighter budget. Therefore, it can also mean cutting expenses to fit a smaller income. Whether you’re dealing with less income than you used to receive or simply want to be a savvy saver, this guide is for you. Here are some practical ways to cut expenses without sacrificing your quality of life.
The first step is to look at all of your expenses. Pay attention to recurring expenses. Are there things you pay for but never use, like the gym or that one streaming service? Don’t keep throwing money at those services, especially if you don’t use them. Those expenses should be the first to go. There! You’ve just freed up some future funds.
It may sound counterintuitive, but don’t be afraid to touch your savings. Most likely, if you have debt—like a balance on your credit card—you’re probably paying more in interest on that card than you’re receiving on your savings. It’s a good idea to stash money in an emergency fund (usually 3-6 months of expenses), but paying off things like car loans will help you save money in the future.
Think about the tasks you pay others to do. Because you’ll have more free time in retirement, it might make more sense to do these tasks yourself. For example, cutting the grass, walking the dog, or cleaning the house yourself can cut monthly or weekly expenses. Some organizations will also provide these services for free if you are unable to do them yourself.
If you find you’re often the source of meals for your family or free daycare for your grandchildren, it might be appropriate for you to set some financial boundaries. You can still be generous without taking on a financial burden. For example, if you’re watching young grandchildren, it’s entirely reasonable to ask for necessary supplies like diapers or formula, instead of paying for these things out of pocket. You can also still host weekly dinners, but turn them into a potluck instead of taking on the responsibility of cooking (and buying!) all of the food.
Senior discounts are available in many places. Check out our discounts section to see where you can save—we have even broken discounts down by category!