If you want ideas on budget for senior citizens, this article is going to really help.
It reveals insider tips to budgeting for senior citizens that really help.
Why Budgeting for Senior Citizens?
Budgeting is an important tool for all individuals who wish to take control of their financials rather than their financials controlling them.
However, it does seem that if we were to break our lives down in decades, there is always some aspect of a particular decade that can wreak havoc with our budget.
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For example, in the 20s the individual is just starting in life and beginning to walk their path.
Often this path includes the possibility of meeting that special someone and perhaps starting a family.
Consequently, the growing of a family of two into a family of three or more can have dramatic effects on the expenses in the household.
There may be dental bills, clothing bills, food bills, etc. All of these items can significantly impact the expense side of the budget.
Then, when one starts to enter into their 30s these same variables can continue, and then added into the mix is the possibility of one moving into their home and the increased expenses realized with homeownership.
Then the decade of the 40s arrives and as the children are growing perhaps the parents are trying to meet their educational needs and help them with their continuing education.
And so, it continues and then one day we find ourselves standing in a “gold watch” retirement celebration wondering what retirement will hold for us.
If we have planned that is a good thing if we have not planned, then that could have serious implications.
Additionally, the 60s, or later, is the decade of things slowing down. Not only our personal lives and our energy levels but also with the slowing down in revenue.
Consequently, we have to make sure, particularly as senior citizens, to incorporate a budget due to being on a fixed income.
Many people understand what a budget is. They could easily describe to you that a budget lists on one side of a spreadsheet or a form what are the income streams of revenue.
On the other side of the ledger has the heading of expenses.
They are fully aware of what the expenses are to maintain the household and the family.
They understand that each month there are mortgages or rent to be paid, utility companies requiring payment for their services, food that needs to be put on the table, car payments, etc. The list goes on and on ad nauseam.
Unfortunately, the disconnect is not in knowing but in doing. They don’t realize that a budget is more than just a checkmark on a to-do list and that’s it.
Nothing could be further from the truth, a budget is a dynamic financial tool that helps a family and the household stay on track, not lose sight of being overspent, and trying to be true to paying the various expense line items.
The one, most important line item, is savings or the paying of you first.
11 Best Budget Tips for Senior Citizens for the Golden Years
1: Have a Meal Plan
Often, when people go shopping and don’t have a list or plan for the meals that they will be preparing, they buy impulsively. This is especially true when it comes to grocery shopping.
Therefore, to stay within budget it is important to develop a meal plan.
The meal plan should cover as many days as possible and include what you are planning to eat each day.
Then from this meal plan, you will be able to purchase the necessary ingredients to supplement what is already in the house to prepare a nutritious and healthy meal.
It is important to include as many days as possible because that way you will limit your trips to the grocery store and save additional time and expenses related to transportation.
Also, it is important to go shopping with a shopping list and not buy impulsively.
Therefore to help in this process it is best to go after you have eaten a meal and your cravings will not dictate to you what is put in the cart from the shelf.
2: Take Advantage of Discounts
When we reach a certain age, many restaurants, places of retail, and grocery stores will offer a seniors’ discount.
Sometimes these discounts are offered throughout the day on any given day of the week.
However, some stores just offer the discount on certain days.
It is best to take advantage of these discounts and know when, if any, they are offered to take full advantage.
3: Take Public Transportation
There comes a time in every driver’s life when they need to decide as to whether they’re going to continue to drive their vehicle or not.
Unfortunately, there are issues about our health that may risk the safety of others and ourselves when we get behind the wheel.
This is a life-changing decision, but it can be fully embraced and utilized to your budgeting benefit.
When the decision comes to give up your transportation, you can always depend upon public transportation.
Not only is it the wise person who knows when to slide out from behind the wheel, but the value of the savings and not operating a vehicle will certainly be positive in helping an individual’s budget.
The obvious savings by not purchasing gas, maintaining the vehicle, insurance, etc. will all add to the bottom line for the individual as it relates to their finances.
Also, when taking public transportation, various discounts are offered to seniors when they take the bus or call a share a ride company.
4: Community Resources
Offered to the seniors are various services provided by local governments as well as local not-for-profits.
Some of those benefits include the preparing of a hot meal for a senior and the delivery of that meal for them to enjoy.
Generally, there is no charge for this service, but it would be a wise move to donate the service that is provided.
5: Senior Living
Another budget tip that the senior can take advantage of is to associate with other seniors.
This is not only a good move on the social level, but also will help to enhance a senior’s mental health is not being alone but enjoying the company of others.
Therefore, in many communities, there is a city-run senior citizen’s center that invites seniors to be part of the activities.
Some of those activities include the playing of bingo, dancing, watching movies, playing pickleball, eating a meal, etc.
Normally these activities do not cost anything for the senior to participate in. However, there is usually an opportunity for a senior to donate at whatever level they feel comfortable in doing.
As part of the budget process, maintaining one’s health is important. It is important to monitor blood pressure, weight, heart rate, etc.
To maintain one’s health, it is important to participate in the exercise.
This can be done by simply walking as many steps as possible during the day to maintain the health of the heart and stimulate the respiratory system.
Also, as a community service, some groups and associations will sponsor various walkathon’s for seniors in the community.
Often these events are held in the early hours and a certain amount of steps are mapped out for the senior.
Following their exercise, they are invited to share a simple breakfast with other seniors who have participated.
This will not only help the individual to maintain their health, but that is one less meal that needs to be purchased.
Utilities can be a significant expense in anyone’s budget. There is the cost of natural gas, electricity, water, etc.
Therefore, the senior needs to minimize these costs as much as possible.
Practical examples of ways to reduce these costs could include washing the laundry less, moving the thermostat up or down depending upon the season of the year, fixing any water leaks, making sure the lights are all off when leaving the room, etc.
8: Cellular Service
Most likely, you have a cellular phone in your possession.
Perhaps you are using a national plan and you cringe each time the statement arrives, and you look at the exorbitant amount of cellular phone costs.
Of course, it is important that one stay in touch and that the cellular phone is used for socializing as well as for any possible emergencies
Perhaps a potential of cutting down on cellular phone services would be included on a family plan with a family member.
Generally, the cost to add line onto these family plans is fairly minimal and if it cannot be absorbed by the family member it would certainly be less money than what the individual is paying currently for a full solo service plan.
9: Dining Out
Most people like to dine out and being a senior is no different in enjoying this special time.
However, rather than dining out in the evening, perhaps a more prudent and practical way of dining out and saving money would be to have breakfast, brunch, a lunch out with others.
Generally, the menus of these restaurants include a senior’s menu for luncheon special or smaller portions during certain times of the day.
This would be a great way to enjoy the pleasure of eating out and not feeling guilty and saving money as well.
Hobbies are an important part of our lifestyle.
They give us something productive to do and we enjoy working with our hands and minds to create something that brings us pleasure and enjoyment.
If you have a particular knack for creating a hobby that resonates with others you may want to consider the selling of your creativity.
This can be done through various websites such as eBay or Etsy.
Accessing these websites is fairly easy and can be accomplished most likely on your own or with the help of a tech-savvy grandchild.
11: Trim the Budget
The final and obvious budgeting tip for a senior is to look at the budget, especially the expense side, and see if there are ways to cut back.
Possible suggestions are to cut any subscription services that you may be paying for, possibly cutting the cable cord or other expenses that seem to be out of line.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to give your service providers a call to see if they have any senior discounts or to let them know that your senior income is limited and would they be able to help you to reduce costs.
More than likely, they want to keep you as a customer and will do what it takes to make sure that that customer service provider relationship is maintained.
What have you got to lose? You’ve ever earned every one of those possible gray or white hairs on your head. Why not use them to your financial advantage.
While serving in the U.S. Navy, the last 3 1/2 years of my 10-year career was aboard a helicopter carrier.
My function within the medical department, not only as an x-ray technician, but I had the dual duty of taking charge of the medical supplies.
That meant that items need to be inventoried, dates of expiration closely monitored, making sure specific quantities were on board, and ordering medical supplies as needed.
To order the medical supplies, it required the filling out of a form that was a three-part form.
On the form was the various information about the duty station, the product description, and quantity needed unit price and then multiplying the two numbers to arrive at the total.
It was a fairly easy and manageable duty once I got the hang of it. The unfortunate reality is that the medical department had a budget and often the items that were needed took us well over the limitations of that budget.
Unfortunately, my experience was that if it was needed, the budget was secondary, and the items were purchased.
This learning of how to order without the required money did not carry me far into the business world.
It was there that I learned about budgeting and was expressly told that I could not spend if it wasn’t in the bank, and it wasn’t in the budget.
Today, most of the time, that dynamic has served me well.
Within various communities and a nation as a whole, we are fond of labels.
Some of those labels include being defined as Baby Boomers, Millennialists, X- Generation, etc. For us who are over the age of 65, we are called senior citizens.
Most likely, we’ve been called many things and these names don’t affect us.
The reality is that we are not only survivors, but we thrive. We know what it is like, having reached our age, to overcome challenges, survive heartache, and adapt as needed, etc.
On the grand scale of things, what are a few dollars less to work with for our monthly budget?
We will adjust, and enjoy our lives with the resources that we have,