Financial Tips for Seniors Who Want to Have Fun on a Fixed Income

This article comes to us from Karen Weeks. Karen writes articles on budgeting tips for seniors who are living on a fixed income, focusing on how they can still enjoy their golden years with a little bit of financial tweaking. We hope you enjoy the article and learn some helpful hints in the process.

Is being on a fixed income cramping your style? Thankfully, with a handful of creative spending strategies, you can still make the most of every moment — and every penny! Read on for some terrific tips that will keep your finances in shape so you can go out and have a good time.

Map a Path

Any time you’re working with finances, the most important thing you can do is ensure your essentials are always covered. That means creating a budget so you know you have enough money each month to pay for things like utilities, health care, and transportation.

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Think of it as a spending roadmap, which will help you mark out your tight spots and stay on track so you have enough money left over to enjoy yourself! 

To create a budget, the Penny Hoarder recommends noting all your expenses and deducting them from your income. Extra money can be distributed however you see fit! Think through your financial goals and apply any surplus appropriately. Maybe you’re ready to do some estate planning, pay down on a bill, take a friend out to eat, or pad your savings. It’s all up to you! 

If you don’t have enough income to cover everything, that means some cuts are in order, which can be more challenging. Here are some ideas:

Cut Medical Costs

You probably aren’t surprised to learn that health care often takes one of the biggest chunks out of seniors’ budgets. Many people see it as a necessary evil in the world of expenses, but thankfully, there are ways to improve your coverage and cut your overall costs. 

With that in mind, take a look at Medicare Advantage plans, since they offer everything Original Medicare provides, and they expand your coverage to include things like dental care, hearing exams, and vision exams — some plans even help with things like gym memberships! You might pay a bit more upfront, but with the extra coverage, you’ll save big bucks in the long run.  Keep in mind that if you need to make changes to your health care coverage, Forbes notes the Open Enrollment Period runs each year from October 15 to December 7. 

Reduce Energy Usage

Cutting down on your energy use is a great way to reduce your spending. Not only is it kind to your wallet, but it’s also kind to the planet, and there are several things you can do. For instance, one simple way to cut usage is to replace your traditional light bulbs with LED versions. To give you an idea of how much you save, if you replace 15 bulbs, the potential savings comes out to over $3,000 per year! Another easy energy-saving task is to replace your HVAC filters regularly. FilterSnap explains with this simple step, you can reduce your energy expenses by as much as $45 per month during periods of heavy use. 

Drive Around for Less

Getting out and about can be pretty expensive, but there are a few strategies that can reduce your transportation costs. For one thing, shopping around can save you money on auto insurance, and sometimes it pays to investigate your options routinely. Things like keeping a clean driving record, driving less annual miles, and attending a defensive driving course can help earn you a much-needed (well well-earned) discount. 

When you’re driving, you can keep watch on your fuel efficiency as well. Maintain a steady speed as much as possible, avoiding quick acceleration and braking, and avoid driving at speeds much above 50 mph. 

A fixed income can feel pretty restrictive, but with a practical budget in place, you’ll be ready to roll. Ensure you cover your essentials so you can enjoy peace of mind, set your goals, then let your hair down! It’s high time to have some fun. 
Thank you so much for your time and opportunity!

Karen Weeks