Budgeting Tips for Seniors on Fixed Incomes

For retired seniors, living on a fixed income can be challenging (especially as the cost of living rises), but not impossible. 

In today’s post, Ivy Knoll, an independent living facility in Northern Kentucky, will give you some creative budgeting ideas to save money on a fixed income during retirement. 

Being retired typically means not having new streams of income to draw from. The best way to make your money go that extra mile is to cut down on expenses. 

Cut Transportation Expenses

You’re no longer commuting for work, so you’ll likely not need to own a car, especially if you’re in a retirement home that offers public shuttle transportation (like Ivy Knoll). 

If you do have a vehicle, drive only when necessary. 

It’s not just gas prices you have to contend with, it’s the mileage, the wear n’ tear on your vehicle that could lead you to pay out of pocket for a mechanic to fix it. 

Shop for Special “Senior” Discounts

Just like college kids, seniors are offered quite a lot of discounts from businesses. Take advantage of them. 

Sure, these don’t offer tremendous savings. However, if they’re used gradually and consistently on hotels, retailers, and other stores, seniors will certainly see money saved. 

Look for Veteran Benefits or Special Discounts

You might be surprised at how much you end up saving, even if it is a marginal 5 to 10% off of groceries, restaurants, or retailers. 

Join Discount Club Benefits

It’s a perfect way to make your money go further between you and a spouse. There are plenty of discount club benefits for two people that seniors can take advantage of. 

Visit Public Spaces

Libraries, parks, schools, and community centers offer plenty of discounted services and free programs, classes, and entertainment. The best part? They are FREE. 

Move to a Cheaper Area 

This one is pretty obvious. If rents are out of control in your area, it’s better to bite the bullet, budget your moving expenses, and leave for a better cost of living in a different location. 

Grab the Coupons 

It’s a bit of a time commitment. But when you’re retired, it’s totally achievable. Collect and organize coupons to use on groceries, retail stores, or restaurants. 

Shop at Thrift Stores

Discount bargain bin stores and thrift shops offer some excellent used clothes for great prices. 

Shop for New Healthcare

If your healthcare plan doesn’t meet your needs, you could be overspending when you just don’t need to. 

Be sure to check in with a Medicare agent to see what changes you need to make to your coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) every year. 

This will help you avoid out-of-pocket costs! For more information, go to Medicare.org.  

Look for Prescription Discounts 

Look up company websites to see what deals are offered at different pharmacies. It’s especially helpful if you have limited medication coverage or are without health insurance. 

Here are some helpful resources:

Meal Prep and Planning 

Create a meal plan and budget your expenses on what ingredients will cost. If you plan out what days you’ll be eating out and what days you can expect to have meals set up for, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a stronger personal finance plan.  

Save on Electricity & Water 

If you haven’t chosen to live in an all-expense-covered independent living facility, you’ll want to save as much as you can on utility bills month by month at home. 

Turn it off when you’re not using it. Use a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand and leaving the water on for long intervals (as you scrub, dry, or put up plates). 

Cut Out Any “Extra” Monthly Expenses

If you find that you don’t need that particular magazine subscription for $5 or $10 a month, leave it out of your budget. 

The are other areas that you can save while living at home: 

  • Cut the cable and switch to streaming. 
  • Take trips off of the peak season (when prices are the highest). 

Cut Out Unnecessary Spending 

Do some soul-searching. Figure out what you really need and what you just want. By cutting down on spending habits and replacing them with other activities, say creative projects or volunteer work, you’ll be able to free up your monthly budget and save for a rainy day. 

Create a Monthly Expense Planner 

Get a monthly expense sheet and write down everything you’ll be spending money on during the month. If you see a discrepancy anywhere, you’ll be able to change it or adjust your habits accordingly. 

Make Budgeting Easier By Moving to an Independent Living Retirement Home

Ivy Knoll’s independent living community offers gorgeous spacious apartment living without the hassle of monthly bill payments, household maintenance, or commuting, just ease and comfort under a single monthly payment. Take your tour today!