With social security benefits failing to keep pace with the rising costs of living and the future of Social Security itself in jeopardy (the Social Security Administration says it will be entirely depleted by 2034) senior citizens need to find as many ways as possible to save money to ensure their financial survival. Here are a few strategies intended to keep seniors costs down without decreasing their quality of life.
1. Create a Budget – This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it sometimes bears repeating. It is proven that once people physically write down all of their expenses and the money that goes toward each expense are at a financial advantage. When you write down your budget in black and white, you will undoubtedly see that more of your money is going toward frivolous, unessential things than you had previously believed.
2. Split travel costs – You should consider carpooling when you can. Whether it is a supermarket or shopping mall, it is advisable to travel with a friend or relative to decrease gas costs for both of you. And it can make running errands more fun.
3. Cancel unnecessary memberships and subscriptions – Perhaps you joined a gym as part of a New Year’s Resolution now you rarely go. Or maybe you continue to subscribe to a print magazine or newspaper that you never read. These costs are easily avoidable and the services they provided can be replicated for free. Instead of walking on a treadmill at a gym try walking around your neighborhood or purchasing a used treadmill, for example. Furthermore, many print publications offer similar content on their website or through some other means.
4. Become a cord cutter – You may have heard this term before, but what does it mean? Quite simply cord cutters are people who have grown weary of paying ever increasing costs for their cable television when quite often the quality of the service continues to decrease, with fewer channels that you actually watch being available in the lowest-priced tiers, for example. Cord cutters may use a variety of streaming service and over the air (OTA) solutions to replicate their cable television for a fraction of the cost. Senior citizens should look into signing up for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or CBS All Access, among others. The number of movies and television series these services provide are often comparable to cable, and of superior picture quality as well. When combined with an over the air antenna to receive live broadcast news and sporting events the advantages of cord cutting become clear.
5. Buy generic items – When you’ve picked up the same household goods for decades, it is easy to be brand loyal without price comparisons. Don’t be tricked into thinking that only brand name foods and household items are any good. Many supermarkets and big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart offer generic forms of foods and other items which are also of high quality. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to branch out and do your grocery shopping at quality discount grocery stores such as Aldi.
6. Utilize the goods and services for which you tax dollars are paying – Instead of purchasing books and movies from a bookstore or Amazon try visiting the public library. If you have not visited a library in awhile, you might be surprised at the breadth of their collection of both books and DVDs. And it is also a great way to get out of the house to meet some people.
If you have questions or would like to discuss a particular issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 859-684-5333.