While a few retirees are living as well as they did when they were working because of some very good investments, most must live on a much smaller budget. With the extra time that you have as a retiree, plan through your purchases a little more, and consider saving money a personal challenge, not an obstacle.
Whether you choose to live in an RV, an apartment or a smaller house, you can save a significant amount of money each year by downsizing. Take stock of the number rooms in your home that you actually live in. Then decide if it makes sense for you to move. Even if you own your home outright, you may be able to sell it and buy something smaller in a cheaper location of the country or your city. You then can pocket the difference.
Another smart idea is to start couponing and saving a lot of money each time you go shopping. Get items for free or nearly free many times, and consider it a personal victory each time you save. Many coupons can be directly sent to your cell phone to show at the store when you make your purchase. You can also have coupons for your favorite grocery store added to your saver’s card online. Read tips on couponing on popular couponing blogs. Also join email lists for your favorite stores as coupons are often sent in those as well.
You can also change what you do for fun to help you save money in retirement. Whereas you used to go out to the movies every week, you might now rent movies from a RedBox outside your favorite store or restaurant, or you might stream Netflix to your computer or television. Go to free community concerts at the library or local university. Take walks, or go out to coffee. Eat gourmet meals at home once a week instead of going out to eat all the time. Invite your friends over to your place for a potluck. The idea is to have fun in new ways that do not cost much, or any money.
Researching your next big purchase online is another important habit to get into when you retire. You can find reviews from trusted reviewers such as an industry magazine (although some reviews are paid for), websites that compare similar products coupons, free trials, and other manufacturer promotions. Research what you want to buy online to see what others are saying, where the best deal (price, rebates, warranties, free trials, etc.) is.
5.) Get Creative
Getting things for free or for very little is one of the most important keys to living frugally, whether you are a retiree or not. Take advantage of Freecycle in your community, an online community where people in your area can give, take or borrow items that would otherwise be donated to charity or dumped in a landfill. You can find clothes, appliances, and many other items that you might otherwise buy new. Craigslist is another place to find things for free or cheap. Thrift stores, garage sales, and online communities dedicated to sharing a certain type of item among members through the mail are other places you can save money.
Saving money while you are in retirement is something that you must think about every day. It does not have to be a hassle, however. Think of each day as a challenge, a way to improve your ability to live within your budget. Outdo yourself each month by finding ways to save money, and become a more frugal retiree with pride.
Joel Carls writes for www.equityrelease.net covering a wide range of retirement finance topics.