Living on a fixed income can be very difficult for a senior citizen, especially in this economic environment. Living off of a certain amount of money is hard for a lot of people including the people who are on government assistance programs. In order to get the most out of your senior years, you need to learn ways to live on the fixed income. Living on a fixed income can take work and patience but over time you can develop ways to help make this easier.
Pay all essential bills first if you are a senior citizen living on a fixed income before buying other items. You probably will have prescription medications that you will need and you will also have electric, water and other bills to pay for. When you think about living on a fixed income, you need to know what are priority and essential things you must provide for yourself. Make a list if you need to off all the essential bills and items you pay for each month, so you will know how much is left for fun. If you drive then you have to include car insurance, upkeep of the car and gas which are all essential for your transportation. By knowing what things you need to pay for each month, you can better plan how to spend or save the extra money. Living on a fixed income as a senior citizen can be hard so you need to know what has to be paid where.
Being a senior citizen and trying to live off of a fixed income also means you need to use all senior citizen discounts offered to you. A lot of companies out there offer discounts for people who are considered a senior citizen to that particular business. Sometimes it might be 50 years old and up or it could be 60 years old and up, depending on the company. You can get a senior discount at a lot of restaurants and stores as well as insurance companies and many other businesses. It is always good to ask if there is a senior citizen discount if you are going on vacation or traveling somewhere out of state. Using a senior citizen discount when it is offered is a great way to help stay within your fixed income and can provide some small savings. Even if you just get a dollar off a meal, it can go a long way in helping you live off of the fixed income. The money will add up each month as you start using senior citizen discounts and it will be easier to stay on track financially. One thing about a senior discount is that you usually need to have identification of your age handy, especially for a larger discount.
Setup an emergency fund either through a bank or other institution if you are a senior citizen living off a fixed income. An emergency fund is something that everyone should have regardless of age or gender because you never know when something can happen unexpectedly. You do not have to set out much every month from your fixed income, just 20 dollars a month is a start. This money should not be with the rest of your income, meaning a separate bank account or savings account is needed. If you do not like to use a bank, you can always place the money somewhere near you such as in your home in case of an emergency. An emergency fund is good to have for unexpected medical emergencies as well as other things like car troubles and home repairs. Emergency funds are something a senior citizen should not be without because so many things can happen. The rule of an emergency fund is that you should have enough money saved up to live on for three to six months. You need to think about how much it will take for you to live up to six months and then work toward that for your emergency fund.
Always look for coupons from the Internet or the newspaper to save money if you are a senior citizen on a fixed income. Becoming a senior citizen and living on a fixed income means you will have to be more cautious when it comes to shopping. Food prices are only going to keep rising, so it is important to take advantage of all coupons out there to save money. A lot of websites have coupons you can print off directly from the manufacturer or you can look in the Sunday newspaper for great coupons. Coupons are great because they typically last three months before they expire which means you might catch the item on sale. There are always coupons for vitamins and essential items you will need being a senior citizen, which will help save you a lot of money. Using coupons will help you plan your shopping expenses better and can give you some extra entertainment money. Being on a fixed income means you have to be more frugal and learn to save money wherever you can and whenever you can.
Finally, if you are a senior citizen living on a fixed income it is very important you make a budget and stick to it. Write down all of your expenses that you have each month and then list how much each item costs you. It is important to make a budget so that you know exactly how much money is going out per month compared to what comes in. One good thing about being on a fixed income is that the amount will not change, making budgeting easier. At the top of the paper, you can put the amount of money you get each month and then start making columns down the page. The biggest section is for essential items and bills you have to pay each month along with the amounts you are paying. You then can put items on the list and designate a certain amount of money each month for those items. An example would be having a column for entertainment such as the movies or bowling and then allocate 50 dollars to that per month. It is important as a senior citizen to set guidelines on how much you are spending and what you are spending the money on. Knowing how much money you pay out each month compared to how much you are bringing in can really help take money worries off your mind. Once you have made a budget the most important thing is sticking to it so you can stay within your means.