Seniors and families on fixed incomes need help and ideas on how to save every dime they can. Here are some helpful tips to save money when living on a fixed income.
Being on a fixed income can be something a senior is aware of looming in the future or it can be a situation that just takes families by surprise, but no matter how this happens a plan is necessary to help with tight finances.
Most cities and counties have fixed income housing. What this means is with a low/fixed income the rent in an apartment is calculated on a scale using the household income to find the lowest rental payments available. A local renting agency in the local city/town should be able to give the fixed income family or senior a list of these local apartment complexes. It is possible to find houses but can be difficult.
Most States have a program for fixed/low-income families handled through the Adult and Family Services Department or Senior Services. These programs usually have a long waiting list for low/fixed income families but if a senior is planning for the future then getting names on the list is really important. Contact these programs in the local where housing is needed. This form of fixed/low-income housing is also calculated by the total amount of income and a calculation of rent owing by the resident and the balance is paid by funds from State and Federal programs.
Seniors and Fixed income families also can have pets. It isn’t necessary to give your pet away or taken to the pound. Keep that pet and join a co-op for pet foods. There are several natural/raw pet food programs in the Oregon place for families to take part in. All that is needed is a bit of volunteer time and a weeks worth of dog food is available. The best way to plan for this type of situation is to contact the local animal control agency or Humane Society for information on pet foods for seniors.
Utility bills are another area that can be difficult when trying to live on a fixed/low-income. There are many programs available in most cities to aid with utility bills such as electric, gas, sewer and water. It is necessary to search these out as each city has a different name for these programs. An example is in Oregon some of the utilities programs can be found at www.oregon.gov.
Groceries can be difficult when living on a fixed/low-income. If seniors are having difficulties they can order meals-on-wheels. It will be necessary to keep in mind that Meals-on-Wheels only serves the seniors 1 meal a day – 5 days a week. So supplementing these meals will be necessary if using a program like meals-on-wheels. Grocery Outlet is a food outlet nationwide and can be found in many cities across the nation. No membership fee is necessary and foods are cheaper than grocery stores such as Safeway or Walmart. One thing to make note of it these foods may not be brand name but generic is cheaper and just as good on a general basis when it comes to most foods.
Fixed/Low Income families may need help with medication purchases. This is especially important with the seniors. One way to cut back on medication costs is by using generic medications. Generics can be purchased at any pharmacy so no need for seniors to change pharmacies and if medications are sent in the mail they are usually treated the same as name brand medications.
There are also a few programs that help off set the price of non-generic drugs. In Oregon we have a program through ODS Health Insurance and anyone no matter their age can sign up for this program. It provides a prescription card and when purchasing medications that cannot be obtained as generic the buyer actually only pays wholesale cost for the drugs. It will be necessary to find the local prescription cards in each city by visiting the Internet.
These are just a few suggestions for those on a fixed/low-income to be able to save on a few of the things needed for the comfort of life. There are probably several more ways to save while on that fixed/low-income that I have missed here but a bit of searching on the Internet will give more information.