If you’re a senior living on a fixed income you may find yourself struggling a little bit, whether it be financially or by emotionally adjusting to your situation. Just because you’re a senior living on a fixed income now does not mean you have to give up everything and completely turn frugal. Simple lifestyle changes will help you adjust and live more comfortably with a fixed income.
Before you were living on a fixed income it was easier to spend money here and there and not really think about where it went. However, once you start living off a fixed income one of the biggest lifestyle changes you need to make is keeping track of exactly where all your money is going. You’ll first need to make a chart of all your actual income. It’s important to know how much exactly you’re living on.
Next you’ll need to put together a list of things you have to spend money on each month such as bills, food, etc. Now once you’ve subtracted that amount from what your income you’re able to see what you have leftover. It’s a good idea to use only 50% of what’s left over each month. The other 50% will be your in case of emergency fund for the following months. You never know when you’re going to get sick or when something needs repairing such as your car.
Don’t be afraid to use coupons. I know I use them religiously. You may think that 20 or 30 cents isn’t a lot but if you consider it over a period of time you can actually save enough for an extra bill or two. You can find coupons from your local Sunday newspaper and even online. Aside from clipping actual coupons don’t be afraid to check out your grocery newspapers for specials and sales. If something is buy one get one free consider stocking up if it’s something you use fairly often.
Cooking is one of the best ways to save money especially when you’re on a fixed income. You may think that a meal for $5 isn’t really much but you don’t realize that $5 worth of groceries can actually create 2-3 meals depending on what you eat. I’ve spent $20 in groceries and was able to cook enough for 5 days. If I were to spend $20 eating out it would have covered at most 3 meals.
Medication can be difficult to afford once you’re on a fixed income. Always ask your doctor or your pharmacist to offer you generic. You’d be surprised by how much you can save. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for samples. Often times doctors can offer you enough samples to last a week or two.