Did you know in the past two decades, nearly 80% of retirees held household debt? Retirement doesn’t mean all your financial problems go away. In some cases, it may even exacerbate it. If you’re a retiree who’s worried about money, you can do things to lighten your financial burdens. Here are 10 small ways you can save big money at home.
We all love going out to eat. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and it’s nice to have somebody else cook for a change. However, going out to eat often can add up fast. As a matter of fact, the average American household spends up to $3,500 eating out per year! While you can always find ways to save money when eating out, a better solution is to just to cook at home. Sure, it’s not as entertaining as eating out. But when you balance your checkbook at the end of the month, we happen to think you’ll feel it’s a worthy sacrifice.
You don’t have to watch the news to know the cost of gas is rising. Whenever you have the option to carpool or walk, do it! Give your car a rest. There’s another bonus, too. The less you drive, the fewer repairs you’ll need. This, in turn, might help you gain a cheaper insurance plan. In other words, less driving means more savings!
Did you know that you can actually make your own household cleaners? The internet is a treasure trove for all-natural, DIY alternatives. Take, for example, THIS recipe for a scented all-purpose cleaner. All you need is an empty spray bottle, distilled water, borax, unscented soap, and a handful of essential oils. Or you can go even more simple and make an effective cleaner with just vinegar and water—two items you’re sure to have on hand. Of course, hydrogen peroxide (plus a little essential oil or lemon for scent) is also an amazing cleaner! So, the next time you run out of Windex, don’t run to the store. Instead, turn to Google and look up DIY recipes for household cleaners. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run!
Remember when you were younger and your mom and grandma hung laundry to dry on a clothesline? Turns out, they may’ve had the right idea. Not only will you save on the cost of electricity, but you also won’t have to buy fabric softener. The fresh breeze is nature’s fabric softener, after all.
Do you have grungy old tees lying around? Maybe a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee? Don’t just let them take up space in your closet and drawers. Instead, repurpose them! You can turn an old tee into a dust rag. Or you can transform a sweater into a pillow cover. As long as you have a little creativity, you can repurpose your old wardrobe into common household objects and save a lot of money in the process.
Here’s a fun fact—you can save up to $200 a year by switching to a reusable bottle. Get a water filter and stop wasting money on single use water bottles. If you want to save even more money, stop buying soda and other bottled beverages, too. $200 might not seem like much in savings, but you’ll be happy for that money in the long-run!
Buying instead of borrowing is the norm. But borrowing things can save you more money than you realize! For instance, consider borrowing books. We all have the tendency to buy new books we want, but library cards can equal big savings! Additionally, you can also rent tools and decorations instead of buying them. The possibilities are endless!
Sewing is more than a hobby. It can also be a useful tool in our crusade to save money! Even novices to a needle and thread can successfully complete sewing projects—from reusable makeup wipes to produce bags to scrunchies. Check out a list of beginner sewing projects to try HERE.
U.S. households spend an average of $1,020 on space heating per year (according to Self Lender). Unfortunately, the cost of heating is only going to keep rising. However, don’t hit the panic button yet. You can stay warm without sacrificing your life savings. Invest in a few quilts or blankets. Try out a pair of thick socks. Of course, you can always buy a small space heater, too!
Most of us enjoy traveling. Vacation is fun and, in some cases, necessary. However, if you’re a retiree living on a fixed income, vacation might be a luxury you can’t afford. So, the next time you want to shake up your routine, why not try a stay-cation? Visit your local park or plan a backyard movie night. Of course, you can also take a day trip! That’ll satisfy your wanderlust without hitting your wallet where it hurts.
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Originally published June 01, 2023