In the US alone, over 27% of adults aged 60 and older live alone. Whether you live by yourself by choice or happenstance, you’ve probably made the most of your independence. Maybe you enjoy your lifestyle, but for most older adults, finances are a constant source of worry. In fact, one study showed that finances often trouble older adults more than death! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way! The choices you make today could lead to a stress-free tomorrow. Here are 10 thrifty tips for living alone after 60.
Coupons are a wonderful invention, and there are many ways you can get your hands on them. If you shop frequently at a certain place, you’ve probably been asked about joining the store loyalty program. If you haven’t taken the cashier up on that offer yet, do it! You can also cut coupons from the newspaper or print them off online. Of course, don’t fall into the pitfall of buying more just because you have coupons!
Eating out is always a treat, but it can also be expensive. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the average American household spends over $3,000 a year dining out! Plus, there’s another major benefit of eating at home. Home-cooked meals are generally healthier and more nutritious than their restaurant counterparts. Talk about a win-win!
Senior discounts exist just for older adults like you! Many places offer them, from Applebee’s to Belk’s to Kohl’s. Whether you’re in the market for a chicken sandwich or a new pair of shoes, always check if there’s a senior discount and enjoy the savings!
In this day and age, it’s hard to get by without a cell phone. Whether you love your smartphone or begrudgingly traded your landline for its wireless cousin, you definitely pay for a cell phone plan. But did you know there are carriers specifically for seniors? Take Lively, for instance. Not only do their plans start at just $19.99 a month, but their cell phone line is designed for older adults! Mint Mobile also offers a 55+ plan, and Consumer Cellular caters to the older adult market! If your monthly cell phone bill makes you want to pull out your hair, always remember you have options.
Thrift shopping is not only an adventure, but it’s an excellent way to save money! Plus, most thrift stores carry more than clothing and shoes. They also sell furniture, paintings, books, and more!
A simple way to ease financial worries is to create a budget. Calculate your monthly expenses. This is important, especially if you’re living on a fixed income. It might take some time, but once it’s over, you’ll be glad you did.
We’ve all been guilty of impulse purchases. Maybe it was a cuckoo clock you spotted in an antique store and simply had to have. Or maybe you have a collection of old purses gathering dust in your closet. Whatever the case may be, don’t just let your unused belongings take up space! Sell them online or organize a garage sale.
Everyone loves having fun, but unfortunately, the most enjoyable activities often come with a hefty price tag! Luckily, there are ways you can have fun without breaking the bank. Visit your local library. Take in a free concert at the park. Go for a walk. Enjoy stargazing in your own backyard. The possibilities are endless!
Hiring a plumber or a carpenter can be costly. In some cases, it’s even unnecessary! With tutorials on YouTube and thousands of do-it-yourself manuals in circulation, there’s a pretty good chance you can learn how to fix that leaky faucet or replace that old showerhead. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
We’re all guilty of forgetting to turn off the lights before we leave a room or leaving our electronics plugged in, even when they’re not in use. But these things, however small, can add up fast! In order to reduce utility costs, practice mindfulness. Invest in a small space heater and limit thermostat use whenever you can. Hang your clothes out to dry during those warm summer months instead of using a dryer. These are just a few ways you can cut utility costs without drastically altering your lifestyle.
Whether you live alone or with a partner, or, actively seeking a roomie, here are some resources to check out:
Originally published December 29, 2022
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