Caregiving is rewarding, but it can also be costly. In fact, an AARP study found that family caregivers often spend more than $7,200 a year on out-of-pocket costs. From medical bills to transportation costs, expenses can add up fast. Providing top-notch care doesn’t have to come at the expense of your wallet. You can care for your loved one without breaking the bank. Here are EIGHT thrifty tips for caregivers to cut costs and stick to a budget.
The first step in sticking to a budget is to create a detailed plan. List down all your monthly expenses, such as rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. Keep a record of everything you spend. You can also consult a financial planner or advisor if you need additional help creating a budget. Having a clear understanding of your spending will help you identify areas where you can cut back.
Coupons are a shopper’s best friend. Additionally, they can be a lifesaver when it comes to cutting costs. You can score coupons online or in a newspaper. Websites like Coupons.com can help you print out coupons easily online. Of course, you can always sign up for loyalty programs or download coupon apps like Ibotta to earn cashback.
Guess what? Many communities offer free resources for seniors, such as transportation services, volunteer programs, and healthcare clinics. Take advantage of these resources to cut down on expenses! To find free resources in your area, visit your local senior center. Your local Area Agency on Aging might also be able to point you in the right direction!
Consider selling items you no longer need or use around the house. All they’re doing is taking up space, anyway! You can sell items through online marketplaces, like eBay, to generate a little extra income. Of course, you can always have a good, old-fashioned yard sale, as well.
Many service providers offer discounted rates for bundling services, such as internet and cable or phone and internet. Research and compare different bundles to see which ones can provide the most savings. Alternatively, if you’re paying for a service you don’t use often, then dump it! While a service that costs five dollars a month may not seem like much, those costs can creep up on you quickly. Only use services that are absolutely necessary and always look for bundles!
I don’t need to tell you how expensive health care is these days. Unfortunately, healthcare expenses can be a significant portion of caregiving costs. However, it’s important to remember that you always have alternatives! Research different healthcare providers and insurance plans to find the most cost-effective options. And remember—there are alternatives to long-term care insurance, as well.
Generic brands often offer the same quality as brand-name products at a fraction of the cost. When shopping for groceries or household items, opt for generic brands to save money. You can even buy generic brand medication and prescriptions, too! The FDA requires generic medications to use the same ingredients as their name-brand counterparts, so you’re not really getting a worse deal. You’re just getting a cheaper one!
Technology can be confusing and frustrating and make you long for the good old days of snail mail and landlines. However, it can also help streamline caregiving tasks and cut down on expenses. Consider using medication reminder apps or remote health monitoring services to reduce costs associated with in-person care. Smart-home devices can give both caregivers and older adults peace of mind.
Being a caregiver doesn’t have to come at the expense of your finances! It’s possible to provide quality care without breaking the bank. Looking for even more thrifty tips? Then check out these great articles next:
Originally published September 07, 2023