Frugal Ways to Manage Money in Retirement

By Vicki Honeycutt

Being frugal with your money is one of the smartest things you can do during retirement. But living frugally doesn't mean you have to be overly cheap or cautious. It just means to be more aware of your spending habits and increase your savings.

It's important to remember that during retirement you shouldn't have to stop doing activities that you enjoy. Instead, find ways to make them more economical. Here are some tips to make sure your retirement years are financially stress free.  

Seek Out Senior Discounts  

An easy way to save money during retirement is through senior discounts. Senior discounts are widely available in a variety of categories. These categories include restaurants, travel, entertainment, and retail stores. Discounts differ based on location as well as the category. To figure out where the best senior discounts are, make sure to do your research. 

Seniors can also shop at discount stores for cheaper alternatives. These stores can include Aldis, Big Lots, and Macy's Backstage. Utilizing discounts and shopping at stores with markdowns can help you save each month on everyday expenses. So taking advantage of them is a no brainer.  

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Consider Downsizing  

Retirees may find themselves in a bigger home than needed long term. Downsizing can help you build a nest egg and give you a home more suitable for your own needs.

If you think downsizing is the right step for you, start by picking out a suitable location for your new home. Consider where your family and friends are located and go from there. Research should be done to make sure the area is safe and convenient for retirees.

During this stage, it can also be helpful to declutter your home. You can even even sell some of your household items to help free up more space and boost your personal finances. This way you're not trying to get rid of items when it comes time to move.   

Once you’ve figured out where you want to downsize to, you'll need to figure out the best way to afford your new home. During retirement, seniors can look into obtaining an FHA loan application. FHA loans are a solid option for retirees because they require less money down and they have lower interest rates, making it a secure alternative for seniors looking to move.

Some seniors may find downsizing to be a difficult task. So check out other downsizing tips to make the experience as painless as possible.  

Shop Secondhand 

During retirement, you'll find yourself with more time on your hands. And with that time, it may be tempting to go shopping more frequently. As you head into retirement, have a solid spending plan in place to make sure you're not overspending.

Creating a budget is a great way to help you reach your financial goals and keep track of your bank account. But there are many other money-saving tips that can help you.

Shopping secondhand is a great way to get amazing deals on items anywhere from home decor to clothes. Additionally, some thrift stores will actually pay you to sell your items to them. This can allow you to make some extra cash as well as free up some space at home. 

Discover Local Entertainment 

Another retirement tip? Take advantage of all the activities that your area has to offer. Limiting your travel and staying as close to home as possible can help you save money.

Start by doing your own research on your area and all that surrounds it. Keep an eye out for flyers or even Facebook posts about what's going on in your area. You may be surprised by what fun local activities are near you.

Check out parks and museums to get a better understanding of local history and landmarks. Some parks even offer fun activities, such as free concerts to the senior community. There are plenty of activities that seniors can do that don't break the bank. So get creative with how you spend your retirement time!  

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Get Resourceful with Food  

Another way to make sure you're living frugally during retirement is to become more resourceful with your food. If you have a green thumb, gardening is a great way to spend more time outside and less money on groceries.

Vertical gardens are perfect for seniors as they limit any excessive strain on the body. For vertical gardening, the best foods to grow are lettuce, spinach, onions, and more! Gardening can be a great hobby for seniors, but utilize these safe gardening tips to decrease any potential dangers.  

Another way to get resourceful with food is to shop at a farmers market. Farmers markets offer fresh, healthy, and local foods, making it an easy way to cut back costs on groceries while supporting your local community.  

Adjusting your spending habits during retirement will help keep you on track for leading a frugal lifestyle while still allowing you to maintain your quality of life. By following these money management tips, you will also be better prepared for other costs, like healthcare or home care, as you age. 

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Tags: Retirement, Finances