50 Frugal Living Tips For Seniors In Retirement

Frugal Living Tips For Seniors In Retirement

Learn the frugal living tips for seniors in retirement, their benefits, and ideas you can take note of to manage your retirement savings.

Life in retirement is fun. Volunteering, family time, interstate travels are a few things seniors do.

However, retirements can also be a moment of anxiety, especially when you don’t have much saved to cover the years out of the workforce.

According to Investopedia, the average number of years a senior lives after retirement is 15–20 years.

Further studies have shown that people live longer than the average and run out of savings.

As a senior, you need to learn to handle savings and avoid lack.

Thus, frugal living is a viable option.

That you are now in the sunset years of your lives doesn’t negate your needs and wants.

What are Costs in Retirement? 

Retirement years come with a specific set of expenses anyone preparing for retirements has to be aware of.

Retired Americans also need to keep in mind these expenses to make better budgets.

Going from a long season of earning income to one of solely expenses can be a tough transition for many.

However, when you know what to expect, it becomes easier. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on the spending pattern of older American citizens reveal an increase in housing and healthcare expenses alongside an expected decrease in transportation and clothing.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, among older folks, the average expenditures go up to $49,279.

The age group of 55–64 spends a lot more than those 75 and older.

This shows that the early years of retirement require a lot of expenses.

Retirees need a lifestyle that would make them manage their finances and cover those expenses without having to depend on others. 

Why Should Seniors be Frugal?

Seniors have responsibilities staring at them, as we have pointed out.

These expenses are necessities and cannot be overlooked.

Add that to the possibility of them living longer than the average retirement years, and you find valuable reasons why they should be economical.

Pressures they must have faced during their working days are gone, making it unnecessary for them to spend on things they don’t need.

The best for you, as a senior, is to ensure your needs are met. 

There are also unforeseen circumstances that may drain your income if you do not take care.

You don’t have much control over these situations, but you can be ready for them and act accordingly.

Those getting close to retirement can benefit from frugal living to save more.

As our previous studies showed, the first years of retirement are laden with costs you should be set for. 

You should make sure you leave something on your will for your heir.

If you live frugally, you guard against wasting the resources that you can best channel towards your family.

They need to be okay when you’re gone. 

Here are further reasons why seniors should be frugal:

  • The satisfaction of having enough in your account.
  • You will not be a burden to your children.
  • You get to take care of your health.
  • It gives you the chance to live a simple, slow-paced life. 
  • You focus on spending time with family.
  • You have peace of mind.
  • It prevents you from getting into debt. 
  • You get to fulfill some of your wishes.

Frugal living is important for you. Take a step today and live without worries.

How do you Live a Frugal Retirement?

Retirement is a period when you aim to relax and reduce the pressure of everyday living.

No doubt, trying to understand how to be frugal can become tasking. 

However, with so many resources at your disposal, it is easier than you think.

Remember the benefits too. Wouldn’t you want to live without fears of your savings running out?

Here are steps you can take if you want to live a frugal retirement:

1. Establish your priorities

This is perhaps the most important thing to cross off your list, especially in the early years of retirement.

The transition from your years of work requires that you make changes in what you consider important.

Following the average retirement expenses, make healthcare the first need on your scale of preference.

Housing and feeding ought to come next, followed by necessary travels to meet your loved ones.

Clothing and paid entertainment should be at the bottom of your list. 

2. Control the way you withdraw money

Have a budget of things you need and withdraw accordingly. Put a system in place for your withdrawals. 

You can decide, for instance, to withdraw once a month.

Keeping track of your withdrawals helps you know how much you spend and enables you to prepare for emergencies.

3. Be moderate and simple

Even if you were used to a lavish lifestyle during your working days, you no longer need it.

Forget the image of grannies going to clubs to feel young.

You do not have to take that path. Do things in moderation and keep it simple.

This does not mean you have to hide indoors and lounge on your sofa, looking grumpy all day.

Do give yourself a special treat every now and then. Just avoid being wasteful while you are at it. 

4. Consider getting extra income

That you are retired does not mean you can’t find ways to earn something. There is no law against that.

Find an easy part-time job or paid volunteer services.

Some seniors take care of their neighbors’ pets to add to their retirement savings.

Others get easy responsibilities with NGOs and other services in their community they can benefit from.

5. Work on your mindset

Retirement years differ from your working years. Just as priorities change, your mindset should too.

Reconsider what you used to value. Find other meaningful things to do. 

Don’t indulge in unneeded expenses like you did when you were earning.

If you had a negative view of frugal living in your pre-retirement years, work on that.

Frugality is the best lifestyle for you as a senior, with more good than any imagined harm.

Even if you have more than enough on your savings, you can use the surplus for something worthwhile.

With these steps in mind, you must be eager to start living frugally.

Let’s look into more frugal living tips for seniors in retirement. The good thing is, you’re free to start from whatever is convenient.

Top 50 Frugal Living Tips for Seniors in Retirement According to Experts

We live in a “how-to” world where we like having information at our disposal.

The internet has made us eager to seek out these pieces of information and improve our lives.

These tips are valid, backed by experts, and used by a lot of enthusiastic seniors.

1. Get a seniors discount

Aging comes with fringe benefits. One of these benefits is the senior discounts that companies offer.

That 5-10% reduction comes in handy, especially when you need to make a large purchase.

Some discounts have age specifications, so be sure to find out if an offer for your age is available.

Check for these discounts ahead of time to take full advantage of them when shopping.

2. Compulsive spending is your enemy

You might have indulged in overspending when you were working, especially if you nursed an addiction.

As a senior, however, spending this way is not beneficial to you. Be strict about your expenses.

There are things you used to buy that you did not need while working. 

Make a list of those things and remove as many as possible from your purchases.

You can either find alternatives to the luxuries or get cheaper ways to have them.

In any case, watch your spending and be prudent.

3. Library cards are your friends

A library card is a wardrobe that takes you to a ‘Narnia’ of free entertainment.

Books and DVDs are available in the library. Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can’t be entertained.

It does mean, however, that you control what you spend on entertainment.

Libraries also have computers with the internet for use. 

4. Go on an adventure in thrift stores

As a retired person, you have more time on your hands.

Remember, we pointed out that clothing is one of the least necessities after retirement.

Cut down the costs of outfits by shopping at thrift stores.

It is also fun going through items and looking for a good deal. 

Thrift stores remain a good choice for frugal individuals. Give it a shot if you haven’t before.

5. Declutter

Most retired persons aim at doing away with stress. Get on with that by getting rid of household items you no longer need.

Start small and clear off your house. 

During the process, you may find valuable things like furniture and utensils. Put them on sale and earn extra cash.

6. Be active in your community

The retirement period is an excellent time to give back to your community and keep yourself active.

You definitely don’t want to waste away, not doing anything of value. It is also not healthy.

Find something that interests you and makes you happy. Work at your local church, the library, park, or any other option you can find. 

7. Organise your finances and pay bills on time

Keep track of your money and how you use it during this period to avoid waste. This saves money, time and reduces stress.

There are a lot of organizing systems you can make use of.

Once you get your finances in check, pay your bills on time. Don’t waste money on late fees.

8. Strive to be debt-free

It is important that you clear any outstanding debt you may have incurred.

If it means suspending your retirement to earn some income, do so. 

When debts are prolonged, they come with high interest that, frankly speaking, should best be avoided.

Don’t carry that burden on your shoulders.

9. Go vegan

If the vegan lifestyle has never been appealing to you, consider it now for its numerous benefits.

Not only do you spend less on meals, but you also get to eat healthily. 

If you can’t be a total vegan, at least try going without meat for a particular amount of time. Once a week is a great start.

10. Choose water over soda

Staying healthy should be an option at this period of your life. Soda drinks can be detrimental to your health.

A better and more affordable alternative is water.

Water boosts your energy, keeps you active, and helps maintain body shape.

11. Think about downsizing

If you live in a big house with empty rooms you don’t need, think about getting a smaller home.

Small houses require less maintenance, for starters. 

If you prefer sticking to a big house, consider renting out a room you don’t use.

However, you should vet the people you’re renting out your space to.

12. Try out the 72-hour rule

If you are a spendthrift and tend to buy things you end up not needing, try this to curb your spending habits. 

The rule is simple: if you see an item at a store, wait for 72 hours before you buy it.

In 3 days, you’d know if you needed that item by your willingness to go back to the store.

13. Home cooking over eating out

Take the good opportunity of the time you have in your hands and make your meals at home rather than eat in a restaurant.

You no longer have full-time employment that takes up every second. 

So, no need for you to spend extra eating out.

Plan your meals and have fun trying out recipes. You never know what you might come up with. 

14. Incorporate exercise into your activities

You don’t have to bench press at the gym or sign up for a marathon to keep fit.

Keeping your body active with simple exercises like walking, cycling, light jogs, and other activities.

Exercise is an affordable way to be healthy, and it helps you stay at the top of your game.

15. Look into your credit score

If your credit score is low, now’s a good time to work on it.

A good credit score is of benefit to you and can come in handy one day. 

Paying on time is an excellent first step to improve your credit score. 

16. Pick up a cheap hobby

Find hobbies that can keep you busy at a low cost. Not only are they fun, but you also get the satisfaction of creating something.

Knitting and amateur photography are good examples of hobbies you may be interested in.

17. Get rid of subscriptions

As you redefine your priorities, you may find you no longer need a lot of subscriptions.

Cut them off and save the money.

18. Don’t spend your change

Those little pennies, added up, can come in handy. Rather than use them, why not keep them aside for later use?

An empty jar can be a good place to keep them. Just be sure not to go snooping around later on. 

19. Holidays are best planned ahead of time

Holidays are great moments for seniors as you get to spend time with your loved ones and share memories.

You can also create joy and contribute to your community during that period by volunteering.

Holidays are expensive, however. Start planning early and write down what you need to get.

While you do that, find ways to reduce costs. You may decide to make cookies as a Christmas gift rather than get gifts from the store. 

20. Check your cell phone plans

Cell phones consume a lot of bucks, a situation you have to avoid.

Look into ways of reducing telephone bills with discount opportunities for seniors offered by the service providers.

21. Get new eating habits at restaurants

On the days you prefer getting a meal outside, reduce cost by changing your eating habits.

Say no to desserts, opt for a small portion of the meal and take some leftovers back home.

22. Consider owning a garden

It doesn’t have to be a large one. Keep a garden where you can grow food, have fun and get free foodstuff at the end of the day. 

23. Take the trip to the museum

Museums offer opportunities for seniors to get free entertainment, thanks to their free admission opportunities.

You get to spend time outdoors, learn and grab some fun at a low cost.

24. Go to free concerts

If you are a music lover in search of affordable entertainment, look out for free concerts.

It’s an excellent opportunity to meet people, be happy and move those limbs.

25. Grab those travel rewards

This is one of the best frugal living tips for seniors who are in retirement.

As a retiree, you may have places you wish you could travel to. 

Besides that, you may have a family member living in a foreign country that you want to visit.

Travel expenses may put a hole in your savings. Avoid that with travel rewards.

Travel rewards are offered by credit card companies and can be earned. 

Consider it if you have places you want to go. It is a great way to reduce costs.

26. Practice good dental care

A visit to the dentist can leave you short of cash. Prevent that by taking good care of your teeth.

Brush and floss regularly. 

27. Keep track of your monthly bills

Not only does this help you control expenses, but you may also find that there’s a mistake in the bills.

If you do find any, report immediately.

28. Give online newspapers a try

Newspapers can cost you quite a lot of dollars each year. Find a cheaper option by reading the news online.

29. Have time with your grandchildren

If you are in need of company, a free way to entertain yourself is having your grandchildren come over for a visit.

Do well to keep the atmosphere light with stories, games, and the occasional treat.

Their parents can be strict; you have no such obligation.

30. Conserve energy

Keep your utility bills on a low by regulating your energy.

Use LED lights and make sure to switch them off whenever you leave a room.

31. Take a trip to a park

The national park is a great relaxation spot for seniors where you can visit in your free time.

The good news is you can get a discount from the National Park Service.

32. Purchase in bulk

This may seem costlier than getting what you need in small sizes. 

However, in the long run, it is cheaper.

Plus, you can get a discount when you buy items this way. 

33. Opt for healthy meals

Get rid of junk and fats. In their place, add vegetables and fruits to your diet.

Eating healthy keeps you active and can prevent medical complications.

34. Overcome that addiction

Be it cigarettes, coffee, soda, or alcohol, addictions are expensive and are risky to your health.

Take proactive steps to overcome that addiction to save money and stay healthy.

35. Keep your values at heart

Now more than ever, make sure your expenses and anything else you do align with your life values.

Related: A Guide to Living with Intentions

36. Keep a clean environment

Not only is this good for your health, but it also prevents accidents that can leave you in the hospital.

Take time to clean up your living space.

37. Get a cheaper car

You do not need that expensive car; that’s more of a liability.

Trade it for cheaper wheels and save the money you get from it. 

38. Make a little income with your craft

If you are good at making something, consider putting it up for sale. You get the chance to be busy and earn extra cash. 

39. Learn games

Board games like chess, Scrabble, monopoly, and cards are inexpensive to learn and can be fun with friends and family.

Take time to learn how they are played and challenge your loved ones to a game.

40. Automatic payments

To pay your bills on time, consider signing up for automatic payments.

It is a less stressful and fast option. However, do ensure that you keep track of payments.

41. Consider off-season travels

You don’t need to join the crowd going to popular sites during the summer period.

Fees hike up that season. Plus, the bustle of that period may not be suitable for you.

Consider taking a trip off-season for low costs and peace of mind. 

42. Don’t take too much load to a trip

When packing your baggage, go minimal. Take only the things you need to prevent baggage fees and the strain of heavy luggage.

43. See a movie at a cheaper rate

If you love movies or just want to see one, consider getting them at cheaper rates.

Some theater houses offer a lower rate for seniors.

44. Look into your cable bill

Rather than spend money on cable, consider cutting it.

There are less expensive alternatives to the rising TV bills like streaming on Netflix.

45. Observe sales

Prices of products vary and can change with time. Follow up the sales of any product you’re interested in and get a good deal at the right time.

46. Try hiking

Hiking is a fun, healthy activity you can embark on alone, with a friend or your spouse.

Try it and reap of its benefits.

47. Host a picnic

Picnics are a fun and affordable way to spend time with your family.

Get a lovely location, cook or bake, then invite your loved ones for some outdoor activities.

48. Go fishing

Fishing is another relaxing activity if it’s one you are interested in.

Sitting by the lake keeps you in tune with nature, and the fish you catch can go into dinner. 

49. Get gas at a cheap price

Save money by looking for cheap gas prices.

With apps like GasBuddy, you can get cheap gas services and cut down the cost of getting your car running.

50. Get a check-up

Your health is vital, and you don’t want to spend money on emergency situations.

Schedule an appointment with the doctor and get checked. Make it a routine.

The Bottom Line on Living Frugally in Retirement

It is not enough to know these frugal living tips for seniors in your retirement years, you need to put them into action.

Obviously, not every tip in this article is for you. Find the ones that work for you and start practicing them.

Remember to keep your priorities straight and manage your resources. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should not cross your retirement bucket list items and have fun.

As you’ve seen above, being frugal is not synonymous with being a miser.

Enjoy your retirement years of rest from the years of active service.

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