8 Steps to Smart Senior Spending

If you’re living on a fixed income in retirement, you’re not alone. We’re all looking for new ways to cut corners without making giant sacrifices on essentials like food and medicine. Fortunately, those who know how to make it work have shared the following eight tips.

1. Plan for emergencies.

Emergency spending is the biggest budget-buster there is. Make sure you have $400 saved separately for repairs, emergency trips, or anything else that could clear out your account in the blink of an eye.

2. Stop giving away valuables.

Gifting an heirloom to a loved one is great, but stop donating all of your unwanted stuff. Clothing can go on consignment, and furniture and old appliances can sell at a garage sale.

3. Clean up your email subscriptions.

Unsubscribe from all emails that tell you about sales, new items, or anything else you might be tempted to buy on impulse. If you have accounts with online retailers, delete your payment method so you can’t impulse shop.

4. Ask for a lower interest rate.

Some credit cards will lower your interest rate if you’re of a certain age. Some will lower it just because you asked!

5. Create a budget for gifts.

Well in advance of the event (such as Christmas) figure up a total budget that includes all gifts. Stick to this number and avoid buyer’s remorse and holiday spending hangovers.

6. Take advantage of preventative services covered by Medicare.

Tests, screenings, and wellness checkups typically come with no out of pocket cost. Catch health concerns before they become impossibly expensive.

7. Enroll in auto-pay.

Pay bills right away, and you’ll never have to worry about late fees or unpaid balances piling up.

8. Revisit your budget.

What worked last year may not be right for your current needs. Check in and reconfigure your budget as soon as things feel tight.

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