Editor’s note: This story was originally published in February 2020. Please abide by local COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
Adjusting to a fixed income in retirement can be a challenge — especially if you’re living off less money.
Just because you stopped working doesn’t mean you stop paying bills and buying groceries. If you’re planning vacations or trips to the golf course — those are extra costs to budget for.
“You could easily spend more money [in retirement] because you have more time you want to enjoy,” Droucelle Ramage, a self-described frugal retiree, told The Penny Hoarder.
Ramage said shopping at thrift stores, attending free community events and choosing community acupuncture rather than going to a pricy private practice has helped her keep expenses low.
Volunteering at her church and local senior center has kept Ramage busy without spending money. When she travels, she’s able to get free flights — a benefit of working for American Airlines for over 20 years.
Knowing how to cut costs is key to having a frugal retirement you can enjoy.
Your health is often intertwined with your wealth. Staying healthy in retirement means you’ll spend less on medical costs.
When it comes to preventative care, a balanced diet and regular exercise can lower your chances of developing conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to drain your bank account paying for expensive health food or a pricy gym membership.
If you’re 65 or older, enroll in Medicare. While Medicare coverage doesn’t eliminate out-of-pocket costs, you’ll pay less than with private health insurance.
6. Find Low-Cost Entertainment and Ways to Stay Social
Keep busy in retirement without emptying your wallet.
Fill your social calendar up with events at your local senior center, host potluck dinners with friends or start a murder mystery book club. Check out free offerings at your library, like sign language classes or museum passes.
Don’t be shy about sharing your age when it’ll result in sweet discounts. Dozens of companies — from retailers and restaurants to airlines and hotels — offer lower prices for seniors. Some offer discounts to customers as young as 50.
Join AARP to enjoy a slew of discounts at a variety of places.
The rewards are twofold when you become debt free sooner rather than later. You’ll pay less in overall interest when you pay off your debt early. You’ll also free up more cash once you no longer have that monthly financial obligation.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.