One worry for retired people is running out of money. Social Security can only go so far, and not every retiree has a lush 401k, inheritance, investments or other income sources to fall back on. The average retiree can usually expect to receive between $800 and $1100 of Social Security per month. Much of that money will be used for necessary living expenses such as rent/mortgage, car payment, phone bill, electric bill, and so on.
Everyone knows that spending beyond one’s means results in one of two things: Heavy overdraft fees at the bank or using credit. Retirees on fixed incomes should avoid incurring any additional expenses. Retirement is not the time to live beyond your means.
Many people see the word “budget” as being a bad word, that only poor and broke people have to budget. But the truth is budgeting is nothing more than thoughtful planning on where your money will be spent. Many people who have filed for bankruptcy often say they don’t know where their money goes.
If you are concerned that your money isn’t enough to last you each month in retirement, there are a few things you can do to help ease the burden.
Calling your phone, internet, television, electricity, and other providers and asking if they have programs for the elderly. Some of these companies will reduce their charges resulting in a reduction in your monthly bill or a time-limited reduction.
When you retire, you don’t stop eating. But you can choose what you eat more carefully. Meal planning and buying when things are on sale are great ways to make your dollars stretch farther. Store brands are typically priced a bit cheaper than the national, or name brands.
Cooking multiple meals at once can also stretch those dollars. If you prepare a stew, for example, it’s easy to cook a larger quantity than you need for a single meal and freeze the rest for future meals. If you grill often, you will know that the same amount of gas or charcoal that you use to cook one meal can be stretched to cook another meal at the same time. A little meal planning can also save cooking time in the long run.
These are just a few ways to stretch your dollars in retirement. A little planning and keeping track of spending can ensure that your retirement savings will last throughout your retirement years.