It can be challenging for seniors living on a fixed income to make ends meet, let alone save. That said, there are things you can do to manage your finances as effectively as possible so that you have a little left over to put some money aside for a rainy day or an indulgence. FirstLantic Healthcare offers ten tips that seniors can take to make their money go further.
- Savings Match Programs: Individual Development Accounts (IDAs): IDAs are special savings accounts where program funders (a combination of government, nonprofits, and financial institutions) match the money that low and middle-income households put into savings to achieve specific goals. There are also Private Savings Match Programs such as saverlife.org, which the nonprofit EARN funds – you get rewarded points for saving money in your own savings account (no need to sign up for a new savings account, link your current one to the SaverLife platform). For a complete list of programs you might be able to participate in, click here.
- Health Insurance Wellness Programs: Most insurance plans offer this through employers, but there are also plans for individuals. These programs are intended to improve and promote health and fitness by offering premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives to participate. Some examples of wellness programs include programs to help you stop smoking, diabetes management programs, weight loss programs, and preventative health screenings.
- Save on Vet Bills: If you are a pet owner, you know that vet bills can add up pretty quickly. However, pet insurance programs like the one that the ASPCA offers can help with significant expenses. Signing up and making claims is easy, and you can get a check back or directly deposited.
- Get a Roommate: There are many ways that you can share expenses. For example, if you have an extra room, consider renting it to another senior. It’s a great way to meet new people and increase social interaction. Groups like Silvernest can help you find the right person.
- Rent out Your Car: If you have a car but don’t use it much, consider renting it out through a service. However, it’s essential to follow the proper steps. Here are some suggestions on how to go about it from Progressive Insurance.
- Free Entertainment: Your local library is a great place to take advantage of free entertainment. Obviously, you can take out books and magazines, but many libraries also offer free classes, guest lectures, free DVDs, and even eBooks for your Kindle app. You can also volunteer at your library to lead discussion groups or read to children, which will be both stimulating and fulfilling.
- Scan Receipts for Cash and Gift Cards: Take all the receipts you have accumulated each week and scan them for free cash and gift cards. You can use several apps, such as ibotta, but use more than just one. Also, if you shop online, use apps such as Capital One Shopping or RetailMeNot, which find available coupons or discounts and automatically apply them at checkout.
- Buy at Salvage Grocery Stores: 40% of all the food that America produces gets thrown out. Surplus Valentine’s Day candy, a dented can of beans, or a piece of fruit with a bruise all go to waste. Fortunately, Salvage grocery stores buy those products and resell them to consumers at a steep discount. It’s a win-win because food that is still good won’t end up in a landfill, and you reap the savings.
- Get a part-time Job: There are plenty of companies that are looking for part-time senior workers. It could be a retail outlet, a restaurant seeking a host or hostess, or you could even drive an Uber or Lyft. You can also often do jobs at home, such as becoming a customer service agent. Not only will you stay active, which is the key to longevity, but you can also earn some extra income on the side.
- Take Advantage of Membership Discounts: Organizations like The American Seniors Association, The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), 60 Plus Association offer a wide range of discounts on everything from restaurants, movies, transportation, etc. There is often a small annual membership fee of $10 to $15, but taking advantage of the savings is worth it.
So, while it can be challenging to live on a fixed income, there are many ways that you can continue to have a fulfilling and active life without breaking the bank. If you have other money-saving ideas that you would like to share with our audience, please leave a comment.
FirstLantic cares about your well-being. If you or someone you know needs home care assistance in Florida, FirstLantic can help. We are locally owned and operated, providing our patients with the highest quality senior in-home care solutions, including hourly care in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) and Delray Beach (Palm Beach County) since 2000. Click here to contact us.
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