Ways to match your expenses to your new income
Reducing Expenses After Retirement
by Pam Hutzler
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Reducing Expenses After Retirement
You worked hard all your life and you've finally made it to retirement. Congratulations on your new adventure! Maybe you're faced with uncertainty if your savings will match your needs now that you're not receiving a weekly paycheck. When it comes to making retirement work, keeping living expenses under control is a smart financial move. There are a variety of ways for retirees to reduce expenses. Consider these ways to cut your monthly costs in retirement.
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Cut Driving Expenses
If you and your spouse once commuted in separate directions each day, it's likely that you needed two cars. Now, in retirement, you may be able to get away with only one car. This will save you significantly in gas, maintenance, and insurance. Also, with the sudden upswing in free time, it may no longer be necessary for you to take your car for basic service by a professional. Now, it's possible for you to do your own oil changes, etc. Don't know how? There are plenty of resources online just waiting to "up" your DIY knowledge.
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Minimize Food Expenses
It's likely your kids left the nest long ago, and at that time, you probably saw a dramatic cut in your food expenses when you stopped feeding ravenous teenagers. But, now that you're retired, you can make even deeper cuts. If restaurant and fast food lunches were a regular thing during your workweek, you'll easily see savings now as you begin to eat much cheaper lunches at home. Possibly you'll become very familiar with leftovers, which will save money by reducing food waste. Also, if you once made regular stops at one of those overly-priced coffee shops on your way to work, now you can save by brewing your own cup of joe at home. And now you'll also have time to look through sales circulars, clip coupons, take advantage BOGO deals, etc. Finally, with your free time, you may want to consider planting a garden in the summer. You'll eat healthier and save money by growing your own produce and not paying top dollar for your greens at the grocery store.
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Get Rid of Excess
Want to earn some cash by doing nothing but giving your closets, garage, and maybe even your attic the cleaning they desperately need anyway? Of course, you do! When you've put together a pile of things that you want to get rid of, you should hold a yard sale, sell things on eBay, take scrap metal to a dealer... you get the idea. In other words, find someone that will turn your trash into a treasure.
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Replace Costly Entertainment with More Affordable Choices
If you're like most, after a long day at the office, you probably relaxed in the evening with your premium movie package on your satellite TV. The good news is you can now dump your expensive entertainment habits. With more time, you can now search out free local entertainment options. Maybe instead of sitting on the couch in front of the television on a warm evening, you can check out an outdoor movie or concert being held at a local park. Or if you're lucky enough to live near a beach, your evening entertainment can be enjoying the sunset with a delicious picnic and even better company.
We all enjoy great food. However, eating out is very expensive and unhealthy. With more time in retirement, you can learn to cook some of your favorite foods. If you enjoy eating and cooking, this can also be a great way to entertain. Head to the library, grab a cook book, or enroll in a local cooking class.
While you're getting that cook book at your local library, talk to a librarian about the entertainment options available to you for free. Why not borrow books, music, and movies from the library? Maybe you'll be happy enough with the library options to further justify canceling your cable subscription.
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Maintaining the Home Front
Instead of paying someone else to perform home maintenance, now you can assume the responsibility. Doing your own yard work will not only save you money but will also keep you more active. In fact, if you combine your yard work with maintaining a garden, maybe you can consider dropping your expensive health club membership to make fitness your new DIY project.
If you're concerned that you may not be able to perform the necessary maintenance projects, remember that there are many online resources. Just "google" your project and wait for the many help options to pop up before you.
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Your New Retirement Job
You once punched a clock to earn a living and receive a paycheck. It's time to take on a new job. Instead of working to earn money, it's time to work on saving money, reducing expenses, and restructuring your lifestyle. Happy retirement!
Take the Next Step:
- Use this tool to maximize your retirement by determining the best age to take your Social Security benefits. Don't leave thousands on the table by taking Social Security at the wrong time.
- Subscribe to After 50 Finances. You've learned how to work smarter, not harder. This weekly newsletter is dedicated to people just like you. Subscribers get a FREE copy of our After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist, a list of everything you need to do to be ready for retirement.
- Will your new retired lifestyle cause you to look at money differently?
- Are you looking to create a side income in retirement? If so, Here are some things you need to know to be successful.
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