Tips For Helping Seniors Budget on a Fixed Income

Advice For Caregivers

elderly-finance

Budgeting is important for seniors on a fixed income

Today, many retirees don’t have 401(k)s or any other pension plan. As a result, many senior citizens will have to get by using just their Social Security earnings and possibly revenue from low income jobs. For those who had been accustomed to living well beyond that income bracket, making the necessary adjustments can be a tough process. Yet, with the right information and access to assistance programs, it is possible to get by comfortably when making less than $1,500 a month.

Medical Alert Advice provides a number of tips that can help low income seniors budget on a fixed income.

Eliminate Home Maintenance Costs

A senior’s money might be better spent renting a house than trying to maintain their homes they own. For seniors, the cost of maintaining a home is usually far greater than the cost of renting. If something happens, like the air conditioning breaks or the roof leaks, the landlord would be responsible for fixing them. In addition, the stress of rising interest rates can also be overwhelming to seniors. A one-bedroom apartment would be more than enough for a senior, or they could consider getting a roommate and renting a decent two-bedroom apartment. If they take the time to look around, and depending on their location,  it is possible to get a two-bedroom apartment for around $700 a month. You can search easily at  ApartmentGuide or hire a real estate agent to do the work for you. There is no cost to you for a realtor to find an affordable rental to live in. You can also utilize sites like Care.com to find reasonable priced assisted living facilities or nursing homes near you.

Get Rid of the Car

For seniors living in the city, there is no reason to insist on holding on to their cars. The public transportation system and ride share apps like Uber or Lyft can serve them just as well. The situation in the rural areas might be a little difficult though since they might need the car to get to doctor appointments and other important undertakings. A part-time home care worker will be able to provide rides to important appointments. For city dwellers, the cost of maintaining a car can easily be at least $300 per month. This is just not practical for someone living on a fixed income of less than $1500 a month. In addition, the possibility of getting involved in traffic accidents increases as people get older. Taking these things into consideration, it might be best to get rid of their car.

Eat Healthier Food

It may seem difficult to find healthy food alternatives when living on a limited budget, but it is possible with the right planning each month. Foods like oatmeal and farina for breakfast is a cost effective and nutritious way to start off the day. Quinoa is a great food to help you get a lot of nutrition for a small price tag, and it provides omega fatty acids, protein, and many of the essential minerals for an aging adult’s body. Try growing your own herbs and vegetables with a small home garden for extra savings.

On top of feeling better from eating healthier, you can also spend less on medical care if you work harder to take care of your health through the foods you eat. Taking advantage of supermarket sales and coupons is necessary and can make eating good every day much easier. You may also be eligible for government benefits programs that will provide you access to fresh healthy foods at no cost to you.

Cut Out Unnecessary Spending

This often ‘goes without saying’ but it is good to go over once more. Take out expenses that you simply do not need to have anymore. Perhaps you have magazine subscriptions that you do not read, or movie and cable packages that never get watched. You may want to look into bundling your cable and internet services or even getting rid of you land line.  Perhaps you indulge in some vices like the occasional lottery ticket or pack of cigarettes. Cutting those small things out of your budget can go a long way towards helping you establish a budget that has enough room to cover all of your needs. It just takes a little thought and creativity over where your funds are currently going to give you a little more wiggle room.

Assistance for seniors may very well be available in your area. Seniors with low incomes can check sites like AARP to view the government programs in their area. Lastly, seniors living on a fixed income should look to senior community programs for fun, FREE things to do!