Many people need or choose to reduce their household spending after retirement. However, adjusting to a smaller budget can be difficult. Rather than cutting all your spending immediately after retiring, try scaling back expenses a few months (or years) in advance. The changes don’t need to be drastic—simple adjustments to your routine can make a difference and cushion the blow should bigger cuts need to be made in the future.
- Cancel paid television.
It’s likely that you don’t watch most of the channels in your paid television package. Take note of which channels you watch and how often, you may find that free to air TV is all you really use. Streaming services, such as Netflix or Lightbox, offer wide selections of movies and TV series and generally cost much less than paid TV packages.
- Use your local library.
If you were a student the last time you visited a library, you may be surprised by what they now offer. Many library collections include much more than just books. DVDs, magazines, CDs, video games, sheet music, e-books, and newspapers can all be borrowed for free, helping to trim your entertainment budget. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Many libraries offer transfers between branches and take purchasing suggestions from patrons.
- Cut back on dining out.
Lunches with friends and dinner dates are fun, but they can also be pricey. Tally up how many times you eat out and consider decreasing this number by two or three each month. Instead of going out, try a new recipe or host a potluck with friends. For even more savings, swap café coffees for a cuppa at home or take a healthy snack with you on errands to avoid temptation.
- Plant a vegetable garden.
Growing your own produce and herbs can decrease grocery bills and become a fun hobby. Beginners can start with lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers—a simple salad! Gardening can also lead to other money saving food activities, like canning and preserving.
- Quit the gym. We’re not advocating that you give up on exercise—quite the opposite!—but health club memberships may be an unnecessary expense. If your gym visits are rare consider low cost or free fitness alternatives. Running at a local oval, walking the dog, bushwalking, and swimming at the beach or community pool can all replace the gym. Also check local community centres for cheaper group exercise activities and classes.
Trying one or all of these tips prior to retirement will help you ease into your new budget. Plus, saving more money now will help grow your nest egg. Every little bit helps, right?
Looking for more ways to boost your retirement budget? Consider turning a hobby into a source of income!