For many seniors, being on a fixed income is a challenge that can really put a damper on life. Money is tight, you have the stress of sticking to a budget, plus the added worry about making your savings last. So how do you balance spending with saving money… living life to the fullest with planning for the future? The truth is that there are many ways seniors can spend less and earn more without having to sacrifice at all.
Turn Hobbies Into Income
If you’re looking for balance between boosting your budget and still enjoying how you spend your time, making money through hobbies is a perfect solution. This is the ultimate no-compromise solution, and the opportunities are endless. One option for part-time work is to use your skills as a freelancer. Small businesses hire freelancers for all kinds of jobs, which means you can find one that fits your experience and interests.
Turning your hobbies into income can also help you branch out and stay socially active. For example, if you love yoga, becoming a yoga instructor is a way to earn some money while meeting like-minded people of all ages. Or if you love to cook or bake, the Institute on Aging suggests selling your goods at a local farmer’s market to make money. No matter what you choose, the bottom line is that finding a creative job is a fulfilling way to spend your time.
The possibilities for part-time income are practically endless, and you can even safeguard your assets and qualify for additional tax breaks on your business by forming an LLC. To create a New York LLC, you’ll need to file according to the state’s specific guidelines, so working with an online formation service can clear up any questions you might have.
Try Unique Ways to Save
Living on a budget means being conscientious about how you spend money, which many seniors have to do even with added income. But being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to do without. In fact, there are hidden ways to save money on the things you love most that you probably haven’t even thought of. For example, AARP has all kinds of tips for saving on shopping trips (or online shopping), like leaving items in your online shopping cart so the store will send you coupons, or signing up for texts to get discounts.
Another area where seniors can save big is on living expenses. Some costs may be fixed, like your mortgage or rent, but you can reduce other costs with some simple changes. For example, you can shop for clothes at thrift stores and reduce your energy costs by setting your thermostat lower. For more surprising ways to save money around your home, This Old House has a roundup of 50 DIY tricks, including small habits like closing closet doors and replacing your air conditioning filters to improve the unit’s efficiency.
Simplify Life – And Your Budget
Along with trying unique ways to save money, another easy way to live more on less is to create a life of simplicity. Simplicity isn’t the same as scarcity – instead, it’s about trying simple solutions for everything you need, from clothing and food to entertainment and fun. One of our favorite ways to simplify life is to host or attend a swap – a clothing swap, cookie swap, book swap… whatever you and your friends would enjoy swapping as a free way to get something new!
When it comes to activities for fun and entertainment, you may assume that getting out and trying new things has to be expensive. In reality, there are numerous ways to find free entertainment, like going to an open mic night or volunteering as an usher for performing arts venues.
The truth is that a simple life can be way more fulfilling than spending time and money on things you don’t even need. And when it comes to things you do need, don’t underestimate how much small savings add up. Living on a fixed income doesn’t have to be such a challenge – and these money-saving solutions should enhance (not detract from) your life in retirement.
This post was written exclusively for our Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, by our friend Karen Weeks of Elder Wellness.