While thrifty living is often associated with retirement, living below your means is good advice for anyone. By spending less than you earn, you can reduce stress by always have money for a rainy day. For those who are preparing for retirement, or who have already retired, thrifty living tips are essential. Fortunately, learning to make money last during retirement will be easier once you discover a few tricks for getting more bang for your bucks.
1. Take Advantage of Free Entertainment
Saving money is good, but getting something for nothing is even better. Check community newsletters or online city guides for free activities. Many towns offer their own free summer concert series, street festivals, or local art shows. Museums can provide hours of free viewing pleasure, and libraries let you read a world of literature without paying a penny.
2. Make Comparison Shopping a Hobby
Any item that is sold at more than one store is likely to sell for a variety of prices. Use online shopping tools to compare prices before buying or make window shopping a hobby. By regularly browsing the stores, you have a better idea of how much typical items cost, and you learn where to get better deals. Think about finding available coupons, rebate offers, and online shopping promo codes that will yield even bigger savings.
3. Learn Thrifty Travel Tips
There are many ways to save money while traveling. If you are retired and have a flexible schedule, take advantage of last-minute getaway pricing, and try traveling in the off-season. Consider joining a group travel tour, sharing a rental vacation home, or even trading homes with a friend in another city for a couple of weeks. And, always be on the lookout for sales and travel incentives. For example, Atlantic City is known for offering vouchers good for services, or even cash, along with the low price of the bus ticket to get there.
4. Downsize Your Home and Cars
Downsizing from a large family home to a small ranch home, townhouse, or condo can be a great way to save on living expenses. A smaller home is easier to maintain and cheaper to heat and cool. Similarly, car ownership is an ongoing expense. Consider your general transportation needs. If you have two cars, could you get by on one? Using public transportation whenever possible will cut down on the wear and tear on your own car, as well as save you the cost of fuel. If public transportation is abundant, you might even opt to get rid of all of your cars.
5. Opt for Quality Over Quantity
By spending a bit more for better quality clothing, household items, or services, you may actually save money over time. Higher quality clothing, in timeless styles, is often more versatile and will last longer than poorly made trendy pieces. Similarly, a $50 coffee maker that lasts 10 years is a better deal than a $15 model that breaks after six months or never really works right in the first place. This concept can also apply to entertainment, such as dining out. All of those fast food lunches add up quickly. By eating at home, you can save enough money for an occasional evening out at a very nice restaurant.