It doesn’t matter your age, when it comes to cutting the budget. Keeping costs down is important for people in every demographic. Many residents at Discovery Village have figured out various ways to make extra room in their budgets for hobbies and other fun activities. In addition to tips on cutting food costs in Part 1 of this two-part series, the following may be new ideas that can help you with your expenses.
In Florida, there is help for limited income seniors in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Grants are given to non-profit agencies and local governments to provide assistance for seniors and other low-income Florida residents that many be eligible for assistance. Most of those funds go to assisting people with payment of the utility bills. Basic requirements to qualify for the program include being a resident of the state at a certain income level and being a person who needs financial help in paying for home energy expenses.
Perhaps you don’t qualify for assistance with your energy costs. The next best thing is to cut down the size of your bill by being as smart as you can about energy consumption. The following are some tips that can help trim the size of your utility bill:
- Use programmable thermostats. These smart appliances help you avoid, for example, heating or cooling your home when no one is there. Anytime your programmable thermostat cuts off the heat when it’s cold outside, you’ll benefit.
- Shut off the heating or cooling that goes to rooms that aren’t used, to cut expenses.
- When a device isn’t being used, unplug it. The small amount of electricity used by multiple appliances can add up over a month’s time.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED lighting or compact fluorescents, both of which use far less energy, partly because they don’t emit heat like an old-fashioned Edison bulb does.
- Technology is available that makes it simple to kill power to some devices when others are being used. For example, smart power strips can kill all power to everything when you go to sleep at night. Preserving energy can also be accomplished by means of a power strip with a remote control.
The monthly expenses associated with having a car can be very high, especially when you consider the cost of ongoing maintenance. Consider whether it is practical for you to sell your automobile and rely on other sources of transportation. Residents at Discovery Village retirement communities in Florida have transportation available through the Connections carefree living program. A ride to a doctor and other destinations is a phone call away, in our Florida retirement community.
Avoid Late Fees
Keep close track of your finances and when bills are due, and avoid ever paying a late fee. Whether with your bank, credit card, or any other bill, late fees add up and cost a lot. You could possibly impact your financial situation significantly by simply avoiding ever paying any late fees. Making automatic payments for recurring bills is usually a smart strategy.
Streamline Entertainment Sources
There are so many sources from which to access movies, music, and books. Figure out whether you’re paying more than necessary for the entertainment that you enjoy at home. For instance, you may not need to subscribe to a movie channel on cable television if you already have access to Amazon Prime, which includes free access to hundreds of movies, popular television shows, and music.
Go with Generic
Perhaps you’ve always had a habit of buying the best. There is nothing wrong with this philosophy, unless you are paying big bucks to buy one item when the same item is also available as a generic product for far less money. In this scenario, you are essentially wasting money. Of course, not all generic products are as good as the original. It’s a smart idea to at least give generic products a try, as a strategy to cut costs.
Take advantage of every senior discount that you can. Some of the discounts kick it in the 50s and some after 65, but the great thing is that they can all help you cut the cost of living.
The idea of bartering may seem like a “needy” approach, but it’s actually a very smart way to stretch your dollars. Just like there are senior discounts available to you, there are other discounts available to you for the asking. It can be astonishing how much less you can pay for things simply by speaking to the right person, offering to buy a product at a reduced price rather than the one posted. A little boldness can go a long way.
How will you spend the money you save by being more careful with your finances? If you are a resident at Discovery Village retirement community in Florida, there are many events and activities listed on our weekly calendars that you can choose from.
Discovery Village At The Forum offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 239.230.3436.