While retirement is meant to be a period of financial stability, this isn’t always the case and having access to funds can be a worry. Even if you are confident that your savings will allow you to continue with your current lifestyle, it’s good to be aware of some cost-cutting tips for economic uncertainties and emergencies.
Here are four easy ways to cut costs in retirement to help stretch your savings for years to come.
Before cutting costs, it’s first useful to figure out what is driving up your expenses. Create a detailed plan of your monthly outgoings and track this against your budget. Include things like direct debits, mortgage repayments, and personal expenses.
Once you have a clear picture of your spending, you’ll have a better understanding of whether you can meet your financial needs or if there are areas to work on. This could be something as small as changing your phone plan or cancelling a streaming subscription.
The cost of transportation, whether it’s for a personal vehicle or public services, should decrease upon retirement when you stop working. Having multiple vehicles isn’t necessary, so you should consider selling one or more of your cars and keeping just one.
If you don’t expect to drive the car much either, you can save money on expensive insurance premiums by taking out short-term car insurance. That way, you only pay for the duration you use the vehicle.
Also, those over 60 are eligible for public transport concessions, from free bus passes to discounts on rail journeys. If you anticipate using these services often during your retirement, it’s worth applying.
Housing is likely your largest outgoing, so finding ways to reduce this where possible can be beneficial. One of the best ways to increase your funds is to downsize to a smaller property and pocket the difference. This may be a sensible option if you find your current space is too much to maintain or if you have mobility troubles and would prefer a single floor.
Alternatively, you could look for a similar property in a different, more affordable area. Doing so could be a financially wise decision, allowing you to pay off your mortgage or put some money away into savings.
You can easily save hundreds of pounds each year by reducing the amount of energy you use in the home. This doesn’t necessarily mean turning off the heating during the cold winter months. Instead, swap your current thermostat for one that automatically adjusts the temperature so that you never have it on for longer than necessary.
Additionally, switch to energy-saving LED lights throughout the home. While slightly more expensive than conventional lightbulbs, they use a fraction of the energy and last much longer. Other cheap, yet effective, methods include sealing up window cracks with caulk and strategically using window coverings.