Wednesday, July 24

Want More Money in Retirement? Cut These 10 Useless Costs!

According to the Federal Reserve, more than 6 in 10 Americans are behind on saving for retirement. If you’re getting close to your full retirement age and still building your nest egg, you may be worried that you’ll be running out of funds and dealing with financial burdens.

One way to ease financial anxiety when it comes to retirement is to start slashing costs now. If you lived a frugal lifestyle before retirement, then doing the same thing in your golden years won’t be a struggle for you. Being on a budget is always a wise thing to do, as you boost the chances that your savings will last to the end of your life.

Many people decide to downsize their houses to reduce costs, but fewer people consider other effective strategies to cut expenses. Every expense you budget for, whether that’s gas or groceries, is an opportunity to set aside. Here’s a book we recommend you read if you want to learn more about ways to set aside money for your golden years.

Here are 10 areas where you can reduce your spending prior to retirement, along with simple ways to do it. Check this out!

internet bill retirement
Photo by fizkes from Shutterstock

1. Internet

One way to reduce your internet bill during retirement is to negotiate a lower price with your provider. Call the company and inform the customer service representative that you’ve been searching for better offers from other providers and are considering switching.

It’s better to discuss these types of things over the phone than via email, as it’s faster and you’re more likely to receive a positive answer. You may have to sign a new contract, but chances are you’ll get a lower rate.

You can also buy your own router and modem, which will help you save extra money in the long run. Even though the monthly fee you pay to rent this equipment from your provider is pretty cheap, it can add up over time. And don’t let your internet provider convince you to pay for upgrades you don’t need.

2. Grocery Bill

We used to clip coupons and use them at the supermarkets to save money on groceries. While you may have gotten used to this old-fashioned way of cutting down expenses, there’s a faster way to do that.

There are lots of grocery store rewards apps right now, and they are pretty user-friendly. One example would be Ibotta, which can help you earn cashback by only scanning your receipts. Or you can simply link your credit card to the app, and that’s it.

Another way to save money on groceries in retirement is by using a grocery credit card. Pick the one that works best for you and get ready to stack the cashback. Some cards can help you earn as much as 6% back on your purchases.

Don’t forget about making a grocery list before heading to the store. It will help you reduce unexpected costs. Also, buying in bulk while products are on sale is another wonderful way to save money on groceries.

You should also consider comparing prices at different stores. While it may be easier for you to buy everything in one spot, you could reduce your grocery bill by purchasing specific products where they are the cheapest.

3. Phone Bill

A great way to cut your phone bill during retirement is with a group or family plan. The price per line usually goes down as you add more lines, so getting a phone plan with family members or friends can help you keep costs down.

You should also make sure you receive the most cost-effective plan and pay attention to your usage. For instance, if your provider charges you extra each month for your data usage, you should consider switching to an unlimited plan instead. On the other hand, if you can cut your data usage and opt for a lower-priced limited plan, you’ll be able to save money on your monthly bill. Your retirement savings will thank you later.

grocery store
Photo by Prostock-studio from shutterstock.com

4. Shopping

Using a rewards credit card is a great way to save money on shopping during retirement, but there are other strategies that can help you too. An option would be to use a cash-back app every time you shop. You have plenty of apps to choose from, including Shopkick, Rakuten, Fetch, Drop, and more.

You can even use multiple apps while shopping, but you can only use one per purchase. Pick the app that provides the highest cashback offer for the merchant you’re shopping with. Some apps may reward you with cash, whereas others provide you with gift cards to stores like Amazon and Target. The rewards are pretty simple to use—you’ll typically either use a card associated with your account or click a link before making the purchase.

Another option would be using cashback cards and retail cards. This doesn’t mean that you should have a retail card for every store where you shop. Just pick the ones that are most lucrative for you. By the way, don’t forget that many retailers offer senior discounts. Make sure you get the most out of them!

5. Car Insurance

As a rule of thumb, financial experts recommend shopping around for new car insurance quotes twice a year. That’s because circumstances can change, which means your rates will change too. For instance, if you move to a new location or an accident falls off your driving record, you may find you can benefit from a cheaper premium just by switching car insurance companies.

The best providers also offer discounts that could lower your rate, so make sure you ask what you’re eligible for. They generally range from good driver discounts to senior citizen discounts to multi-policy discounts, so chances are you’ll find one that applies to you.

6. Streaming Services

Ditching cable TV for good can be an effective budgeting strategy during retirement, but not if you spend a big chunk of money on streaming services instead. Think about which ones you use the most, and then get a group of friends or family members together to share an account.

In fact, most streaming services allow you to set up profiles for multiple users. Don’t forget that you can also access a great deal of free content with your library card via Kanopy or Hoopla.

If you want to save even more cash, you should also use a credit card for streaming services every time you pay for a service at your provider. It’s possible to earn cashback on your Netflix, Hulu, and other subscriptions just by using the right card.

7. Banking Fees

If your bank is still charging you unnecessary maintenance fees, this may be a sign that it’s time to open a new account. Many of the best savings accounts and checking accounts don’t charge any fees. You may even be able to accumulate some extra interest by switching to a high-yield savings account.

Even if you decide to stick with your current bank, make sure you’ve opted out of overdraft protection. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, opted-in customers end up paying seven times more in overdraft fees and insufficient funds than opted-out customers. That would be more than $200 per year, which you could save for retirement with this one simple trick.

8. Credit Card Interest

If you’re still paying high interest on your credit cards and have debts, consider employing an approach that could help you pay off all the money you owe before retirement, such as the debt avalanche method.

You could also apply for one of the best balance transfer cards to benefit from a 0% introductory APR offer. You can usually get a break from the interest for 12–18 months by moving your debt to one of these cards. This will help you use a higher amount of your income to pay down the principal, which means you’ll be able to eliminate debt faster.

mortgage
Photo by fizkes from Shutterstock

9. House Payment

It’s typically recommended to pay off your mortgage before you enter your retirement years. That’s because you won’t be able to devote as much income to a mortgage payment as you did in your working years. Therefore, if you still owe money on your mortgage, the possibility of benefiting from a low-interest rate may be one of the reasons to refinance your mortgage.

In other words, by taking advantage of the right refi, you could save a great deal of money over the life of your loan. What’s even better is that that could even shorten the term. This will help you reduce the risk of struggling with financial burdens during retirement.

However, do the math carefully and take your time to do the research to be sure that the interest rate reduction is worth the time and fees involved.

10. Belongings

If you’re thinking about downsizing before retirement, now is the time to declutter your house by donating or selling things you no longer use. You may be surprised by how easy and fast it is to turn your unwanted and unused stuff into extra cash.

One option would be to list those things on local marketplaces such as OfferUp and Facebook. Or you could even host a garage sale. Another idea would be to make extra cash online from your old electronics and books. Finally, if you have lots of clothes you don’t wear, you should sell them on Poshmark. There are plenty of options available.

You may also want to read How to Get The Cheapest Cleaning Services for a Happy Retirement.

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