When you’re in your retirement, making every dollar stretch as far as possible is always a must. Yet a shocking 71% of Americans report being worried about their finances, and 34% have no savings apart from the money they’ve saved for retiremnet! Given these statistics, the need for retirees to keep a closer eye on their savings is easy to see.
If you’re one of the thousands of seniors currently living in an assisted living community, this is doubly true. While the cost of living in one of these communities is fairly reasonable, it can be easy to find your costs spiraling out of control if you’re not careful. And if you’re one of those 34% of Americans who don’t have savings outside their retirement funds, that can quickly spell trouble. Here are three of the best tips to help you keep your expenses under control while at a senior living community:
Create a budget ? and stick to it
If you don’t yet follow a monthly budget, you absolutely should be. During your retirement, making your savings last is crucial, and a budget is the first step in making that happen. Add up the costs of your assisted living services, groceries, rent and other monthly expenses ? the number that remains is the amount of money you have to spend each month.
Pay with cash
It might seem simple, but it’s more effective than you think. By putting away the plastic and only spending money when it exists in your wallet, you can keep a closer eye on how much you’re spending. With cash, you can’t spend more than you have. As a result, studies show that people who only pay with cash end up spending 20% less than those who pay with debit or credit cards. That’s like getting free money!
Consider downsizing your living space
This is especially true if you’re living in an assisted living center on your own. In many cases, these communities offer a variety of different sized living spaces. If you currently live in a one- or two-bedroom senior apartment, consider downsizing to a one-bedroom or studio retirement community placement. The cost savings will be significant, and you’ll still enjoy the same quality of living and senior living services. And with these communities offering plenty of common living areas and outdoor recreation activities, you won’t even notice the difference.