Making ends meet as a pensioner can be a challenge, especially when it seems like the cost of living keeps rising. However, there are methods for combating the higher cost of living without having to do anything extreme, like take on new debt. To help you negotiate what can feel like challenging financial times, here are some tips to make the most out of the money you do have.
Rental Assistance and Energy Supplements
Aside from traditional pension payments, certain pensioners may qualify for additional rental assistance and energy supplements. These payments increase the amount received on a monthly basis, making these expenses more affordable over the long-term. In some cases, other programs may be available depending on the community in which you live as well as other circumstances such as caring for an individual with a disability.
Many pensioners also qualify for certain senior cards that can lower the cost of certain services. For example, many individuals receiving the age pension can also qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. This card provides lower cost health care options including cheaper prescriptions and access to additional medical service options. In some cases, private businesses may even choose to offer discounts to card holders, though they are not directly obligated to do so.
Another senior card includes the Pensioner Concession Card. These provide discounts on various goods and services offered throughout the local area. This can include medically oriented discounts as well as lower utility rates and reduced transportation costs.
A discount card offered by the National Seniors consumer lobby can also lead to discounts as well as certain rewards programs. Additionally, card holders have access to an advice line to help ensure all of the benefits are understood, including access to travel discounts, healthcare discounts, reduced interest rates, and other free advice.
Learn about all the different senior cards here.
Proper Budgeting and Expense Tracking
Sometimes the easiest way to help manage rising costs is to create a proper budget and track expenses. By properly managing one’s finances, pensioners can identify areas where costs have begun to rise unchecked. Then, you can make reductions in the proper areas to offset rising costs of living in other areas.
For example, if the costs of utilities are on the rise, you can compensate by reducing usage. For example, you can lower your electric bill by unplugging appliances that aren’t in use and turning off lights when you leave a room. Even turning the water off when you brush your teeth can help bring the cost of water down over time.
When examining food bills, you can make every dollar count by shopping carefully. Compare the prices offered by different brands that sell the same product and choose the option that is ultimately more economical. You can also lower the amount spent by making small dietary changes, such as lowering your consumption of meats in favor of plant-based proteins. While you don’t have to eliminate all expensive foods from your diet, simply lowering the frequency at which you consume them can help make your money last longer.
As with anything regardless of your life stage, circumstances pop up that require money. In these instances, getting the right loan is important to ensure you aren’t being charged to much fo borrowing. Luckily for seniors and other low income earners, there are responsible lending options that are provided by non-profits – learn more about loans for pensioners here.
Over time, you can learn how to adjust your approach to manage the changes in the cost of living more easily. Then, you can keep a higher quality of life even if your amount of available funds don’t change as quickly.