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Financial Tips For Seniors To Thrive On A Budget In 2024

2024 has arrived. The new year has officially begun. On the financial front, tough times await seniors. Although seniors will receive better Social Security checks in 2024, that is not enough to cover all the costs. Thanks to inflation and high cost of living.

So, what’s the way out? Smart budgeting and money management can help seniors to overcome this financial crisis.

Why Should Seniors Follow A Budget In 2024?

Although there will be a 3.2% hike in social security payments in 2024, seniors will still be in financial trouble.

Here are some possible reasons:

Higher cost of living:

According to USA Today, 65% of seniors admitted their living expenses are 10.5% more than a year before.

Loss of benefits:

Many seniors (low-income groups) have lost access to financial assistance programs in the last year. The 8.7% COLA in 2023 and 5.9% COLA in 2022 pulled many seniors out of poverty. As such, they became ineligible for several assistance programs, such as rental assistance programs and SNAP. So, their out-of-pocket expenses have increased significantly.

Seniors may also have to pay more tax in 2024. This is because of the extra money they received from the Social Security checks.

How seniors can stick to a budget in 2024

One of the best ways to master the art of money management is to set up a budget. For seniors, it is a must. Basic money management skills help seniors stay financially independent for a long time. When you live on a fixed income, your resources are limited. You have to manage everything with that amount. A budget can help you to do that.

Follow The 70/30 Rule:

This is a simple budgeting rule where seniors use 70% of their income for their necessary expenses. They save the remaining 30%.

It is not easy to save money on a fixed income. But it is possible. You must prioritize your expenses for essentials like healthcare, utilities, housing, etc. Allocate 70% of the budget to essential items.

Create a budget:

Monthly expenses include housing, utilities, insurance, groceries, healthcare, and entertainment. Categorize expenditures into fixed (e.g., mortgage) and variable (e.g., dining out) to identify areas for potential savings.

Evaluate retirement income:

Evaluate all income sources. This includes pensions, Social Security, investments, and part-time jobs. Consider changes in income, such as adjustments in Social Security benefits or new investments.

Explore senior discounts:

Take advantage of senior discounts for various services, like transportation, dining, and entertainment. Most of the time, you must ask if a deal exists for seniors. You might be shocked in a good way! Stay informed about special senior days or promotions offered by businesses.

Review your insurance policies:

Regularly review your health, home, and auto insurance policies. Do they meet your current needs? You can purchase home and auto insurance policies from the same company to save money if required. Explore bundling insurance policies for potential cost savings.

Consider downsizing:

Look at your present living expenses. Is it eating up your budget? Can you save a single penny at the end of the month? If the answer to the first question is “yes’ and the second one is “no,’ it’s time to downsize. You can move to a smaller apartment or a cost-effective area where you can lead a comfortable lifestyle.

Do your research before you move to a new place. Take a trip or two to see what living there is like. Think about the cost of living, which includes food, utilities, medical expenses, and the cost of living.

Think about the quality of life, which includes things like the weather and the number of fun things you can do. If you want to move there, talk to people who live nearby about what they like and don’t like about the retirement community.

Also, start getting rid of stuff and packing boxes at any time. Choose what to keep, give away, sell, or throw away. Is this too much for you? It might help to have a trusted family member or friend with you as you go through your home.

Don’t spend as much now. Start cutting back on spending as soon as you can if you can. This might help you get used to living in a cheaper place when you move.

Utilize preventive healthcare services:

Preventive healthcare helps you lead a fulfilling and long life. It helps to diagnose medical issues early on and avoid acute health problems later on. So, if you want to avoid long-term medical expenses, use free or budget-friendly preventive healthcare services.

You can also join wellness programs for affordable healthcare. Visit community health clinics to get medical treatment at a price you can afford.

Pay off your debts:

The Federal Reserve has quickly raised interest rates to keep inflation in check. That has made it much more expensive for families to borrow money for mortgages, car loans, school loans, and credit card debt.

For example, the average APR (annual percentage rate) for credit cards is over 20%, the…

Read More: Financial Tips For Seniors To Thrive On A Budget In 2024

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