If retirement is just around the corner then there’s much to look forward to: a break after a long and successful career, time to spend with family and friends, energy to devote to hobbies and new interests, and the opportunity for unrestricted travel that only an open calendar can bring.
It’s an exciting time – and the last thing you want is money worries to get in the way of your quality of life or your future plans. Creating a new budget for yourself ahead of retirement can help you adjust to living on a lower income and help your savings stretch as far as possible.
Need inspiration? Here’s a few simple tricks…
Track your spending – Many people find keeping a close track of their spending an eye-opening experience. Being confronted with every purchase and expense – big and small – can help you notice areas you could cut out or cut back. Try writing down every purchase for a month, starting with bills right down to your daily visit to the coffee shop. It will not only help you have a much better picture of where you’re spending, but will also help make you more aware when you’re mindlessly wasting money.
Pay with cash – This is another simple way to be more aware of what you’re spending. Budget how much you can afford spend in the week on non-essentials – things like drinks and movie tickets, for example – and then take that amount out in cash at the start of the week. Pay for these items only using cash, and when the cash is gone, you’ll know your budget is spent.
Cut the cost of food – Planning your meals ahead, freezing leftovers, taking advantage of offers and shopping for your groceries online are all simple steps you can take to cut down on the cost of food at home. When eating out – look for discounts and special offers from websites like Open Table, Groupon and 5pm.co.uk. Many restaurants offer pre-theatre menus, happy hours and seasonal deals that can help you bring the price of the final bill down without sacrificing a meal out.
Pocket the savings – Next time you find a great bargain, take advantage of the savings you made by putting the difference back into your savings account. For example, if you were shopping for a new TV and found a deal for 25% off, put the equivalent of what you saved off the original price into your savings account. Or, if you have leftover cash from your budget that week, instead of spending it on something extra, why not put it back into your savings account? Even if the sums are small, when you get into the habit of saving you’ll quickly find the numbers add up, and could go towards funding something else special like a holiday or home renovation.
Cut down household expenses – Are you getting the best price for your home broadband? What about your heating and electricity? Comparing prices is no longer the hassle it once was – online services like uSwitch and Moneysupermarket will help you quickly assess whether you have the best tariff or whether there’s savings to be made by moving elsewhere.
Are you trying to cut your costs ahead of retirement? Let us know your tips and tricks!