Baby Boomer Lifeboat   

    Tips for Comfortably Retiring on a Tight Income

Baby Boomers can still retire, even on a tight income, by taking steps to stretch their dollars! 

Tips, ideas and advice for making Baby Boomer retirement income go further!

 

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How Baby Boomers can

Cut Household Expenses

Tips to Reducing Household Expenses

for Baby Boomers on a Budget

How Baby Boomers can cut household expenses.Cutting household expenses is likely to be critical for most Baby Boomers seeking to retire on a budget.  Don't expect to live like you did when you were employed.  You are exchanging a paycheck for freedom and control over your time - it is worth it!  And fortunately, there are many easy things you can do to dramatically cut your household expenses while still living comfortably.

Simply eliminating impulse buying can result in significant savings. Avoid use of credit credit cards, don't carry a lot of cash, rent rather than buy when feasible (e.g., rent a DVD for $3 instead of buying it for $20), and invest in personal finance software to help you with your budgeting.

Revamp your Phone Service

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Landline phone service is expensive and increasingly non-competitive.  Baby Boomers should consider just using a cell phone or switching to Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP), which typically runs about $25 monthly for unlimited worldwide calling.  Get rid of any beepers you may still have.  You can easily save $40-$100+ by revamping your phone service.

Cut Utility Costs

Baby Boomers can cut utility bills by implementing a few conservation habits.You can dramatically cut your utility expenses by instilling a few conservation habits:

  • Lower the thermostat in Winter; put it higher in the Summer.  Cut off heat or air conditioning to unused rooms by closing the air duct vents.  Avoid using air conditioning whenever possible. Turn off (or lower) thermostat settings when not at home.  Use fans whenever practical to reduce air conditioning bills.  Ceiling fans help to circulate air year-round.

  • Get rid of the second refrigerator in the garage.  This can lower electricity bills by as much as 25 percent!

  • Shut off lights as you leave a room.  Turn of your PC and TV's when not in use.

  • Fix leaky faucets.  Caulk windows and seal drafty doors.

  • Install water-saving kits in toilet cisterns

  • Reduce use of hot water.  Save laundry until you have a full load.  Do washing and rinsing in cold water as much as possible.  Take shorter showers and turn off the water when soaping yourself up.  Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.

  • Buy Energy Star appliances when replacing a range, washer/dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher or trash compactor.

  • Many utility companies will allow you to be billed even amounts based on your recent year-round billing.  Doing this after implementing the above suggestions for a year may help you plan expenses better.

  • Take advantage of any senior discounts or programs offered by your local utility companies.

Clip Coupons and Shop Sales

Coupons are your friend.  So are sales.  If you need something, search for applicable couponsBaby Boomers can save on groceries by using coupons found in local newspapers and online. or sales online and in the paper.  Buy store brand consumables in bulk.  With a little effort, you can experience immediate savings that really add up.

RetailMeNot.com helps you find coupon discounts for more than 20,000 online merchants and stores.  Just enter a domain name, store name or search by subject.  Coupons.com is another popular site. SmartSource.com is a good place to get printable grocery coupons. Check them out!

Online auctions, such as eBay, are also a good place to buy merchandise way below retail value. 

Cut Back on "Nice to Haves"

If you look around, you will probably see many costs that are not essential and therefore are ripe candidates to be cut.  Some "extras" to consider dispensing with are:

  • Bottled water (buy a filter for your kitchen faucet if you have water quality concerns).

  • Premium cable channels (do you really need 800 channels?); cable boxes (and TVs) in just about every room.

  • Magazine, newspaper and newsletter subscriptions.

Cut Insurance Costs

Selecting higher deductibles on your auto and home protection policies can save hundreds of dollars annually.  Ditto for consolidating all your policies with one carrier.

Perform Common Household Repairs and Upgrades Yourself

Baby Boomers can save mucho bucks by learning how to perform simple household repairs themselves.Baby Boomers can save a ton of money simply by learning how to perform common household repairs (leaky faucets, changing filters, faulty electrical switches, etc.) themselves.  There are many online sites that contain step-by-step instructions with photos to assist you.

This is also true for many household upgrades.  You can do painting yourself and learn to tile bathrooms and counters, replace windows, install a garbage disposal, or lay flooring.  Again, a multitude of Internet sites exist with "how to" instructions, and many neighborhood suppliers like Home Depot hold free regularly scheduled classes on these subjects.

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