ith rising costs, retirement plans and social security payouts often don't provide the income you need to live on.
Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your budget. Here are some suggestions that can help make your dollars stretch farther toward the lifestyle you want.
Compare prescription costs.
You can save hundreds of dollars each year by shopping around for the lowest price on your prescriptions and picking up generics if they’re available.
To do this, call your doctor’s office and ask for a free prescription discount card, which will give you access to the lowest prices on generic drugs at participating pharmacies. Then compare these prices with those offered at other pharmacies in your area.
Ask your pharmacist if there are any generic alternatives to the drugs you take, since these can be significantly cheaper than brand-name medicines (but still just as effective). If one exists, ask if it would be possible to switch over without having to restart treatment with your current medication—it may be easier than trying something new!
Finally, remember that newer medications often come with an automatic trial period during which doctors will prescribe them without charge so that patients can try them out before committing themselves entirely.
If you're buying something that's not vital, like paper towels or potato chips, consider getting the store brand instead of the name brand.
This can save a lot of money and is generally just as good as the big names. For example, many stores carry their own version of Tide detergent that costs less than half what Tide does (and gets equally clean clothes).
Watch for retail promotions and sales.
Whether you're a shopper or not, it pays to be aware of when your favorite stores are offering special promotions. Some of these deals may only be available through mail-in coupons or in-store purchase receipts, so keep an eye on your mailbox and check the weekly circulars at the grocery store for more information about upcoming sales.
You can also find news about upcoming sales by signing up for email newsletters from retailers such as Amazon and Macy's; even if there isn't anything specific that appeals to you with regard to price, these emails can alert you in advance about what kinds of items are more likely to be discounted during each season (such as swimsuits at Target this summer).
Learn to cook your own meals.
Cooking your own meals can save you a lot of money. Not only that, but it's better for you too!
Here are some tips to get started:
- Learn how to cook a few basic meals. If you have no idea where to start, try cooking rice and beans (a staple in many cuisines). You can also use this as an opportunity to learn about different types of spices and condiments that can add flavor without needing meat or dairy products.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients for these recipes on hand so that when hunger strikes, you don't make another trip out for groceries (which will end up costing more than if you just cooked at home)!
To learn more ways to cook healthy on a budget, check out our class here Healthy Meals on a Budget.
Become a smarter shopper.
There are several ways you can become a smarter shopper. Remember: shopping isn’t just about buying products; it’s also about finding good deals on those products.
- Buy in bulk and save money. Buying in bulk can help you save money, but only if you purchase enough to reap the benefits of getting more product for less money. For example, if you buy a box of 30 bottles at once instead of three smaller boxes over time, it might be cheaper because they are priced per unit rather than by how many individual bottles there are in each box.
- Look for coupons before shopping at certain stores or online sites that offer online coupons when purchasing items through them (such as Amazon). You will be surprised how often these types of stores have offers that are exclusive only to members who sign up for email lists or newsletters from various companies that sell products online—this is one way retailers keep customers coming back!
- Look around for sales as well as bargains at your local store(s). Keep checking back every few months so that when new items come out onto shelves during different seasons (spring/summer/fall), there may be sales going on! Also look out for discounts during holidays like Black Friday/Cyber Monday which usually means great deals on electronics such as televisions or computers too!
Take advantage of senior discounts.
There are so many places you can get a senior discount, you may think they're all the same. Not so! Many places offer different discounts based on your age or what you’re buying. For example, seniors who are members of AAA save 10% on car rentals and hotel stays at participating properties across the country (and get extra perks like free roadside emergency service). Some theaters also offer discounted tickets for seniors as well as discounts on food and drinks during showtimes, while others will give a discount on movie tickets if you ask nicely when buying them online or over the phone.
And it doesn't stop there: If you're looking to travel abroad, check out the Senior Pass from the National Parks Service; it allows holders aged 62+ lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across America—including national parks like Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park—for just $10 per year (regular price: $80).
Cut back on expenses you can afford to cut.
Avoid impulse purchases. A great way to boost your budget is by learning how to avoid impulse purchases. By planning out your purchases, you'll be less likely to spend money on things that you don't need or want.
Cut back on entertainment expenses. Entertainment can be a huge drain on your budget, so it's important that you cut back as much as possible here! You should also be careful about what kinds of entertainment options (e.g., movies) that you choose for yourself and family members because some will cost more than others depending on where they're purchased from (for example: Netflix vs Redbox).
Cut unnecessary subscriptions such as gym membership fees and cable bills if they aren't really needed anymore due to moving into an apartment building without facilities available like these two examples provide; there are plenty other ways people can get fit without needing expensive gym equipment like elliptical machines which cost thousands of dollars each year just so someone could use them once per week during their workout routine--a monthly membership fee isn't worth having access
Find inexpensive entertainment.
At the end of the day, you don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun. Here are some ways to find inexpensive entertainment:
- Go to the library.
- Go on a walk.
- Watch a movie at home with friends or family members, and make it a potluck so everyone has to bring something for everyone else to enjoy.
- Go to an art gallery and see what's new in town, even if you don't like art normally (you can learn a lot about yourself by doing this).
The world is full of beautiful things that are free or inexpensive—you just have to look for them!
Look into Medicare savings programs in your state.
If you're on Medicare, there are several programs that can help you save money. One of the most popular is called the Extra Help program. This helps people with limited incomes to pay their out-of-pocket costs for Medicare prescription drug coverage and the Medicare Advantage plan they choose. There are limits on how much someone can earn and still qualify for Extra Help—but if you do qualify, it's an extremely effective way to make your monthly health expenses more manageable.
In addition to this program, some states have additional savings options that are available only in certain areas of the country—and these may be worth looking into if you're not sure how much money you're spending each month on medical bills or other medical services (such as long-term care). They might also be able to provide additional assistance with transportation costs for appointments too!
In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to save money, and it’s easier than you think. We hope our tips will inspire you to make a positive change in your finances!
To learn more budgeting tips and tricks,
check out our budgeting basics class taught by Guide Philip, Financial Fitness: Budgeting Basics.