A financial crisis can mean a lot of different things for different people. For those reliant on an hourly or salaried income, the effects can be devastating. However, for many seniors, a regularly fixed income like social security or a pension is a huge advantage during this time.
To ensure you don’t squander the opportunity, try out some of these tips for managing senior finances during a crisis.
Reevaluate Your Spending
Even though it requires a lot of willpower, budgeting can take you a long way during a financial crisis. Setting spending limits and specific savings goals can help motivate you to cushion the sting of money markets plundering so you don't fall behind if something detrimental happens.
A simple way to reevaluate your spending is by categorizing your budget expenses. Separate your monthly expenses based on importance so you can clearly see where you can cut costs. Your necessities would include housing, utilities, food and insurance, so prioritize these first when assessing your spending.
Some secondary, discretionary spending you might want to consider putting on hold are clothing, hobbies, personal care, dining out and shopping. Once your finances are back in order, you can try widening your budget a bit to make room for these types of purchases.
Sell Your Stuff
Over time, people accumulate stuff that may no longer be extremely useful to you anymore now that you have aged. Instead of trashing the whole lot, determine what items are gems and which are junk.
Once you distinguish the things you can sell from the things that can be tossed, list them on an online estate sale website where people can bid on your items. This will make it less of a hassle for you to sell your goods and allow for more exposure, ensuring a fair price for each sale. You can then use that money to pad your savings account and help ease the stress of any financial crisis you are facing.
Refinance Your Mortgage
Seeing as housing is already an expense categorized as a necessity, this is one area of your budget you shouldn’t skimp on. However, during a financial crisis more options may be available to you as a consumer.
Refinancing your mortgage presents little risk as a borrower. You can lower your interest rate and monthly payment, change the length and type of your loan or get rid of bothersome mortgage insurance that is often an avoidable fee. Instead of settling with your mortgage payment, stay ahead of the curve by researching current rates and contacting your lending company to see where you can save some green.
Take Advantage of Senior Specials
If you look hard enough, you can find plenty of senior specials. From grocery store items to dining discounts, to even national park entry fees, there’s no lack of chances for seniors to save. It can even help you even out your spending for things you have categorized as less essential, allowing you to be able to continue enjoying the things you love without going over your budget.
Also, joining organizations like AARP is a great way to stay up to date on everything senior living. You can get discounts on entertainment, lodging, transportation and even travel! Also, most membership fees are relatively low so affording these perks won’t cost you a pretty penny, giving you peace of mind during a financial crisis.