November 21, 2020 2:19 pm

Hazel Bridges

Even with the best planning, many seniors wind up living on a fixed income. For many, this means having to budget carefully to make the most of retirement. Fortunately, there are other ways you can boost your financial power during your golden years—and enjoy yourself, too.

A Part-Time Job Can Add Income

Many retirees find that life can become a bit monotonous without the challenge and mental stimulation of daily work. And while there’s plenty you can do to stay busy in retirement, a part-time job is one lucrative way to spend your time.

Joining an online staffing board lets you connect with potential clients and see what opportunities are available. You can add to your bank balance by working freelance—often without impacting your existing benefits. Working while on Social Security is doable for most recipients, within set limits by the Social Security Administration. 

Using your previous career skills, you can start working freelance and take on only the projects that appeal to you. If you previously worked in an administrative capacity, you might turn to virtual assisting jobs. If your expertise lies in the financial arena, you could write about finance for a company or bank. Whatever your passion or background, there’s a project-based place in the gig economy for you.

Use Rewards Programs Whenever Possible

Saving money on things you already buy is a smart way to make your budget work for you. Couponing is always popular, and many retailers and grocery stores accept both digital and printed coupons. Finding the right offers from coupon sites and major brands can help you save a few dollars on every shopping trip.

If you shop online, try money-saving offers that help you shop smarter. For example, Honey, a web extension app, automatically checks for coupons and discounts on the site you’re exploring. This way, you don’t need to go out of your way to see what deals are available. You can download special coupon apps as well, which let you scan receipts and earn cash back on qualifying purchases.

Get Deals on Groceries

Your local grocery store may also offer rewards, and all you need to do is provide your email address to get started. Two examples are Safeway or Albertsons grocery stores, which offer reward points. In addition to earning cashback and special coupons, you can also redeem the points as discounts off gas purchases at affiliated gas stations.

See if your favorite store offers membership or discounts—countless stores do. Business Insider lists 18 retailers with loyalty programs that are a great deal for consumers, and even mom-and-pop stores offer discounts and specials.

Make Your Credit Work for You

While using credit cards for purchases can land you in debt, spending smartly can earn you rewards. Paying your bill in full each month is a great start, and you should avoid making extravagant purchases that will take time to pay down.

Investopedia recommends credit cards with cashback offers for seniors, so you can earn rewards and even travel miles based on everyday spending. Just be sure to read the fine print so you know what you’re getting into.

Need Help? Make Connections

Rather than spending money on services, you may be able to connect with someone who will make an in-kind trade. After all, every senior has unique talents and capabilities. If you haven’t already, reach out to your local senior center to find friendship and networking connections.

You never know who you might meet, and building community ensures that you have someone to rely on when you need help. Similarly, you can offer your assistance to others if you have a talent or hobby that’s in demand. Plus, connecting socially can help you maintain a positive mindset and rewarding friendships well through your golden years.

Living on a fixed income can be frustrating, especially when you’ve saved for retirement for years. Fortunately, there are ways to loosen up your budget and make the most of the cash that’s coming in. You might even find there’s a bit extra to enjoy if you take these tips to heart.

Photo via Pexels

Ms. Bridges is the creator of Aging Wellness, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.

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