Trim the Fat in Retirement and Still Have Fun


Unless you have won the lottery, have a large pension or have a sizable nest egg set aside in savings, chances are good that you’ll have to watch your money closely during retirement. As MSN notes, one of the easiest ways to make sure you have more money during retirement is to pay attention to where your pension and savings are going and cut back on unnecessary expenses wherever you can. By trimming the budgetary fat wherever possible, you can probably free up funds for enjoyable activities like trips to see the grandkids. Consider the following ways to cut back.

Trim the Technology

While different types of technology can be nice — for example, it can be great to watch your favorite football team on the cable sports channel — a lot of times we end up paying for services we rarely use. Take a close look at your various technology-related bills and see if you can cut out any services entirely or even switch to a different plan. If you are paying a hefty monthly fee for satellite television, switching to a streaming media player like the Roku or Apple TV can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. These devices, which stream a huge variety of television shows including plenty of old classics, have enabled many people to cut out their cable or satellite bills entirely. In addition, if you have a cell phone, examine your bill and see if you can lower your monthly minutes, or change to a different company that offers a better and more affordable plan. Or, as Wells Fargo notes, if you are paying for both a landline and a cell phone service, you might consider dropping one of them so you are don’t paying twice for essentially the same thing.

Watch Grocery Expenses

As you probably know, groceries can be extremely expensive. Of course, so can eating out on a regular basis. In order to get a handle on just how much you are spending on food and beverages, write down all of your expenses for a few weeks — even the small and piddly amounts like the dollar you put into a vending machine for a bottle of Coke. Once you have a tangible list in front of you, you can easily see potential ways to cut costs. Maybe your twice-a-week coffee and muffin breakfast could be once a week instead. Also, try to plan meals around what’s on sale each week at the grocery store. And while you don’t have to use a ton of coupons and bring home a super size package of toilet paper at one time, even using just a few coupons each time at the store will help to lower your overall costs.

Cut Back on Cars

Another great place to cut during retirement is transportation. To get organized, fill out a spending plan and you'll see that a great deal of your monthly overhead comes from gas, insurance and upkeep on two vehicles. Try using just one car for a month or two to see if you can get by without too much inconvenience. If it works out, sell one car and put the money back into your savings, then calculate how much you save each month; it might surprise you.