Retirement Planning
7 minute read

How to save more money on expenses in retirement

Lifestyles Day1 712 Low Res Couple in library

Do you like having a glass of fresh orange juice with your breakfast? Squeezing this tangy fruit might come with a liiittle bit of effort but, honestly, it’s the real deal that completes the morning meal.

What does this have to do with saving money? Well, what about this: looking into your savings and budgeting might sound strenuous at first but it’s a very rewarding outcome once you see the extra dollars popping up in your records. Which then can be used to buy more oranges – win-win!

Just like the luxury taste that follows after crushing some tangerine liquid, cutting down on your expenses and adjusting a few habits will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labour for the long term.

Read on to find some easy ways on how to cut costs for retirement without compromising your lifestyle and comfort.

Let’s start with your spending habits

Chasing new restaurant menus? Grabbing a coffee every morning sounds tempting? Adding another book to the unread-shelf?

Yep, we totally understand. And there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to the joys that life has to offer. In order to get an excellent overview of your financial goals, one way to find out all your juicy habits is to track your spending over at least 30 days. While this might take a bit of time, it’s important to know where, how often and on what you are spending your money. And with that, to extract any habits or unnecessary costs that you can avoid.

Creating a budget for separate purposes might be a good way to categorise your habits. Why not think of your savings like a fruit basket (we love a fun fruity idiom).

  1. One apple a day keeps the doctor away
    Put aside a sum for your healthcare, treatments and wellbeing.
  2. Daily currant affairs
    Utility bills, groceries, gas or anything that adds to your regular lifestyle – this pot of money will go towards any fixed costs you have on a monthly basis.
  3. When life is going bananas
    Have an emergency fund for any unexpected things that might come your way – watch out for peels on the streets!
  4. When all is peaches and cream
    Once all other necessity costs are covered, there is space for the sweet things in life. Travelling, hobbies, fashion items – make sure to have a set amount you dedicate for this category to not go overboard in a sugar rush.

Use public transport

Skip the (traffic) jams and jump on public transport! Depending on your age you might be eligible for a government concession card that makes your ride extra zesty. Concession cards that are issued by the government apply a discount on travelling via public transport for senior Australian citizens. It’s a great way to save money while exploring your local area and you get to reduce your budget for gas in one go.

Check your public transport provider in your state or territory for the eligibility details and how to apply for the concession card.

Review your subscriptions

Whether you like to read magazines, to receive surprise food boxes or to use free on-demand TV trial subscriptions – the thrill of awaiting regular post or endless streaming services is what gets us in the first place. But it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy to forget where and for how long you have signed up for a product and to know the monthly payments that come with it.

Here is a mini-checklist:

  • Are you able to name all the subscription services you are currently using?
    You might have signed up for more services than you remember and some could be hiding in between your monthly spendings.

  • Are you using all your subscriptions on a regular basis?
    Think about how often you are charged for the services and when you receive them – weekly, monthly, annually or non-stop. And whether you are actually getting any use out of them.

  • Are you happy with the subscription service?
    If you are still feeling the fruity moments of joy for whatever it is you enlisted for: fantastic! However, if it dried out your excitement it’s probably time to cancel any unused programs.

Consider switching insurance providers

Many types of insurance will be useful throughout your retirement life and it’s often helpful to have these in place. And although it might seem like a sour task to do, it can also be worth looking into switching your provider to potentially save some coin for the same services.

Some insurances can give you a better deal depending on your age, history or needs. You might have signed up for the whole coverage and maybe realise that you can opt for a different option instead. Also many industries are within a very competitive field, so you get a great chance to challenge their offering.

If you are unsure whether switching is the right thing to do, get in touch with a financial advisor or an independent consultant that can help you with your individual situation.

Here are just some examples you might want to check again: car insurance, private health insurance, dental insurance, home insurance, life insurance.

Save money on your utility bills

Pick the low-hanging fruit! Swapping your light bulbs for LED ones or equipping your home with more energy efficient appliances are very effective ways to reduce your monthly expenses. Compare your spending on gas and electricity with other similar households and upgrade to a different supplier if you can tell a difference. Keep your eyes peeled for more environmentally friendly providers to cut a big slice of unnecessary costs on utility bills.

This also counts for your phone fees. Are you stuck in a contract that isn’t serving you well? Do you really make use of the amount of data you bought or could you go with a cheaper option? Comparing rates and market prices for your home phone line or mobile phone can be a ripe chance to save a sum on your invoices.

Eat at home (and with company)

Everyone has been there – going to the supermarket without a plan on what to cook for dinner and ending up with more items in the basket than you needed. A simple, yet effective trick: Make a shopping list when you go to the grocery store just to be sure you don’t buy into all the delicious temptations awaiting you in the aisles.

Another way to make eating at home more exciting and cost effective is to organise a cooking session with a bunch of friends. Have a dinner party or a themed “Bring your own dish” feast to try out and discover new flavours. A classic we recommend for a pear-fect evening: Fruit punch and fondue. Yummy!

"bunch" is used here as a fruit reference, but we can rewrite if it's too leisure for the TOV.

Free up equity by downsizing your home

You can not only downsize your space but also your spendings if you choose to move into a more suitable property. Selling your current house for a smaller-scale version that better covers your needs for retirement will reduce your water, electricity and gas usage too – and with it the costs.

Downsizing your home also means you can free up a lot of equity depending on your property value. Some homeowners squeezed out about $200,000 on average. Determine what’s in it for you with a home equity calculator.

Lifestyle Communities®' stress-free cost model

As a homeowner living in a Lifestyle Community there are lots of juicy benefits awaiting you. Besides the fantastic amenities and community, you get to choose from very reasonably-priced downsizing options too. The homes are typically priced at 75-80% of median house prices in the local area. Cherry-pick a home that best suits your situation and plans!

Lifestyle Communities® makes it easy for you with a weekly fee which contributes towards the maintenance of common garden areas, your front garden, running costs of the Clubhouse and other resort-style amenities, as well as on-site Community Managers and any other community support. A small price for a stress-free living environment!

And to put a cherry on top: the weekly fee is partly offset by some of your current expenses. Which means no council rates, no water rates, discounted electricity and reduced consumption and maintenance costs for your downsized brand new home.

Downsizing is a life-changing experience that will help you save money in the long run without compromising on a comfortable lifestyle. Our team is here to help every-berry – get in touch!