Living within your means during retirement does not mean you have to give up on all of life’s luxuries. There are many ways to approach affordable retirement living that still involve eating well, going on vacations, and affording fun new gadgets. The key is to determine what sort of spending gets you the most bang for your buck and to avoid a few common retirement mistakes.
Food is a common source of financial stress during retirement. A great strategy for saving money on food to limit yourself to eating only one or two meals out each week. Even a cheap meal at a fast food restaurant is significantly less value than that same meal coming from a grocery store. A cheeseburger, fries, and soda could run seven or eight bucks at the local burger spot. That same amount of money at the grocery store would get you a pound of beef, some hamburger buns, a two-liter of soda and a few potatoes to bake or mash. That’s several times as much value as the single meal.
There’s no better time to go on vacation than during retirement. You don’t have to be in the office five days a week, so you’re free to determine your own schedule. The most important thing for affordable vacations is to plan ahead. Vacationing may seem prohibitively expensive if you look at plane tickets and hotels a few weeks before you want to leave. On the other hand, those same tickets and hotel rooms will cost a fraction of the price when ordered three or four months prior. Plan your vacations six months ahead of time and purchase travel and lodging at the earliest possible date to make your vacations affordable.
Affordable retirement living would be no fun without some interesting gadgets to play with! Black Friday sales are the best source of cheap new technology such as TVs, computers, and speakers. Thrift shops and pawn shops are other great places to look for fun new technology to play with. For the truly adventurous, building your own computer costs pennies on the dollar compared to buying a pre-assembled PC. One last tip is to use online sales markets such as Craigslist to find cheap used goods that other people in your community are looking to sell.