I think once we are retired, that these small thrifty things along with our use it a long time & keep it in good repair philosophy is what is going to keep the money going for the rest of our lives especially since we are moving to a more expensive housing, insurance and general cost of living area. As I've mentioned we come from long living families and hopefully have a lot of years ahead of us to finance and enjoy!
Some of the things we do routinely are listed below. What do you do that I could add to our habits? Where do you get your inspiration for living a full life while managing your assets?
- Wash laundry in cold water, buy inexpensive laundry soap on sale and use white vinegar as softener
- When shopping for new clothes for myself I start with consignment/thrift store, then discount store (Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, etc.), then lower cost department stores and finally higher cost ones but watching for sales.
- Mending/alterations are done by me
- Hubby takes lunch to work almost every day and I eat lunch at home now that I am retired unless I am having lunch out with a friends
- We cook dinner together most nights going out about once every week or 10 days
- Make bread crumbs out of bread ends, freeze overripe bananas for banana bread later, make chicken stock from carcass and generally minimize food waste
- Use coupons and/or shop sales for items I would buy anyway
Utilities including phones:
- Turn off lights when not being used
- Keep thermostat setting as high/low as possible in summer/winter
- I keep a spreadsheet of our electricity, gas and water usage which enabled me to see a few years ago that there was a leak in the water main. It was costly to fix but we were able to get a partial refund.
- Right now we have very low cell phone costs - Hubby has a work phone and I use a Tracfone. Not a help when we travel and wish we had all the lovely iphone features but work for day to day. We will switch when he retires.
- Do all yard work and housework ourselves; we do hire out tree trimming and heavy landscaping
- Do home repairs ourselves if possible
- Use linens, furniture, decorative items, etc. as long as possible and then replace through consignment stores or sale items if possible
- Pay all the bills I can online to save on stamps and checks
- Track and monitor our spending
- Review bills and accounts routinely; contest or change providers as needed
- Keep vaccinations current and take medications as prescribed
- Keep up on routine preventative medical and dental care services
- Plan meals to meet our low salt, non-dairy, gout appropriate diet needs
- We keep our cars a very long time and follow the preventive maintenance guidelines
- Combine errands to save on driving
- Get insurance discount for completing a safe driving course online
Recreation & Hobbies:
- I check online listings for free musical performances at a nearby college, outdoor activities, etc.
- We purchase an annual membership at the art museum which enables us to see all exhibits including the special ones at a much reduced cost
- Most books read are from the library
- Use scrap paper for notes/lists and print on back of sheets
- Buy note cards at thrift store
- Reuse plastic shopping bags and newspaper wrappers for dog pickup and trash
- Wash dog in bathtub between grooming appointments. Keep up with her ear and eye cleaning and medications to avoid further vet costs.