How to Budget Your Money in Retirement – and Get Additional Income if You Need It

Retiring from your full-time career does not necessarily mean quitting work forever. Many retirees find that they miss the day-to-day interaction with colleagues and coworkers, while others find that they miss the steady paycheck. No matter what the reason, finding a job in retirement can be important, as can cutting your expenses to make your retirement income go further.

When it comes to living in retirement, you have two basic choices if you want your nest egg to go further. You can spend less, doing without some of the luxuries you had hoped to enjoy. Or you can look for a way to bring in a bit of extra income, like doing some part-time consulting work or even seeking out a full-time job. You can, of course, do a bit of both, looking for extra work as your schedule allows while also watching your spending in retirement.


Now is the Time to Create a Budget

Creating a comprehensive household budget and going through each item line by line is the basis for all your retirement spending and preparation. Look for ways to reduce the cost of your monthly utility and other payments. You could, for instance, drop the expensive movie channels on your cable package and sign up for an online service membership instead. You could also switch to a less expensive cell phone plan or perhaps drop your land line in favor of cell service only.

No matter how tight your budget, chances are you can find a few ways to save without seriously impacting your lifestyle. From cooking at home one extra night a week to substituting home video night for a weekly movie, there are things you can do to make your retirement money go farther.


Take Advantage of Your Age

It is not often you look forward to getting older, but as you age you become eligible for senior discounts on many different products and services. Sign up for all the senior discount programs to which you are entitled. Joining AARP or another retiree organization can also yield savings on the items you buy every day. Depending on your spending habits you could save anywhere from a few dollars a month to hundreds of dollars just by taking advantage of those senior discounts.

Also keep an eye out for any specials and discounts where you shop every day, from the local grocery store to the department store. Many retailers provide special discounts for senior citizens.


Cut Back on Transportation Expenses

Consider using public transportation for your daily errands instead of driving. Reducing the amount you drive can reduce your expenses considerably. Not only will you save money on gas but you will also save money on car repairs and possibly insurance as well. Many cities provide reduced bus and subway fares for senior citizens and retirees.

Using public transportation is also good for the environment, especially since many buses run on electricity and natural gas. In addition to the environmental impact and cost savings, you can use your daily errands to meet new people, and start building the network that can land you a job when and if you need one.


Keep Your Network Active

Contact the people you used to work with to find leads on possible consulting jobs and other part-time opportunities. If you have in-demand skills you may be able to make a very good part-time living doing many of the tings you did before you retired. Networking with your old colleagues can also help you find other opportunities for part-time and full-time employment.

You can also sign up for several temporary employment agencies in your area and look for contract and temp assignments that can bring in some extra money. If you have specialized skills, you can look for contractors and temp agencies that specialize in accountants, computer programmers and other specialty workers. Otherwise you can seek out office and warehouse work as needed. Asa retiree, you have the flexibility to work when you want to, supplementing your income as needed without the stress of a full-time job. If you play your cards right, you can truly have the best of both worlds and enjoy a long, happy and financially secure retirement.

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