Many elderly people find themselves on a fixed income in later life; For most, this comes in the form of a pension or some kind of benefit. Relying on pensions or benefits can make it difficult to keep up with ever-rising bills and payments, elderly people can also find themselves with health issues which in turn can be costly, and make it even more difficult to save money. Even if your loved one is living comfortably and has some extra cash to spare, it’s always advantageous to cut back on expenses and leave more cash for a rainy day or special occasion!
A study by Age UK found that nearly one million people over the age of 65 have had to cut back in certain areas in order to pay their bills or afford food for the month. At Careline365, we know saving money and making it stretch from month to month can be difficult, which is why we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to save money and reduce bills. Thankfully, there’s a huge range of things that can be done to decrease your loved ones outgoings, so there’s many options to try!
One very easy way of saving money and reducing bills is by turning things off at the main power source when they’re not being used! Energy bills can be expensive, so it’s a great area to try and reduce costs in any way you can; many appliances still use an amount of power even when they’re switched off or on standby.
The best way to combat this is to turn things off at the main wall power switch when they aren’t being used. Things like televisions, radios and computers may appear to be completely switched off but the best way to make sure they’re not sucking up power is to turn them off at the switch!
If health allows it, you could also try suggesting that your loved one or elderly parents cut back on their heating. A lot of people stick to one room in the day time and evening, so consider having the heating on in certain rooms rather than the whole house. Do be cautious as if the air gets too cold this could lead to illness, so make sure that your loved one is keeping warm when it’s needed, but perhaps suggest they don’t have the heating on too high or throughout the entire property.
Pay Bills Annually
This tip may not be an option for everybody, but for those who can afford to pay for services annually it’s a fantastic way to save money and reduce bills in the long run! Many services such as car insurance and council tax will give the option to pay monthly or upfront for a full year or six month period.
The majority of time the upfront payments work out far cheaper, but it means that you need the larger sum of money available which many people don’t. If your loved one is considering paying for something upfront it’s a good idea to take other bills into account, there’s no point paying a lump sum but then finding there’s not enough money for other monthly bills.
It may seem silly, but something as easy as negotiating or haggling with a provider for utility bills or a retailer when purchasing goods could save a reasonable amount of money. Some providers also offer special discounts for older people, so don’t be afraid to shout about your loved ones age!
The main thing to remember when bargaining for money off is ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, even if it’s on something inexpensive. Businesses may not advertise that they offer discounts or are willing to negotiate, but many will!
Cut Down on Excessive Spending
Everyone has things they enjoy spending money on, so this step can be one of the most difficult to enforce. The most effective way to cut back on spending could be to write down every non-essential purchase your loved one makes, and think about how they can still enjoy that purchase, but at a lower cost.
For example, if there’s a certain toiletry product that is frequently bought but is more on the expensive side, there may be a cheaper alternative on the market. If the cinema or dining out is something your loved one enjoys, suggest cutting back on trips and making the event more infrequent but a special treat – or better yet look into the local library as they may have a service where DVDs can be taken out as well as books, and accompany the film with a fancy meal from the supermarket, rather than one from an expensive restaurant!
Take Advantage of Benefits
There are lots of helpful benefits which apply in later life, and most of them could be saving your loved one money! From utility bills to travel, there might be something that you’re missing out on so make sure you do your research. Places like Which have helpful articles that cover a lot of the benefits that apply to older people. Here are a few examples of things where senior discounts and allowances apply:
- Council tax reduction.
- Free bus pass.
- Discounted cinema tickets.
- Free eye tests and prescriptions.
- Free TV license.
- Attendance allowances.
Pay with Cash
This may seem silly, but using cash instead of a credit or debit card could save money. Nowadays, it’s so easy to spend money with options such as contactless payments and one-click purchasing. At times it can be difficult to conceive how much money is being spent when it’s numbers leaving a bank account; however, when it’s real-life cash it’s far easier to see how much money is slowly disappearing in front of your eyes.
Try asking your loved one how much money they’d like to spend for that week or month and get the cash out so that’s all they have to spend, it may make them think twice when handing over the money and consider their purchases more carefully!
If you’re loved one is very serious about saving money and reducing bills, downsizing could be a good option. With a smaller property comes smaller bills, reduced council tax, energy and water usage and more money to spare. There are things to consider before taking the leap and moving house, especially in later life when being settled is important:
- Stress – Moving house is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. Will the amount of money saved be worth the stress of selling and buying a new property?
- Space – If your loved one downsizes, will they have enough room for their things? It might be time to consider going through belongings and selling any unwanted items.
- Time – Moving takes time, there’s no guarantee that a property will sell quickly and buying a property (especially with a chain) is notoriously lengthy and time consuming.
Invest in a Careline Alarm
Home care can be expensive so save money by investing in the Careline Personal Alarm service. The alarm allows for your elderly parents or loved one to live happily at home for as long as possible, without having to think about the cost of a carer or moving into a care home.
If you would like more information about the alarm, you can find out more on our website, take a look at our price packages or get in touch with our Customer Service team. You can contact the Customer Service team by giving them a call on 0800 101 3333, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out our online Contact Us form.