Stretching Your Dollar Further

Whether you’re planning to wind down work commitments or have recently finished work, adjusting to life on a reduced budget can be daunting. On the other hand, this next stage of life should be a time for new experiences and opportunities – not for scrimping and worrying about debt.

Fortunately, there are plenty of financial and lifestyle adjustments that can make a big impact on your savings in the long run and that require little more than perseverance and some planning.

Discounts
Each Australian state and territory has its own Seniors Card program providing government concessions and business discounts for a range of goods and services. In addition, the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides seniors with access to cheaper prescriptions and medical services. Be aware of what
discounts are available to you – you could be saving hundreds of dollars on your everyday expenses.

Don’t forget when you purchase a home in Active Lifestyle Estates you automatically receive our Ingenia Gold Card which entitles you to a 25 % discount on your holidays at Active Holiday Parks.

Aside from discounts, find out whether your local shopping centre, library or community centre holds free activities or classes. You may be able to learn a new skill or pursue a new hobby at no cost, and it’s also a great way to entertain visiting grandkids.

Transport
Now you’re no longer working, consider whether your car is a luxury or necessity. Registration, insurance, mechanical services and petrol quickly adds up, and with your Seniors Card it’s likely you’re eligible for discounts on public transportation. If you’re within walking or cycling distance to local shops, you’ll save even more money and stay active at the same time! If you’re not quite ready to part with your car, make sure you take advantage of any discounts your Seniors Card may provide you on registration or insurance.

Most of the Active Lifestyle Estates are located close to public transport, with trains and bus stops just a short walk or drive away. Household and living expenses
Rethinking your household and living expenses, such as electricity, phone and insurance is more than worth your time and effort. Even if you’re not eligible for a seniors’ discount, shopping around for a better deal on household expenses could free up hundreds of dollars each year. An easy mistake to make is staying with the same insurer because you’ve been with them for years – if anything, this should be even more reason for them to offer you a discount.

If you’ve downsized from a large family home, in most circumstances you should start to see a decrease in your electricity and water usage and leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

Shopping and Meals
Research by the Association of Super Funds of Australia found that food was one of the largest expenses incurred by retirees, so get creative about how to minimise food costs. Buying food in bulk is always more economical, so consider getting a group of friends together and splitting the shopping costs or starting a weekly meal-making club – each of you prepare one or two large batches of freezable meals, portion up amongst the group and eat throughout the week.

Sharing skills
It’s likely you and your neighbours have a lifetime of skills honed from years of study and work so before you throw out a ripped shirt or pay to fix a broken table, ask around. Post a sign on a community board asking people to list the talents/skills they’d be willing to offer for a contra swap with others – you’ll soon have
a marketplace of skills to pick from and your neighbours will also benefit from your existing know-how, without having to spend a cent.