Sometimes retiring or getting older also means having a tighter budget. When you aren’t working anymore, there’s no prospect of getting a raise. Whatever your budget is from social security or savings, it likely won’t change any time soon. And even if that number is small, one good thing about it is that it will be mostly consistent. That allows you to make a budget with more certainty. Keeping your finances in order will be the key to feeling less stressed about money.
Recording and Budgeting Expenses
Whether you prefer using pencil and paper or you like to keep track of things online, the first step to managing your finances is to record and budget for your expenses. You will quickly see where you may be overspending, and you will hesitate to make impulse purchases, knowing you have to keep track of every penny.
If you don’t already have a budget in place, the first step is to record your essential expenses. Make note of any recurring payments, like your electric bill, and keep in mind that may fluctuate during the year.
After you have a good idea of what your base level of spending is for housing, food, and utilities, see how much money you have left out of your monthly income. Try to save a percentage, then budget the rest into categories like entertainment, clothing, travel, etc. Even if you don’t buy clothes every month, if you put $20 in your clothing budget (and don’t spend it on eating out!) in several months, when you need new shoes, you will be able to buy them without having to sacrifice from an essential area.
Protect Yourself from Fraud
Some banks are more “senior friendly” than others. Find a bank that will be supportive of any needs you may have as you maintain your account. Support can be shown in a variety of ways, including providing large print copies of materials, hiring employees that talk in a clear, non-condescending manner, and providing extra fraud protections.
Although no one wants to think about themselves cognitively declining, you should still prepare for the possibility. One way to do this is through fraud protections that involve sending family members alerts if large withdrawals are made from your account, or locking your debit card to a specific geographical area.
Low Vision and Money Management
Another barrier to money management can be low vision. That’s why ILA provides products that help count and track your money.
Convenient, accurate and compact, the new iBill Talking Banknote Identifier enhances independence and confidence with ease of use. The new iBill offers accurate and immediate identification of paper money while being compact enough to go anywhere. Increased volume makes it easier to use in noisy places as well as for users with hearing difficulties. The earphone jack provides an alternative to the vibration mode as well as providing additional privacy. A redesigned slot makes it even easier to insert the bill, and the recessed buttons prevent inadvertent activation when the unit is in a purse or pocket!
This sturdy plastic envelope contains all the products you need to help you independently manage your finances. The kit includes plastic signature, check, and letter writing guides,
portable and desk-sized large print check and deposit registers, the CAN-DO Low Vision Pen, a low vision calculator, and an Expense Management Log.
This heavy-duty plastic guide has cutout fields to assist in writing the necessary information on a standard 2 3/4″ x 6-inch check.
For even more tools that can help with money management, check out our Writing Guides & Money category on the ILA website.