7 Frugal Habits You Need After 65, Finance Experts Say (2024)

When you're over the age of 65, it's more important than ever to make smart money decisions. This may mean managing investments, delaying social security benefits for a bigger payout, or continuing to earn some form of income into your senior years. In fact, financial experts say that a handful of lifestyle changes will help you stretch your budget, increase your financial freedom, and reach whatever goals you might have for this next chapter of life. Ready to start saving? These are the seven frugal habits to begin now if you're over 65.

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Live in a right-sized home.

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As you enter your senior years, it's important to lay a financial foundation that will set you up for success. Erika Kullberg, an attorney and personal finance expert, says that living in a right-sized home can help you lower one of your biggest overhead expenses—your rent or monthly mortgage—which can help free up money for everything else.

"One of the most important changes seniors can make is downsizing their living expenses, such as housing costs and utilities. This can play a major part in making your retirement more comfortable and stress-free," Kullberg tells Best Life.

She adds that seniors should "strongly consider" either moving to a smaller home or a more affordable neighborhood to lower their monthly expenses.

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One of the best ways to save money in your senior years is to make a financial plan and stick to it, says Jordan Mangaliman, CEO of GoldLine Financial Services in Fullerton, California.

"Seniors should maintain a detailed budget to track expenses and income," says Mangaliman. "This habit helps them understand where their money is going and enables adjustments to ensure they can cover essential needs without overspending."

If you're not sure where to begin, setting a one-time appointment with a financial planner may help you re-orient yourself to this next financial chapter.

RELATED:24 Smart Shopping Habits That Will Save You Loads of Money in the Long Run.


Regularly review your spending habits.

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Once you've set a budget, you can ensure you're sticking to it by regularly reviewing your spending patterns. In fact, the experts say this is one of the most important frugal habits you can adopt after the age of 65.

"Reducing spending on unnecessary items can help seniors stretch their retirement savings," says Kullberg. "They should very clearly prioritize needs over wants, constantly be on the search for discounts and deals, and continually foster a mindset of conscious spending."

Mangaliman agrees that it's important to take regular inventory of your finances and to cut out any monthly expenses on things you're not using. "This habit ensures they are not paying for services or subscriptions they no longer need, helping to free up more money for savings or other priorities," he says.


Curb—or budget for—impulsive spending.

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After reviewing your finances, you may notice that you spend a good deal of your money impulsively. Mangaliman says that past the age of 65, it's especially important to rein this type of spending in.

"Seniors should practice restraint when it comes to impulse purchases," he tells Best Life. "Waiting before making a buying decision allows them to consider if the purchase is truly necessary or if there are more cost-effective alternatives available."

RELATED:5 Things You Didn't Know You Can Get for Free with Your AARP Membership.


Try meal planning and prepping.

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According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (via Retire Guide), American seniors spend an average of 25 percent of their monthly budget on food. That's why Kullberg recommends meal planning, which can help bring down spending at the grocery store.

By planning your meals ahead of time, you'll be able to reduce food waste that throws away your hard-earned money, spend according to your budget, and curb your take-out habit—all while eating healthier.


Look for deals on healthcare expenses.

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"Healthcare expenses can quickly eat into retirement savings as you age," says Kullberg.

The finance expert recommends reviewing Medicare coverage options, utilizing preventive care services, comparing prescription drug prices, and looking into supplemental health insurance plans to help control out-of-pocket costs. "Having an HSA from your working days would certainly help here as well," she notes.

RELATED: 6 Ways to Earn Passive Income During Retirement, Finance Experts Say.


Utilize senior discounts and benefits.

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Finally, if you're not taking advantage of senior discounts, you're leaving money on the table. The experts say that by looking for these types of offerings, you can be frugal with your money and still maximize fun.

"Many businesses offer discounts and benefits specifically for seniors," notes Mangaliman. "Establishing a habit of seeking out these discounts can help seniors save money on various expenses such as groceries, travel, and entertainment."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date financial information from top experts and the latest news and research, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the money you're spending, saving, or investing, always consult your financial advisor directly.

7 Frugal Habits You Need After 65, Finance Experts Say (2024)
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