I admit it, I’m frugal, but I live life the way I want and enjoy every minute.
Here are a few of my suggestions for the 50+ generations who want to live a minimalist lifestyle.
Many people live in larger more expensive homes that they don’t really need – even after their children have left the nest. My thoughts are, live in smaller, more modest house and you will save the large energy bills, maintenance and time it takes to care for a big home. Many economists say that home ownership is not really an investment. With closing costs, mortgage interest payments, and higher property taxes, renting is often seen as a better alternative. You are more likely to set more money aside for retirement extras. Apartment or townhouse living can offer another advantage – no yard chores!
Ditch the car… if you can. Car payments, repair bills, insurance, and fuel costs will be a thing of the past. This can add up to several thousand dollars a year in savings. I walk 1 to 2 miles almost every day and ride DART. There is a bus stop right in front of the complex, just about 30 feet from my front door. Senior Citizens (65 +) can get a local monthly DART pass with a DART Senior ID card or Medicare card.
- Supplemental Income
Supplementing your income when you are near or at retirement is all about what you want to do to fulfill yourself. Working at a part time job will give you added income, enhance your social security and will reduce or almost eliminate a drain on savings. Many restaurants and grocery and retail stores are hiring older people for their experience and work ethic. You could also do short term work through a temp agency.
- Other Tips to Consider
When you downsize to a smaller home or small apartment electric and water bills will be much lower. Apartments are often centered around mass transit routes, offering great convenience to major shopping centers, restaurants, art museum and cultural venues. Get a simple cellphone and buy a card to add minutes. I personally do not own a computer at home. I get the internet for free at the public library just a few blocks from my apartment. This tip may not be for everyone but it saves me a good amount of money.
- Although Frugal…
I have a rich life. I am just blocks’ away from my church and major stores. I ride the DART train to downtown Dallas to art museums, the symphony hall, and parks as well as two major book stores and a branch of the Dallas Public Library.
My feeling is why spend more money if you don’t need to. I do not feel deprived or poverty-stricken. I have a fulfilling life on a shoestring budget.
Being a “minimalist” has helped me have a better life. Doing without material luxuries and status symbols to impress others is a smart strategy for me to have room for true meaning in life.