How to live well on a modest pension

The transition from living off a good working salary to a more modest retired pension takes some adjustment. Newly retired individuals tend to adopt one of two spending habits; either militant saving or reckless overspending. 

When it comes to retiring, the lifestyle shift alone can feel like a total shock to the system. The anticipation of your new-found freedom from a 9-5 should bring excitement. Your colleagues will be universally jealous and your full time working friends express envy.

To ensure this slower-paced phase of your life is fun-filled, responsible budgeting is essential. However, cost-cutting need not feel limiting. In truth, adopting simple habits and investing a little time in researching where you spend your money can save you a significant amount of money.

Many people find that once they retire, the amount of free time they have on their hands is overwhelming. This can result in increased spending on the coffees, lunches and dinners associated with socialising. 

Volunteering your time charitably to others less fortunate than yourself is a fulfilling way of keeping busy and remaining social. Volunteering opportunities include knitting clothes for your local hospitals baby unit, driving those in ill health to their hospital appointments and helping out at your local soup kitchen.

Using price-comparison sites can help you live within your means during retirement can be useful, but be careful; Shopping online can encourage addiction and impulsive behaviour,  leading to spending beyond your means. That ‘instant purchase’ moment releases a dopamine hit which is exhilarating but short-lasting. Just because you don’t enter a pin number or see physical cash does not mean your bank balance won’t suffer!

Price comparison sites and apps including Martin Lewis, Compare the Market, Camelcamelcamel, Pricegrabber, Google shopping and Bizrate will encourage you to be more prudent with your spending and remain within your budget. If you’re a keen traveller, Jacks Flight club is your essential go-to website for low-cost adventures. Visit now and check off your bucket list destinations.

Get into good habits when it comes to accessing your savings and systematic withdrawals can be a safe way of accessing your money, similarly to a monthly paycheck. Instead of providing limitless access to your funds, a direct debit from your bank account can be an excellent tool for introducing structure to spending; Why not speak with your bank about setting up one today?

A recent article in The Guardian reported that £140 million worth of perfectly functional clothing is sent to landfill every year. Even if you’re not a fan of second-hand clothing, a significant amount of garments stocked in charity shops are brand new and some still have tags attached. Visit affluent suburbs to get first dibs on other peoples expensive cast offs, the likes of which you may never be able to afford on your lower retirement income.

Protecting the planet and your salary all at once, thrifting is a very positive habit to adopt. Similarly, selling at car-boot sales or using apps such as Depop and Schpock are a quick and easy way to earn quick cash, freeing up wardrobe space.

You have worked hard all your life; less money need not equate to a lower quality of life. Increase your social and environmental consciousness while watching your bank balance flourish!

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