It’s interesting that many Baby Boomers have adopted a frugal lifestyle given that they grew up in an era of prosperity and affluence. It’s always wise to maintain an element of frugality, but it’s also important to find ways to enjoy your life, especially if you have the resources to make it happen. If you’re looking for a healthy balance, there are many ways to have a good time, while still considering your long-term financial future.
Here are some can’t-go-wrong tips for enjoying your life on budget.
First Things First
One of the best courses of action when trying to enjoy life on a budget is assessing your finances both now and for the future. Take a hard look at what you have set aside and how you’re living. Can you downsize any of your bills? Maybe it’s time to cut off cable and switch to streaming. Do you have any outstanding debt? See what you can pay off quickly or try to consolidate debt. Do you need to keep that life insurance policy? Some policies may no longer be necessary based on your age and long-term health outlook. In some cases, people opt for a life settlement and sell their life insurance policy to boost their cash flow or to add to their retirement. Taking a hard look at your finances sets you up to avoid surprises and know what you can realistically do now and down the road.
Read for Free
Sometimes, it seems like the advent of social media and video game technology has pushed reading for pleasure to the brink of extinction. Baby Boomers have, perhaps, a closer relationship with books than younger generations and can appreciate a bargain. That makes the public library a great source of entertainment (and enlightenment) for you. If you’re not into checking out books or hate renewing your lending card, you can always chill out in a comfortable chair and read to your heart’s content. Many libraries these days allow you to check out DVDs, enroll kids in reading clubs, and enjoy story days. It’s also a great way to find books you like enough to purchase at your local discount bookstore.
Find Affordable Fun
If you’re not into reading, you can still broaden your mind and have a good time without wearing out your credit card. Most urban centers have a museum or zoo, which will offer admission at reduced prices for seniors (growing old isn’t so bad when it saves you money). Museums are educational resources that can appeal to your creativity and aesthetic sensibilities with fascinating exhibits. What’s better than enjoying a beautiful sunny day while viewing exotic animals from all over the world? Take the grandkids along and make a day of it. You can also consider taking advantage of a membership, which will save you money every time you visit.
Take a Drive, Not a Cruise
Road trips are terrific ways to sightsee without spending top dollar for a cruise or airfare. You actually get to see things and experience the country first-hand rather than bypassing cities and the attractions that make them interesting. It’s also a good way to spend some time bonding with whomever is traveling alongside you. Getting a AAA membership can make it even more cost-efficient to travel this way.
Hit the Garage Sales
Garage and yard sales are a lot of fun because you never know what you might find. And there’s no better way to find bargains. Think of it as a way to do some early Christmas shopping. If you hate paying mall prices, try out some consignment/thrift store shopping, another source of great bargains for men and women. It’s possible to find an elegant dinner outfit for less than $50 if you know where to go and keep a sharp eye out.
Have a Board Game Night
Everyone loves a good board game. They’re a good excuse for unplugging the television, turning off your handheld mobile device and spending some fun quality time with loved ones. Try setting aside one night a week for some board game fun, rotating games each time so that everyone gets to enjoy playing their favorite game.
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to stay home to live frugally. There are countless ways to enjoy yourself without overspending, dipping into your kids’ inheritance, or neglecting your long-term financial future. Think of it as living large within your means.
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