Most caregivers are in their role for 5 – 10 years. On their caregiving journey, they can spend thousands of dollars on non-medical supplies for their loved one. Over time, that can really do damage to a person’s savings account. Once you also factor in lost wages due to caregiving, it isn’t a huge surprise that one of the major stressors for caregivers is the financial impact of caregiving. Easy Ways for Caregivers to Cut Costs
If you and your aging parents are on fixed incomes, it can be hard to make ends meet. In fact, even if you’re not on a fixed income, the long-term costs of caregiving can put a strain on most budgets. Since most of the caregiving and healthcare costs are necessary, it’s hard to cut those costs so you need to get creative about saving money. Easy Ways for Caregivers to Cut Costs
Easy Money-Saving Strategies for Caregivers
Save money on utilities: Did you know many utility companies offer discounted rates for low income seniors? Even if you don’t qualify, maybe your aging parent will qualify, which can free up money for other necessities.
Check for new deals: If you have had your car insurance, cable contract and cell phone contract for a long time, chances are, they may have special offers that you’re missing out on. Call and ask if they have deals running. You can also suggest that you will quit their service if you aren’t offered their new customer deal. My dad does this every so often and always gets a lower rate and even a few freebies thrown in.
Change you cell plan: If you have a robust cell phone plan but rarely use your phone, consider a pay-as-you-go plan. On the other hand, if you are frequently paying overage charges because you go over your data limits, consider upgrading to a better plan to save money on overage fees.
Look for deals on things you already buy: If you have items that you regularly purchase, find out where it is sold at the lowest cost. For example, if you purchase contact lens solution or specific vitamins monthly, look into Amazon Prime Subscribe and Save. You can save up to 20% on regularly used items. If you don’t like shopping on line, check out a big box store like Costco – just make sure you are actually saving by shopping the big box store. . For example, I purchase many of my caregiving items here on Senior.com for big savings and convenient FREE SHIPPING.
Save money on groceries: Shop in season produce, go meatless one day per week, shop the circulars and use store discount cards to save money on groceries.
Save money on prescriptions: Consider switching pharmacies or using mail order prescription delivery if your insurance offers that service. Many times, mail order is significantly cheaper than chain pharmacies. Some pharmacies also have better deals on medication so your co-pay could be less. You could also ask your physician if your medication can be safely split. If it can, you can request they write you a prescription for a larger dose that you split at home, which can make your medication last longer. Of course, only do this if your physician is on board. You can also consider generic medication, if it is available and works for you.
Request the senior discount frequently: Did you know some grocery stores offer a senior discount one day per week? The next time you grocery shop, ask the teller. Additionally, clothing stores, movie theaters, restaurants and hair salons may also offer senior discounts. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. The money you save can go toward other necessities.
Create a budget and take a close look at your expenses: Are you just spending freely without tracking your expenses? Take a few hours to sit down and figure out your expenses and income to make sure you are spending money responsibly. If you find that you are frequently short on cash, are there items you can cut out? If you can’t lower your cable bill any more, decide if it is really necessary. A Netflix subscription is only $7.99 per month. Can you swap cable for Netflix? Many networks even have their shows available to watch on their website. Is that an option for you? Cutting costs now can help you feel more comfortable financially in the future.
Caregiving can be expensive. Between paying for parking, medications and treatments not covered by insurance, the expenses add up quickly. If you’re struggling with covering costs, these tips can save you money on some of your basic necessities so that you can make ends meet, at minimum, or save money for your own future. Easy Ways for Caregivers to Cut Costs
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about the author
Kathy Macaraeg has worked closely with seniors and their families for the past seven years and counts many 80+ year old women as he closest friends. She created http://www.caregivingmadeeasy.com as a way to share the knowledge she gained from her clients and their families with those struggling with caregiving challenges. Kathy lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
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