The Daily Mail reported that the flat-rate state pension introduced last year is worryingly low – at just £159.99 per week – and that’s if you’ve managed to work at least 35 years of full national insurance contributions.
“A Freedom of Information request found that only 41 per cent of the 153,990 who claimed a state pension for the first time, got this amount,” reports the Daily Mail. With this figure in mind, it’s tricky to imagine being able to live purely off a state pension but this is the case for many. Here are a few tips detailing how you can make the most of your state pension money.
Could you downsize?
The amount you are left with each week doesn’t really leave room to pay a mortgage if you still have one, let alone expensive heating bills in a large home. Consider your happiness, rather than being sentimental and if you can, downsize to a home that you can afford the payments on.
You could be in the position to agree to a Lifetime mortgage arrangement, visit your mortgage provider and discuss your options. However, if you have paid off your mortgage on your home, a better option in order to live comfortably for the rest of your life could be to release some equity. This allows you to enjoy some spare spending money to enjoy your retirement and ensure the bills are paid.
Cut your spending
It’s an obvious one, but are you doing all you can to keep your expenditure at a minimum? Food is expensive these days, but when you compare something like chicken breasts to a whole chicken, it makes sense to create three meals out of the latter. Swapping to cheaper supermarkets – such as Lidl, Aldi or Asda – is another way of cutting costs.
Make shopping trips fun and looks for bargains, and keep your food waste to an absolute minimum. By browsing around you can find many websites with good advices on how to reduce cost like this blog where you will find meal plans and shopping lists to help you eat for a week on as little as £40. If you are living on a state pension, cutting any unnecessary spending can help the amount you receive go much further.
Cut any bad habits
Gambling and smoking have no place in your new budget lifestyle, plus, they’re simply not very good for you. However, if you love going dancing, or to the theatre, make sure you find a way to keep these things in your life!
Happiness is still key and with amazing deals on cinema tickets, cheap standing tickets at the theatre and even free dance classes you can still enjoy these things on a budget. Check out a site such as Groupon, where you can find coupons and deals that can help you continue enjoying fun things while keeping costs low.
Look after your health
Even though we’re very lucky in this country to have the NHS, care is really expensive long term. You can prevent things running downhill by keeping yourself fit, and as a wise person once said, you have two doctors; your left leg and your right leg so what are you waiting for? Go exploring!
If you are receiving only a state pension, it is possible to make it work for you. Take on some of these tips that can help you lead a happier, healthier life with a little more change in your pocket.