Pensioner Debt and Money Help
With the rising cost of living in Australia and around the globe, pensioners are really starting to feel the pinch. In a time when seniors should be enjoying their golden years, they are finding themselves going back to work and having to stress about finances. With increases to bills and medical costs and minimal government payouts, it’s a wonder how Australian seniors can survive.
Even though times are tough, there are things that can be done to try and ease the financial burden and improve living conditions. When living off of a tight budget, the key is to stay organised and be diligent with your spending. Never accept a first offer on anything, always shop around, negotiate and ask for senior discounts.
Below is a list of tips that are not only great for pensioners but anyone who needs help with debt or money issues. If you really want to make a change to your financial situation, you have to take the steps necessary to make it happen. Regardless of how simple or difficult suggestions are, if you do nothing, nothing will change. Receiving a little bit of savings from multiple areas will provide a great impact to your overall finances.
Utilities – Make sure you are on the best deal available based on your consumption and always ask for senior discounts. *don’t let slick sales people pressure you into signing up for something you are not comfortable with and try and stay away from long contracts.
Payment Frequency – Making weekly small payments across all bills will eliminate large monthly, quarterly or annual bills. However, do look for prepayment or annual payment terms that offer discounts.
Seasonal Discounts – What day of the week is petrol the cheapest in your area? Only purchase clothing and consumer goods when on sale and more specifically; end of year and end of financial year sales. Purchase bread and other cooked goods towards closing hours…shops generally provide discounts or will throw in extra.
Change Your Purchasing Style – Buy in bulk for most items, especially meats, pantry items and personal items like toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, etc… Really utilise coupons and start buying from discount shops or ordering items online. Make the switch from branded items to store brand items. Never pass up a GREAT deal; if you have heaps of toilet paper at home but you see a great sale or deal, buy it and let it sit…it’s not going to go off.
Government Benefits – Make sure you make regular visits to your different government departments to see what changes or new senior related initiatives have been made.
Visit official government websites to learn about concessions – http://australia.gov.au/life-events/enjoying-later-life
Part time work – Look at taking on a part-time position doing something that you like, perhaps turning a hobby into a job. Local clubs and community centres are great places to not only enjoy socially, but possibly earn a bit of cash.
Dealing with Debt – Debt is a fact of life that most people live with. Here are some ideas on how to best handle debt. Sell off items that you no longer use or need and use the proceeds to pay down debt. Try to always pay more than just the minimum repayment amount. Take out a consolidation loan if you qualify or use a credit card balance transfer to a lower interest rate. Also look at debt agreements or bankruptcy as viable solutions.
If you are a pensioner on Centrelink, there are specific personal loans for people on Centrelink, that are provided by different non-profit or community based initiatives.
The above were just some helpful tips; please share other great tips in the comments section, the more the better. Great ideas are useless if not shared. Always remember to ask lots of questions and never let a sales person bully you into doing something you are not comfortable in. As a paying customer for a product or service, you call the shots so make sure you are happy with what you are buying.