Saving Tips for Seniors

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There is a lot of pressure on our finances now, with the removal of the fuel subsidy, the ongoing attempt to float the exchange rate and the anticipated 40% increase of the electricity tariff. The 150% increase in the price of petrol is already impacting other prices of goods and services such as transportation and food.  There is no doubt that we will be witnessing inflation in the 30-50% range without the intervention of the government.  

The purchasing power of the Naira has been diminished largely due to the inevitable shift in policy by the new government. While the government is figuring out ways to cushion the effects, there are tips that can be taken individually to help stretch the fixed income that most seniors are faced with.

1. Create a Budget: Make a list of all expenses and allocate a specific amount for each category then start to track the expenses. Keep a record of income and expenses. This will help identify areas that can be improved on. Main line items in the budget should be Income (salary, Pension, business income, Monetary gifts, etc.) and Expenses (Food, Rent, Children/grandchildren upkeep, home maintenance, tenement rate/taxes, staff, medical, entertainment, transportation, clothing, donations etc.)

2. Cut Unnecessary Expenses: Look for expenses you can eliminate or reduce.  For instance, our entertainment culture and the obligations that sometimes hold us bound should be reassessed and streamlined to imbibe the realities of now. Asoebi, owambe and associated travel costs should be seriously scrutinized. Frivolous spending should no longer be entertained. Generosity comes at a cost, give wisely.

3. Transportation Cost: This can also be a huge chunk of our spending, therefore public transportation, carpooling, identifying service providers in the neighborhood that is within walking distance, and a thorough evaluation of every outing can help reduce costs.

4.  Save on Energy: Use energy-efficient appliances and turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them. It’s also advisable to change to prepaid meter as this will guide usage and lock in the rate per kilowatt (KWh) for as long as the purchase lasts.

5. Use Discounts: Always look for discounts wherever possible. Join associations like NARP50plus that have pre-negotiated discounts and benefits with numerous service providers. These discounts add up and are a great source of savings.

6. Stay Safe: Above all stay healthy and active. Exercise, eat healthy and socialize within the neighbourhood.

It is important to make every Naira count and to stretch it as far as possible. Now is the time to be frugal, especially when on a fixed income. By being deliberate with spending, one can still live an enjoyable life.

NARP50PLUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age.

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