When you hear the words “fixed income”, you might picture retirees who subsist on oatmeal, keep the thermostat set at 60 in the winter, and entertain themselves with crossword puzzles from recycled newspapers. That's a bit melodramatic, but you get the point. You, and countless others planning for retirement, worry that a fixed income will translate into a meager lifestyle.
Luckily, in most cases, a fixed income just means you need to live on a budget. But that doesn't mean you can never treat yourself to something nice! Check out these five ways to enjoy a little luxury, even when you're trying to live frugally.
Do your research. Before buying a big-ticket item, research prices online to find the retailer offering the best deal. Look for coupon codes before checking out. Some consumers have discovered that putting items in their shopping cart, then failing to check out, will result in an email and coupon code from the retailer who hopes to nudge them into completing the purchase.
Buy at the right time. While you're doing all that research, learn the right times to purchase your favorite luxury items. Your local grocery store might offer deep discounts on steak early each Tuesday morning. Buying a car toward the end of the year will often save you thousands off the sticker price. Learn how seasonal sales work, and stock up on your favorite champagne or designer clothing then.
Don't forget your credit card rewards. Credit card users average about 25 dollars per month in rewards, but many of us forget to use our accumulated points! Log into your credit card account online, and check the rewards area (if you have this type of card). You might be able to redeem points for cash back, gift cards, or other promotional offers.
Treat yourself to small items. Often we crave the feeling of doing something nice for ourselves, more so than the item we think we want. Treating yourself doesn't always have to mean a fancy vacation or a new flat-screen TV. Sometimes a bar of handmade soap, a bag of gourmet coffee, or any other upgrade to an everyday item will do the trick.
Purchase experiences, not things. Most of us are happier when we create new experiences, than we are when we purchase more “stuff”. Check out nearby art museums, have lunch at a French cafe, go see a foreign film with your partner, or sign up for a class to learn a new skill. New experiences, even frugal ones, are often more rewarding than material items.
15048 - 2015/11/16
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