Overcoming an income gap

Even in retirement, it’s not unusual to find that outgo exceeds income. If you find yourself in such a spot, there are options for overcoming the gap between income and expenses.

  1. Reduce expenses. The first place to look in reducing the gap is to consider expenses. What expenses can your reduce each month? What can you cut out altogether? Are there any expenses you can delay for a period of time? Can you forego eating out or other entertainment until the gap is closed?
  2. Learn to stretch your dollars. Coupon clipping isn’t just for the uber-frugal any more! You can save significant dollars by using coupons at the supermarket and restaurants. In addition, learn to shop at discount stores, barter with friends, inquire about “senior discounts,” and reduce utility usage at home. All of these will reduce your expenses and stretch your income.
  3. Consider part-time employment. There are a number of employers who welcome seniors as applicants, and there is a growing need for workers in the marketplace. Temporary or short-term positions may create just enough income for you to close the gap with expenses. A short-term position may help you pay down your debt to free up monthly cash flow.
  4. Turn a hobby into income. Do you have a hobby or avocation that might bring income? Do you sew, enjoy pets or children, or have a knack with repairing things. Ask around – your friends may be happy to know about your talents and willing to pay a trusted colleague for assistance.