How to budget on a pension

When it comes to retirement, we all want to take advantage of our new-found free time. While the lure of fancy holidays and splashing out on the family may be tempting, it’s a good idea to take care of finances and make every bit of your money stretch out. Luckily for pensioners, there are many extra discounts and offers to take advantage of, and with just a little thought towards saving, you’ll be able to live life without worrying about money in the years ahead.

There are many extra discounts and offers to take advantage of

Be proud of your pensioner status

Becoming a pensioner certainly has its perks and while you may cringe at the ‘OAP’ label, it pays to embrace it. You’ll find a wealth of shops, eateries and leisure venues that offer discounts to seniors so don’t be afraid to speak up. When it comes to getting around, you may know all about free bus travel, but did you also know you’re entitled to cheaper rail tickets? Buying a Senior Rail Card for £30 will save you a third on fares, making visits further afield easier on your wallet.

Make your time count

Gone are the days of planning around a busy work schedule. Now you can be pickier about when you choose to go out and where, to take advantage of cheaper deals. Jetting off abroad out of season and during school term time means you’ll be able to beat the crowds as well as saving plenty of money. Many cafés and cinemas slash their prices on weekday mornings to entice customers – an offer worth waking up early for!

Know your entitlements

Some discounts come automatically to you once you reach a certain age, others can sneak past unnoticed. For instance, you’re entitled to a free TV licence once you reach 75 but you need to apply for it via the website here or by giving them a call on 0300 790 6144. Take a look at your bills and contact your suppliers to see if you could be entitled to a better deal.

  • Find out more about benefits and financial help here.
  • Find a cheaper gas and electricity deal here.

Show grandchildren some good old-fashioned fun!

More than ever, grandparents are taking a big role in caring for their grandchildren and the search to keep them entertained can get expensive. Rather than shelling out on a big day, head off to the countryside with a picnic and show them how you used to spend your days when you were their age. A walk through fields or a visit to a duck pond are cost effective ways to show little ones a good time and if the weather doesn’t permit a trip outside, visit a local museum. Many only ask for a donation instead of a ticket and with ever-changing exhibitions and hands-on displays, there’ll be plenty to keep children of all ages entertained.

Get tech savvy

If you have access to the internet, try searching for discounts before you book or buy anything online. Many tickets for days out are cheaper when purchased online and your searching might bring back discount codes and offers you can use to reduce costs further.

  • Read our 10 tips to help you save as you near retirement here. Plus find out about the new state pension top up here.

Thanks to Jane Clack, from free debt solutions provider PayPlan for sharing these tips. For further advice on debt, speak to one of PayPlan’s debt advisers on 0207 760 8976 or click here.