Wednesday, June 19, 2024

I’m a Shopping Expert: 7 Bad Habits That Are Costing Retirees $600 Every Month

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Retiring doesn’t mean your spending habits have to, too. In fact, many retirees find themselves burning through cash thanks to mindless money traps they can’t seem to shake. We’re talking tiny leaks that add up to a mind-boggling $600 down the drain every month.

GOBankingRates tapped shopping experts to spill the details on the bad habits retirees just can’t quit — and how much they’re really costing. Here are the seven bad habits that are costing retirees $600 every month.

Not Taking Advantage of Senior Discounts

Let’s start with the biggest money loser: failing to ask about senior discounts.

Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, a shopping expert at DiscountReactor, said, “The most common bad habit for retirees is not using the discounts and benefits of companies and brands that offer discounts to seniors. Few retirees think to ask for such discounts — or feel awkward doing so — yet they can save hundreds of dollars on groceries, meals [and] travel.”

Eating Out Too Much

Speaking of watching your cash dwindle, Priobrazhenskyi said far too many retirees are still spending like they’re bringing home full-time paychecks. Their biggest budget busters?

“Most notably, eating out all the time,” Priobrazhenskyi said, “something that is often intractable and winds up costing them hundreds of dollars a month out of their fixed budgets.”

Being a Subscription Hoarder  

Here’s another trap retirement savers stumble into: paying for memberships and subscriptions they never use.

According to Priobrazhenskyi, “Lots of retired people keep those unused memberships and subscriptions — the gym, the magazine that you no longer read monthly — even if they have stopped using them all the time. Each of these repeat charges can be small on its own, but they can quickly add up to a large amount each month.”

Developing an Addiction to Resale Apps

If you’ve got the shopping itch, be careful: Resale apps can become an expensive habit fast.

“I have seen a growing number of retirees spending a significant amount of money on reselling Apps like Facebook Market Place and PoshMark,” said Bethany Skorik, a lifestyle consultant who works with retirees. “It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of bidding on items without having to leave your home.”

Impulse Shopping 

Skorik sees plenty of retirees wasting cash on fast fashion impulse buys, too. Her tips?

“I recommend to my clients to define their personal style — including wardrobe, home and garden — and refer to that before purchasing anything via apps. This practice empowers them to refine their unique aesthetic, while also taking a moment to step back from the draw to addictive shopping.”

She also advised: “Invest in having your colors mapped by a professional [and] commit to building a capsule wardrobe. Make a list of high-quality items you’re willing to invest in. Do not buy fast fashion or trinkets via apps. Create a rule that for everything that comes in, something must go out. Schedule a quarterly shopping day and go out in person!”  

Missing Out on Better Insurance Rates

This next trap applies to all ages, but retirees may be most vulnerable: Priobrazhenskyi said too many seniors pay way too much for insurance, cable and other utilities because they don’t shop around for better rates.

“The fact that they are not assessing better deals for insurances or utilities may lead to them paying over the odds for services that could be a lot cheaper elsewhere,” he said.

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