• Resolutions on a Budget

  • by Lauren Russell

Many of us are hopeful that the new year will bring healthier eating habits, more time at the gym, and more travel abroad. But, by the time the confetti clears, some of us have already broken our New Years resolution. It can be hard to stick to a promise – especially if it may cost some money to do so. Luckily, there are a few tricks to keep some of the most popular resolutions for the new year, while staying financially smart.

Resolution #1: Eat Healthier – Raw fruits and veggies are not only healthier than canned (way less sodium and preservatives); they are also cheaper. This change may require more trips to the grocery store since these fruits and veggies go bad faster. If you only want to shop only a few times each month, opt for frozen fruits and veggies.

When it comes to protein, don’t just rely on meats to get your daily dose. Those can rack up the grocery bill. Instead, get your protein from cheaper foods including milk, eggs, and tuna fish. Cook chicken legs and wings instead of the more expensive boneless breasts and tenders. To be even healthier, remove the skin on the wings and legs before roasting them. Do not bread and fry.

Resolution #2: Exercise More  – Gym memberships and workout classes can be expensive. It may be better to purchase your own equipment and some exercise videos. You can find free workout videos on YouTube or On Demand if you have it. Take advantage of great weather and go for a walk or run outside. Many parks have various exercise stations along paths that you can use as well.

Resolution #3: Save Money – There are a number of ways to save money. In our opinion, the best way to add to your savings or rainy-day account is to put reverse mortgage proceeds into a line of credit. The money is there if and when you need it. Any money you do not use, increases in value over time. By not touching the money, you are continuously growing this account.

Resolution #4: Pay Off Debts –  As with saving money, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you pay off debt. We have seen some clients use their reverse mortgage to first, pay off their mortgage,* then pay off medical expenses, credit card bills, and other debts. With fixed or adjustable HECM, you can receive your proceeds in one lump sum, which can be used to pay debts.

Resolution #5: Learn Something New There are a number of ways older Americans can save on schooling. These options include finding scholarships and auditing courses. If you choose to audit a course, you can attend the classes and not do any of the homework or exams. You learn from the lectures and class participation, but do not receive a grade.

Please consult your doctor before changing your diet and exercise routine. This article is for informational purposes only.

*Homeowner is still responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and home maintenance costs.