Spend less for medical costs.
I have chosen to forgo medical insurance at this stage of my life. I am 60 years of age and am now living in Thailand where world class medical doctors are much more affordable. I visited an othorpedic specialist last year for shoulder problems and had a 5 minute wait when I walked in. The total bill which included a 45 minute exam, personalized exercises to perform and 3 different prescriptions was less than $95 USD. The money I save from not carrying medical insurance allows me to have a 2 hour Thai massage weekly as well as a nice gym membership for frequent exercising.
If Medicare is still a viable option in a few years I may opt- in to use it since it presently is far more affordable than regular medical insurance.
Spend less for food.
I now make the choice to eat fresh vegetable and fruit daily while at the same time greatly reducing my consumption of processed foods. I also seek out small eateries that have wholesome yet affordable meals on a daily basis for lunch. I also buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season and grown locally. Farmers markets in America have some good choices in fruits and produce. When I lived near Seattle I used my wok several times a week and incorporated vegetables and less meats in my meals. Many countries in the world are healthier heartwise than Americans due to their lower intake of meats. Tofu and nuts are a good source of protein and are reasonable in price.
Spend less on shelter.
I have used several methods over the years to reduce my monthly costs of providing shelter for myself. I have rented rooms from homeowners seeking to stretch their budget by bringing in extra monthly income. When I lived in Costa Rica I rented a house in a working class neighborhood and was the only foreigner living in the area. Don’t miss the chance to be creative in unusual ways. I have a friend who at one time in his life chose to live in a large cargo container for several months while he worked and accumulated a substantial amount in his savings account in order to purchase land.
Spend less on transportation.
Whenever possible use public transportation for getting to work or even on the weekends. I lived for 2 years in Central America and didn’t need a personal car since I relied on public buses with an occasional short taxi ride. In Bangkok I use the public bus system and also use the skytrain to get around the city. My wife has an older car that we use when we need the convenience of transporting purchases that are too difficult on public transportation If you are the more adventurous type check out a motorcycle or scooter, just be sure to wear a helmet.
Spend less trying to impress.
Don’t try to keep up with the latest and greatest toys and clothing that is advertised as being a necessity for the modern person. Shop around for value, and when you find bargains consider buying more than one if it is something that you would use in the near future. Prepaid cell phones are a great way to cut down on the monthly phone bill since you can control the amount of usage. Don’t be embarrassed to drive an older vehicle if you cannot use public transportation. It is also cheaper to insure.
Spend less making others rich.
I took great pleasure on the day that I paid off the last of my 5 credit cards. I had gotten into credit card debt when the rates were very low and the limit was large. When the rates were raised I had the ability to pay the monthly minimums but not much more. The stress that is created by excessive debt sinking your financial ship is enormous. I now use my 2 credit cards only for small purchases that I pay off in full each month. I now save myself several hundred dollars a month that previously was going into someone else’s pocket.
Enjoy more of life with fiscal fitness.
By utilizing a few of these choices you can create a more enjoyable life for yourself. I am enjoying weekly Thai massage, studying Thai language in a classroom and living in a foreign country that is exotic. I would emphasize the need to be tolerant of different viewpoints in life, be they financial or in other areas. I made sure not to burn my bridges behind me when I gave notice at my workplace before taking on life in Thailand. Life can still be enjoyed without having everything that we are told that we must have in order to be happy. Look to improve yourself in personal growth along with the knowledge that we all are responsible for finding our own way in life.