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Old 06-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Since this is a disability board and meeting our living expenses is a major concern for our well being, I felt it would benefit all of us to have a thread sharing ways to cut costs especially with the economy as it is today.

If any of you have ideas as how to manage a household on a fixed income, I would appreciate your suggestions. Some ideas on thrifty ideas for shopping, cutting utility expenses, car maintenance, affording healthcare and meds, gift suggestions of meager means, etc are a few to start.

I know that I have just recently moved out on my own since being approved for disability, finally. I was so looking forward to having my own space again that I would do whatever I could to make it happen. I know there are many of us that have had to live in temporary situations and I know all of you understand what I am saying here. I had to make a budget projection and go through lots of newspapers and searching to find a comfortable, safe and quiet environment that would accomodate my physical limitations. So I know what a lot of you are facing or have faced during your long wait.

I have learned so much from this board and I hope this is a way I can possibly give back a little of the kindness that was afforded to me.

So let's see what we can do by putting our heads together.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 10:54 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Goldy this is perfect, i hope there are tons of replies to this post.
I'll begin by what i am finding with medications.

i do have a secondary insurance that provides mail in pharmacy. we do pay dearly for this secondary insurance but seems it's a no win situation not to have it.

Your Local pharmacy may have a list of generic brand meds for 1 month $4
or 3 months $10.00. This price beats my mail in cost.
i get updated lists from the pharmacy as they do add more generic medications to their lists. i then look over what meds i am prescribed to see if this med is on their list. Hey, a few dollars a month saves a bundle throughout the year.

Anyone else, post away we all need to hear from you surviving on a fixed income. Thanks again Goldy

BeHappy2

 
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Thanks for your contribution BeHappy2. Having secondary insurance with medication benefits does help but I have to watch as some name brands that I have ordered through mail plan have actually cost more for 90 days than to buy them locally. So it pays to double check the costs when using mail order. I know I thought long and hard about dropping my secondary insurance but the presciption plans on most of those offered through SSA actually cost some 35-40 dollars a month and only pay out about $1000 or $1500 for a year. If you add the office visit, test, copays you would be responsible for throughout the year if you have no secondary insurance and the lack of dental coverage (for me) I was going to barely break even. I guess the extra $150 a month would be nice to have each month, but then you have meds at full price and the unknown copays for the year. I can actually get generics through mail for $10 for 90 days, so I guess I should be happy.

Also, I participate in the Angel Food Ministries. If anyone would like info, they can look up online. It is a food distribution that is open to anyone that wishes to participate regardless of income. A regular box runs $30 a box and is designed to feed a single person for one month or a family of 4 for a week. They have several selections (at varying prices) each month in addition to their regular box which contains a variety of meats, vegetables, and staples. I have tried several of their special boxes as well as the Senior Meals (great for singles and no age restriction) and I find that even though I have some dietary restrictions, I do seem to get more than my money's worth. I find it helps to stretch the food budget by participating. You can go online to search for a distribution location near you.

I also asked all the utilities about waiving connection fees, box rentals, incidentals when I moved and some were able to throw in a little something and others not. But it never hurts to ask.

I also had to have some replacement parts for my car, mostly maintenance, and I bought at a chain auto store and they actually installed them for me as a courtesy. Again, it never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is no.

 
Old 06-18-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

I live on SSDI and I am a single parent of 1 teenaged son, who is also disabled.
I live in a 2 bedroom APT , that is low income, run by HUD. This place only allows people in who do not have a criminal record and are very good . I live upstairs and feel safe. It is a good sized apt. Being on HUD housing has helped me save so much .It is all income based . Thankfully, because I know I would be paying a much higher rent.
I don't have to worry about medical insurnce payments, because I have 2. That covers for my expenses.
I also live in a very small , rual town. CA can be a very expensive place to live. I have lived in different places in CA, and by far a smaller town is cheaper .
I grocery shop out of town and at a superWalmart , that saves money too. The biggest savings for me is living in the low income APTS. I have enough money where I do not have to spend it al on rent or half on rent anymore. This is huge for me.

 
Old 06-19-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

well since we have not had a income for over 2 years, you learn real quick how to stretch money.

I will write a detailed list here soon, its kinda easy to pinch pennys

 
Old 06-23-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

I've got CVS sales down to a science. With their BOGOs combined w/coupons, and sometimes Extra Bucks back, I've often bought H&B Aids there for almost nothing. I can get $35 worth of stuff for $12. It takes planning, but it can be done. Stocking up on all sale items, especially meats and chicken, is a smart move. We don't order as much take-out as we used to, but that's okay.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 07:57 AM   #7
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

I try to shop sales only for food. I shut off my water heater every day and unplug anything that pulls electric when off.
I am now facing the donut hole with my rx so now sure what is going to happen as there are no generics for my meds.
I watch the adds on the computer for the stores and between all of them you can find the things you need on sale but it is tough. I only have me to feed so I make do with what I have or have not...

 
Old 07-11-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Try to schedule pharmacy pickup for your medications, to where you're not going several times a month. This is what i am now trying to do so i'm not making alot of trips to the pharmacy. Gas isn't cheap as nothing is anymore.

Having a 3 month prescription (generic) can cost less and this would be fewer trips in the long run.

Keep in mind pharmacies are always adding more generics to their list and the pharmacy will print out a list for you.

Hope this post keeps going. Need all the ways to survive on fixed income.
Every little bit counts.

Be Well
BeHappy2

 
Old 07-12-2009, 06:46 AM   #9
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Thrift stores are wonderful! I was able to find a friend a potty chair, and shower chair for only $10. Yard sales are great too for aid items. Make sure to search for free cycle sites that are in your area online. You can post what you are searching for and post what you might have to offer someone else. It is all free! I have 2 friends that go with me to Sam's wholesale club and we buy bulk items and split them and the cost. However, we always check sales to see if it is cheaper to buy local. Check for free or low cost food ministries and this time of year for free or low cost farmer's market products. Take the time to research what is available from state and federal offices. There are online sites that offer coupons for food and other products online. Check your pharmacy for the sites or information on the makers of your medicine and contact them for patient assistance programs with your medications. Get your friends or family together and have a yard sale! Hope some of these ideas have helped! PS, for those blessed enough to own your own home, go to your tax assessor's office and show proof of disability to get the discounted rate for your home taxes. I finally did and saved a whopping $800!!!!
Mim Gregg

Last edited by mim; 07-12-2009 at 06:48 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2009, 11:54 PM   #10
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

For those who like to sit on a lake's bank and fish, my state offers a lifetime fishing license for the disabled for a dollar. I had to take a form to my doctor to fill out, but it was no problem. With the budget lean for any entertainment frills, I find it a way to have some cheap outings. Check your local state to see if they offer some similar deal in your home state. I don't do much fishing, but it is nice to have a peaceful couple of hours in the fresh air under the guise of fishing and there is no fee for admission.

 
Old 07-28-2009, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimgregg View Post
Thrift stores are wonderful! I was able to find a friend a potty chair, and shower chair for only $10. Yard sales are great too for aid items. Make sure to search for free cycle sites that are in your area online. You can post what you are searching for and post what you might have to offer someone else. It is all free! I have 2 friends that go with me to Sam's wholesale club and we buy bulk items and split them and the cost. However, we always check sales to see if it is cheaper to buy local. Check for free or low cost food ministries and this time of year for free or low cost farmer's market products. Take the time to research what is available from state and federal offices. There are online sites that offer coupons for food and other products online. Check your pharmacy for the sites or information on the makers of your medicine and contact them for patient assistance programs with your medications. Get your friends or family together and have a yard sale! Hope some of these ideas have helped! PS, for those blessed enough to own your own home, go to your tax assessor's office and show proof of disability to get the discounted rate for your home taxes. I finally did and saved a whopping $800!!!!
Mim Gregg
i went to tax assessor office and applied for the disability home tax discount rate. i did qualify so in return they raised the value of my home, so now i am paying more than before applying. seems unfair but this is what they did.

i drive a 2000 vehicle so i went to car insurance company to drop full coverage to liability. This went down in cost, every little bit helps.

Mim Gregg you have alot to offer in your post. Thank you.
Hope we continue more ideas from others as well.
Living on a fixed income is what i have.

Be Well
BeHappy2

 
Old 07-31-2009, 10:25 AM   #12
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

BeHappy2, I am appalled that they raised your taxes!! You can file an appeal to the tax office in writing, and there may actually be a form for it. If that does not work, call AND write your local and state representatives about this. This kind of bait and switch on the disabled and/or elderly is not well tolerated. If that does not work, write up an article about what happened to you, and how it has affected your way of life and submit it to all your newspapers and local news stations. We often have new pieces about the economy affecting the "invisible" poor. Those that fall through the cracks even though they have some income. If the wheel is squeaky enough, it usually gets oiled! They can't do much else to you since they already socked it to you financially! Glad you liked my other ideas :-). My friends and I are planning a day starting at the end of this month to get together and share coupons we collect throughout this month. We find them not only in the Sunday papers, but in the stores, dropped off in the mail, and some stores have a bin that holds extra coupons that customers don't use. If you find a super coupon deal in the paper, ask around to others to see if they are going to use it, and if not, get theirs! Sometimes I have even found it worth it to buy an extra Sunday paper or two because the coupons were what I needed and added up to big savings. Hope you are able to get the tax thing resolve, that just stinks. Hang in there!
Mim Gregg

Last edited by mim; 07-31-2009 at 10:27 AM. Reason: poor speller.....lol

 
Old 07-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

One thing I found helpful was to ask my doctor to help. For example, if I needed to test my blood sugar only once a day, he would write the scrip for UP TO 6 times a day, so that I could test more than once if I felt poorly, or the strips and lancets would last a very long time. This also helps with medication, and you just simply have to cut the tablets in half.

 
Old 08-03-2009, 09:31 PM   #14
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Mimgregg, Thanks again for more info, i will definately see what can be done with my tax situation. I was stunned to see this happen.


Speaking of coupons, i recently read in a Sundays paper that SOME stores will take more than one coupon on an item. The article did not mention any names of stores that do this but would be worth looking into.
Yes buying a Sunday paper can pay for itself using the coupons.



Everyone Be Well
BeHappy2

 
Old 09-06-2009, 07:22 PM   #15
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Re: Ways to survive on Fixed Income

Bumping thread for new users. There was a question re: food stamps. This a great source of helpful hints to budget on a fixed income. Others are encouraged to contribute your ideas.

I recently put all my electronics on power strips. When you think of all the television related and computer related devices that you have plugged in every day, it makes sense that they are using some electricity even if you are not using them (feel them, you will be surprised they are warm even when off). I had them on a power strip all of last month (August) and I religiously turned off the strips at night and my electric bill was less than the month before. I know that normally I would have used more power in August than in July. So I was thrilled to have actually saved a little bit by just turning off each night and back on when I was using. I counted all the peripherals and I was letting 10 items stay up and running all the time even though I was not using them. I also took zip ties and anchored the power strips at waist high so I don't have to bend over to turn on and off. Every penny counts.

Last edited by goldyfm; 09-06-2009 at 07:39 PM. Reason: additional comment

 
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