When your parents live on a fixed income, it’s often easier to pay for things you know they need. Is it hurting you in the long run? When you’re not building much in the way of savings because you’re paying for your parents’ needs, it’s best to stop. It may not be easy, but you have to think of your own financial well-being. Here are things to do to make sure your parents don’t need your help.
Lower Their Bills
Work with your parent to lower their bills. If they’re spending money on things they don’t often use, it’s a waste of money. They may also find that their age qualifies them for discounted rates. In some areas, senior citizens qualify for discounts on electricity bills and heating fuel.
Cable television is one example. If your parents are paying $150 a month and only watch 10 hours of TV a week, the high cost of having cable may not be worthwhile. They could get something like the Roku box or a smart television and get free TV or pay for a monthly subscription to streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, or Sling.
It’s also possible to cut costs on groceries by signing up for store rewards programs. Coupons and rebate sites like Iobotta are other ways to get money back on the purchases of groceries and household items.
Figure Out What They Need vs. What They Want
What are you paying for when you help out? Is your money paying for a dinner out in your mom or dad’s favorite restaurant each week? You could limit it to a treat every few months or only on special occasions. Are you buying loads of books for your mom? You could borrow them from the library.
Look Into State and Federal Programs
If your parent qualifies for Medicaid, they may be able to offer you a small stipend for providing caregiver services. It can be hard to qualify, but it doesn’t hurt to look into self-directed long-term care services. In Hawaii, the Kapuna Caregivers Act gives family caregivers up to $70 a day to help caregivers maintain their jobs. That $70 a day can be used for things like part-time senior care or adult day programs.
Talk to a senior care agency to learn more about home care services. Agencies can work with you to find helpful services that your parent can afford. This eases some of your burdens and ensures you’re able to work a full-time job and build your own savings. Call a senior care agency to get started.