Five smart moves for empty nesters

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So, the kids have moved out, your home is finally yours again and you have ascended to the rank of an ’empty nester’. What now?

With your dependants out of the house – for now – you should find that your household expenses drop, allowing you to boost your savings.

Here’s how to increase those savings and find the thousands hidden in your own home.

Sell a car
We’re diving straight in the deep end here, but selling a family car may be one of the best ways to generate income and reduce ongoing costs. Without an adult child borrowing the second car for joy rides over weekends, it may not be seeing enough road time to justify the costs of care and registration. We’ve recently seen a spike in the value of second-hand cars, so now may be the perfect time to consider selling old Bessy.

Declutter
We all have them, those boxes of semi-sentimental or surely-practical items we just don’t know what to do with. Despite hiding them in the garage or under our beds and pretending they don’t exist for years on end, they’re sitting there waiting to be sorted out, and – while no-one wants to hear it – now is the time to bite the organisational bullet.

Spend an afternoon or two channelling Marie Kondo and asking yourself which items spark joy in you. If your answer is none – this is both common and allowed – then it’s time to say goodbye. Sell items of value on Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or similar platforms to generate income and clear some physical and mental breathing space.

Remove children from your insurance
If you’ve been paying to have your kids covered on your car or health insurance, it may be the right time to consider taking them off. It may also be the right time to consider stopping paying for life insurance.

However, this can be a complicated process with many considerations. For free advice on life insurance and your health insurance policy, consult the experts at Compare Club.

Cut excess tech costs
Children – particularly the adult kind – are expensive. You may find that you’re paying for a top internet or phone package that you no longer need, or for paid TV that you don’t watch. Look through your monthly bills to see if you’re still paying for services you shouldn’t be. If you are, cut back to smaller and more affordable plans.

This includes paying for hefty mobile phone bills. If you’re paying for a costly family plan or simply covering your children’s bills, it’s time to stop. For affordable mobile coverage, I recommend Aldi mobile for both yourself and your children. It’s affordable, easy to manage and your data can roll between months if you aren’t a big user. 

Budget
Sitting down to add up your weekly expenses can help you to redirect saved money into your savings account or towards investments. Find out how much additional money you are now saving on groceries and water bills each month. Arrange for this money to be redirected into a savings account each month. You may be surprised by how quickly it slips through the cracks of daily spending otherwise.

Are you an empty nester? Have you found that your monthly expenses changed dramatically after your adult children left home? What advice would you give to any newly empty nesters?

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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