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Teaching the Elderly to Budget Money and Live on a Fixed Income

written by: Bruce Tintelnot•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/17/2010

Living on a fixed income can be a dramatic change for some people. This means that rethinking of spending patterns is inevitable. Budget records do not have to be terribly involved, and are easy using these lists as a helpful way of teaching the elderly to budget money and live on a fixed income.

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    The Need for Budgeting

    Do you need to find ways on teaching the elderly to budget money? Anyone who lives on a fixed income must be very budget minded about living within their means, and this is particularly true for the elderly. It's just a plain fact that getting older can give rise to some unexpected expenses, and personal maintenance can be a bit higher. Fortunately, in many countries, there are government-funded programs, and privately funded ones, that help meet the needs of individuals who fall short of income for these expenses. Whatever an individual's or a couple's sources of income and expenses happen to be, keeping track of them in a systematic way is necessary to help prevent overspending, and assures that those comfort items everyone likes aren't suddenly lost for the next month.

    Creating a monthly budget is a must. The easiest way to do this is to use the following three forms created for this purpose:

    1. Pay Period Budget
    2. Monthly Income List
    3. Monthly Expenses List

    The last two forms can be found for free on many online websites available as downloads. Just pick a general search engine, such as Google, and type the word budget into it. The dropdown menu that shows up below it will have selections for budget forms, and budget worksheets. The Pay Period Budget form may not be available in this way, but all of these forms can be created in spreadsheet software programs that have the ability for making tables. You can also find an example of these forms in the Media Gallery (see below).

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    Pay Period Budget

    The Pay Period Budget is an easy form to use that shows all the household income and expenses for a pay period, making it easier to stay within any given monthly budget allocations. It also makes it easier for teaching the elderly to budget money, and arrive at those total expense figures that are entered onto the monthly budget lists.

    The following template in the Bright Hub Media Gallery shows what it looks like: Pay Period Budget.

    This six column form has columns for income and expenses with a running total balance that always shows how much of your cash allocation is left for spending. It begins with cash left from the last pay period as a carryover, and adds it to the deposit that replenishes that period's cash balance. Expenses are just subtracted from the cash balance as they occur.

    This is easier than it might sound to some people, especially if Sundries, or Other Expenses descriptions are used for all of those small, insignificant items that aren't worth listing separately on the Monthly Expenses List.

    Each new pay period should begin a new template, but that is not absolutely necessary.

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    Monthly Income List

    A Monthly Income List should have every item of income for the month listed in a column on the left side of the sheet. The amounts for these items are typically displayed directly opposite on the right side of the sheet in one column, or couples can have separate His and Hers columns. The totals for these columns would be at the bottom of the page.

    An example is shown in the Bright Hub Media Gallery: Monthly Income List.

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    Monthly Expense List

    The Monthly Expense List is very similar in format to the Monthly Income List, but deals exclusively with expense items. The description of each expense item is on the left hand side of the list, and the corresponding amount is in a column on the right.

    An example form can be found in the Bright Hub Media Gallery: Monthly Expense List.

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    Teaching the elderly to budget money on a fixed income can be made simple with the use of the Pay Period Budget, the Monthly Income List, and the Monthly Expense List. Each can be a real help for staying within one's monthly budget allocations. The idea behind them is that people are more likely to stay within their budget if they're looking more often at how they're spending their money. This means rather than cutting some things out of their budgets, they can go on having that afternoon coffee at Starbuck's, or other things that they're used to having.

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    White, Mary n.d. 2010, Living on a Fixed Income. Retrieved from <>

    Today’s Seniors, n.d. 2010, Free Budget Worksheets. Retrieved from <>

    Bruce Tintelnot, June 3,2010, Retrieved from A Fast Easy Way To Keep Track Of Income And Expenses <>