Surviving the Loss of a Spouse: Senior Women on a Budget

It is difficult enough to survive the loss of a spouse after many years of marriage, but when that leaves you with less than half of what you previously had to live on, the loss is compounded with worries over the future. At the moment, you are probably thinking about funeral costs and paying the medical debt not covered by Medicare or your supplemental policies.

Now everything will fall squarely on your shoulders, but even that can’t outweigh the sense of loss every time you glance around the room, only to continue “seeing” your loving husband in every corner, nook, and cranny of the home. So, once the initial grief and shock have dulled, it’s time to seriously look at your financial situation to see where and how you can cut costs.

The First of Two Common Accounts Rated by the Number of Users

Most people will immediately think about their mobile phone plan. If you are paying a rate for two phone lines, then maybe you can have one disconnected. If you are not able to get out of the contract or it wouldn’t be a significant price difference, you may want to ‘share’ your plan with a family member who would share the cost of your monthly service as long as they can port their phone and number over to your provider. Having someone to share the bill with you will provide the savings you need and may even give your trusted family member a better plan than their current month-to-month at a much lower cost.

The Second Account Priced by the Number of Users

The second bill that comes to mind is car insurance. These policies are usually rated by the number of drivers on the policy. At least, that’s where it begins. You and your husband were probably both covered on your policy, so what will happen when you remove a driver? If you want to find the difference, your insurance provider probably has a car insurance calculator on their website.

A car insurance calculator will take into consideration the number of drivers and driving history and a few financial elements that show your creditworthiness. Isn’t it funny (not so funny!) how even the cost of a car insurance policy can affect your credit rating with some providers? However, driving history will affect your coverage, and you may get discounts for other things such as defensive driving courses and sometimes even bundled policies.

Consider Downsizing or Renting Out a Room

There are other ways to survive the financial aspect of losing a spouse, which would look at your living arrangements. For example, perhaps you own your home and would be willing to sell it so that the profit could buy a smaller home that is less expensive to run.

You may not be amenable to selling the home you lived in with your spouse for many years. He did, after all, choose this house for you. Moreover, he made sure every amenity you longed for would be included in the plans he helped draw up. If you can’t or won’t part with your home, you might want to get a roommate to share costs with you. This, however, can be a bit risky, so it’s another topic for another day, but you can get some useful legal tips here.

At the moment, know that you have options, and there are ways to help you survive the loss of your beloved spouse of so many years. It may take some time, but it can be done.