Every little bit helps. That simple philosophy has been proven over and over, and it’s especially effective for seniors who are looking to trim costs. There’s no need to make huge sacrifices or major changes to have some extra money lingering at the end of each month. These 11 easy money-saving tips for seniors can help you live well and save money without giving up the lifestyle you’ve earned!
1. Review Your Insurance Policies
If you’re still paying premiums on the same insurance policies you relied on a decade ago you may be overpaying every month. Our coverage needs change once we hit retirement age, but few people take the time to review their long-standing policies. If you’re retired without any debt, it may be time to cut ties with a pricey life-insurance policy. You may also find that you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on disability insurance you don’t really need. These policies may have been a sensible choice during your working years, but your needs have probably changed. See if you can trim the fat by streamlining your policies!
2. Take a Senior Driver Safety Course
Seniors in many parts of the country can get discounts on their auto insurance if they complete a short, simple “senior safety” driving course. Insurance companies are eager to give retirees discounts because they commute less and usually have fewer accidents than younger drivers. Put in a call to your insurance company to see if taking a course that’s offered through a recognized provider like AARP or AAA can get you a discount. While each course will cost a few dollars, your savings should be greater than what you spend.
3. Shop on Tuesdays
Making Tuesday your shopping day can save you thousands of dollars each year! That’s because Tuesday is the nearly universal “senior discount day” at retailers around the country. Remember that not every retailer celebrates seniors on Tuesdays. A handful of stores choose Wednesdays and others give special senior promotions only on the first Tuesday of the month. Keeping a running calendar of the senior days at all of your favorite stores can bring you significant savings.
4. Take Advantage of the Silver Sneakers Program
If you’re a Medicare member, you can get actual workouts for free, building your muscles and your savings at the same time! All adults age 64 and up enrolled in select Medicare plans are eligible for Silver Sneakers benefits. This program offers access to gym memberships at more than 16,000 gyms around the country! You’ll also get access to thousands of online workout videos and classes.
5. A Library Card Can Chop Your Entertainment Bill
Library cards aren’t just for students! It’s easy to forget about your local library when you’re occupied with work and other obligations. If your last visit to your local library was to help one of your kids with a school report years ago, you should know that a lot has changed at libraries.
Today’s libraries have large racks of DVDs that are loaned out free of charge. There’s a good chance that you’re going to be able to catch up on some great flicks, documentaries, and TV shows for free. That can leave you free to cancel some of those premium movie channels that are bulking up your cable bill.
6. Get on Your Town’s Facebook Page to Learn About Tag Sales
If you’re not on your town’s Facebook page you could be missing opportunities to do some prime secondhand shopping right in your own neighborhood. This is where people tend to post about upcoming tag sales. Some people even post free or cheap items right on the page to entice local residents to pick up what’s available.
7. Make Extra Cash Doing Something You Love
If you’re retired, you have a lot of freedom to pick up a little extra work to earn some extra money. There are probably people in your neighborhood who could really use just a little bit of extra help with some simple tasks. For instance, a young couple who travels for weekend getaways frequently may be eager to pay someone to watch their beloved dog a few times a month. There may also be a working parent on your street who gets home from work just an hour after the bus drops their kids off from school! That parent would happily pay to have a trusted neighbor help the kids off the bus to watch them for a short period.
8. Save Through Prevention by Accident-Proofing Your Home
Americans 65 and over spend over $50 billion a year on medical costs related to falls. According to the CDC, roughly $12 billion of that is paid by private or out-of-pocket payers. The monetary cost of a fall can be very stressful and the physical toll can be devastating. It’s worth your time to evaluate any and all trip hazards that may be lurking in your home. Things like loose floorboards, loose rugs, trip hazards, leaking pipes and slippery stairs can all put you at danger for a bad fall. Many older adults find that adding rubber mats and grip bars to bathrooms can make bathing much safer! You might also want to consider adding better lighting in some areas of your home’s interior or exterior to help prevent falls!
9. Invest in a Deep Freezer
Buying in bulk often doesn’t make sense if you don’t have a home full of people. That means you’re often paying more for less. One of the ways to take advantage of the perks of bulk buying even if you’re not feeding a whole household is to invest in a deep freezer. You’ll save money and you’ll enjoy the convenience of always having backup food waiting even if you can’t make it to the grocery store every week.
10. Control Your Thermostat
Letting energy costs creep too high is like letting money fly right out the window! You don’t need to invest in a new high-efficiency heater to slash your monthly energy costs. There are some simple ways to insulate your home that will cost practically nothing while saving you money each month!
If your home has a fireplace that you barely use, you can avoid drafts by having your chimney plugged. You can also avoid heat loss by hanging heavy curtains over your windows during the winter. Using natural “solar” heating by opening curtains during the day to trap in heat before shutting them before dark is a great way to keep a home naturally toasty.
11. Read Your Credit Card and Bank Statements
Every year millions of American seniors are victims of identity theft. If you routinely throw away bank and credit card statements you could be overlooking the early signs of an expensive crime. Always read every entry on every statement and be sure you know what it’s for. Reading statements can also help you spot recurring charges for subscriptions, memberships, or services that you no longer use. The amounts may seem small, but they add up. Canceling those unwanted costs puts money in your pocket!
You Can Live Well and be Frugal
As you can see, it’s easy to live a full and active life while still saving money. Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice or that you have to give up the luxuries you love. It really just means tapping into your own creativity to save dollars whenever you can! Your lifetime of wisdom combined with a few timely money-saving tips for seniors can help you keep more of your money throughout your golden years.
What money-saving tips for seniors have we left out? Let us know in the comments section below!