Senior Finance: Seven Important Ways for Seniors to Save Money

piggybankAccording to a survey reported by AARP in November 2011, almost 73 percent of the seniors over 50 years of age are trying to save money by significantly reducing their spending. However, in most of the cases, this behavior is not so much the result of any financial crisis but instead from a desire to cut unnecessary consumption and lead a more simple life. In short, simplicity is “in” while overindulgence is “out” for modern seniors.

If you are one of these money savvy seniors looking to save where you can, here are seven important ways you can save money in your golden years.

1. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts

You should inquire whether your favorite store has any senior discount policy. Some of the stores provide about 5-10 percent discount to senior citizens on their purchases any day of the week while others offer about 20 percent discount on the specific senior day of the week, most probably on Wednesday. The stores automatically provide these discounts to anyone who looks old enough to qualify for their discount policy, but you may also ask for the discounts. The most important thing is that you should manage your time according to the policy of the stores so that you can plan your shopping trip to the stores and take advantage of the discounts for which you are qualified as a senior citizen.

2. Examine Your Recurring Expenses

You need to periodically review your spending options to ensure that you are making the right choice and don’t pay more than required on utilities and other recurring expenses. For example, most of the utility companies might have special plans or offers for senior citizens, and you need to ask regarding the offers. You can choose no-contract cell phone plan, which can be very economical. For example, Consumer Cellular provides many economical no-contract voice and data plans that allow you to change your plan any time without any penalty. As you choose not to be locked to any plan, you are not required to compulsorily pay for the services you don’t need. Moreover, the complimentary usage alerts will ensure that you will never exceed your maximum allowance by mistake. The flexible family plans allow the families to share minutes, and you can save additional $20 – $30 per month by choosing any such flexible family plan.

3. Make Lists When Shopping

You should be careful regarding impulsive purchasing behavior and as a safeguard you should make a list of items that you need to purchase while visiting the grocery. You should post a list of required items at home so that other members of the family can take the opportunity to buy these items if they find a good deal. However, you have to keep this list updated.

4. Make Your Home More Energy Efficiency

You can save money on your utility bill by improving the energy efficiency of your home. You should take precautions to switch off the lights while leaving the room, use energy-saving bulbs and unplug the battery chargers and other appliances when not using them. You can also plan an energy audit of your house to replace the power hungry old appliances and invest in weather proofing the house. These precautions can save lots of money in the long run.

5. Be a Smart Shopper

You can still find many ways to save money even if you don’t like collecting coupons. For example, you can buy store brand products instead of branded products. In most of the cases, you can hardly notice any difference in quality while the store brands are cheaper as compared to branded products. You can also buy in bulk to save money. You should keep an eye on sales of goods that you buy regularly. However, you should never buy anything simply for saving money on sales. You are not saving anything if you don’t need them. You should always make the well-informed purchasing decisions by visiting other stores and comparing prices for costly items. You can also compare the prices by researching the prices offered by various retailers through www.pricegrabber.com without leaving the comforts of your home.

6. Take Advantage of Free Entertainment Opportunities

You can find lots of low-cost or even free options for spending your weekends. Many local events such as concerts and lectures open to public, sporting events hosted by high schools and colleges, festivals and exhibitions are regularly organized. You can find information regarding the events in local newspapers and websites in their event’s section. You can also choose the libraries as a good source of free entertainment. You can get CDs, DVDs, audio-books and read new authors without the need to buy them. You will also meet many people while you are out there in the community, and some of them might become your close friends.

savingsahead7. Reassess your Gift-Giving Habits

You might need to reconsider your gift giving habits if you rush to the stores for purchasing birthday presents for your loved ones at the very last moment. You might have to pay more than you planned to get something unique that may not end up in exchange. In this situation, you can also choose the safe way to give the impersonal gift card to save money, but that’s not a very good idea.

The fact is, emotional sharing can be a better representation of how much we care for others. So try gifting shared experiences to your loved ones. For example, you can take your grandson to the zoo if he or she loves animals. Similarly, you can take your sister to any concerts if she likes that. However, this shared experience can be costly as well, and you should consider your budget while planning any such event.

What I want to say is that the quality of life is all about shared experiences to be cherished throughout the life rather than costly gifts, which remain stored in the garage for years. However, if you are really planning to present birthday or Christmas gift to your dear ones, you can look for them throughout the year and buy wonderful gifts at highly discounted prices. You can store them in the closet to present at the right moments.

 

About Mary Pate

Mary Pate loves creating beautiful gardens and saving money. She is about to enter her "Golden Years" of life.