10 Money-Saving Tips for Senior Citizens

10 Money-Saving Tips for Senior Citizens

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Several years of economic austerity have taken its toll on America’s seniors. These are individuals that typically live on a fixed income and must keep their costs under control. That’s hard to do when inflation, the cost of health care, and medical expenditures continues to rise. Still, seniors can save money by employing the following smart tips and strategies.

1. Refinance your home. Ideally, your home has been paid off. The reality, however, for many seniors is that their home has a mortgage. And if that mortgage hasn’t been refinanced in years, choosing a lower-rate mortgage can reduce your overhead. Talk with your current lender about refinancing as closing costs can be reduced accordingly.

2. Shop with friends. If one or more friends belongs to a warehouse club, get together with them and plan your next shopping outing. Review the specials and find out where coupons are accepted, bringing these with you. You might not need the 20-roll paper towel package, but if you split it two- to four-ways, you’ll have what you need and save money if these items were purchased separately.

3. Visit your library. The public library remains a very popular place for people to access the Internet, read newspapers and magazines, and rent videos. They’re also the place to go for newly released titles, books that you may have bought on your own when times were more lucrative. You can work with your librarian by requesting popular new titles and reserving these. Why pay $10 to $26 for a book when your public library can supply them for free?

4. Install a programmable thermostat. Heating costs can drive your budget batty. Containing them is possible by installing a programmable thermostat to better regulate your home’s temperature. Set the thermostat to kick on just before you rise. You can even set it to automatically turn down on those days you meet with your bridge group, go to church, or visit your doctor.

5. Review your debt. If you’re carrying credit card debt, your interest payments can suck your budget dry. Instead of accepting high interest rate costs, why not contact your credit card issuers and ask for a lower rate? It is a common practice in the credit industry to seek lower payments, something you can get just by asking.

6. Take trips with friends. If you are a solo senior, you’ll pay more person for taking a trip than people who travel in pairs or in small groups. You can’t help your marital status, but you can help how much you pay. Most hotels offer separate beds so as long as you don’t mind sharing the room, you can save money. Extend your savings to your car rental, eating out and other expenses and you’ll save money on your next trip.

7. One phone or two. Seniors may be the last people to maintain both land and cellular phone lines. It may prove much more cost effective to simply eliminate the former, investing in a good recharger for the latter. If you must keep the landline, merge that service with your cable and Internet connection to save money.

8. Ask for discounts. You can save money on hundreds of items, services and other expenses if you use your age to your advantage. Some stores provide across-the-board senior discounts on select days of the week. Other retailers give discounts at all times. Many service providers offer a fee reduction for seniors, so don’t be shy — ask for them.

9. Invest in a coffee maker. You love coffee, a habit that you developed, nurtured and maintained during your working years. Those $3 to $4 cups of mocha lattes may be unaffordable for you today, which is a pity. Instead of getting all upset about this costly loss, why not invest in a new cappuccino and latte system for your home? You’ll pay about $225 for one and will need to cover your supplies, but you’ll make your desired cup for under $1, saving you as much as $3 per day.

10. Pay bills online. You pay five to 10 bills monthly, costing you stamps, time and energy each month. Instead of sending out bills, why not work with your bank to enjoy online bill access? You can schedule your bills to appear in your bank account, scheduling and paying these when due. Set up reminders too, a move that can help you avoid late payments and fees.

Saving money is critical for people no matter what their age. You can do your part by employing one or more of the 10 smart tips mentioned here.

See AlsoHow to Trim Your Monthly Bills

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