- Personal Finance
How To Save Money By Using Senior Discounts
Aren't these old world fellows adorable? I'll bet they know the value of a dollar and then some!
But for the rest of us.....there are a lot of ways that seniors can save money.
As in most things in life, it's all about what you know or finding out about what you don't know!
You can have more of your hard earned cash left over at the end of the week if you try some of these great ideas for discounts and money saving ideas!
Let's take a look at some common ways for seniors to save money.
There are many senior discounts out there and knowing what they are is key. Also not being afraid to use them is an important thing to consider.
Many older Americans worry about using these discounts because they don't want to appear "cheap". I figure as hard as folks work and if you've worked over many, many years, it's a little gift back to get discounts. I would be proud to use them!
Let's look at some great senior discounts.
- Ticket to ride. Check out senior discounts for airline, train, bus, boat and other fares. However, always check the price on-line as well because they may have a cheaper fare there. Then ask in the bricks and mortar world if they will match their best online fare.
- Room at the inn. Check out hotels for senior discounts. If you apply for an AARP card, you will automatically get a discount on accommodations.....simply by presenting your card. Again, always check on-line for their best rate, and then ask them to match it if it's better than an AARP rate. Keep in mind that when it comes to travel, some of the very best deals are found on-line, but most savvy companies will match those deals.
- Credit 101. As Ramit Sethi says in his book I WIll Teach You To Be Rich , you never get what you don't ask for! Call your credit card companies and explain that you're a senior and you want (not asking here) your interest rate cut in half. While you're about it, tell them that you want a card with NO annual fees. You never know how much of what you'll get but it's worth the effort. You may get it all, you may get half of what you want, but it's worth the money to try!
- Turn up the heat. Or more accurately, turn it down by adding insulation, weather stripping, and making sure you've cut off all drafts in winter. Call your power company and ask for senior discounts on all the above. Also ask them to come out and do an energy assessment of your home. These are almost always free, especially for seniors. There are also grants available locally in many areas that seniors can qualify for to get home improvements that will save you money! Look into getting space heaters or infrared heaters to keep spaces warm and reduce the thermostat. Turn it down 10 degrees or so if you're not at home, set temperatures to raise and lower automatically depending on the time of day. Turn it down at night at least 5-10 degrees.
- Up the ante. Crank up the deductibles on your insurance and save money monthly. By raising your deductibles, your monthly payments go down. if you're over 50 years of age, AARP insurance recommendations might be worth looking into for car insurance, home insurance, etc. Did you know you can save as much as 25% by having a higher deductible on some insurance policies? Also check into multiple policies with the same company. Most often, you'll get a lower rate if you combine your auto and home insurance with the same agent.
- How much is your life worth?
sure that you are not over-insured. Millions of people pay too much in
premiums past a certain age. It's important to know how much you or
spouse would need to make ends meet should one of you die. But why
throw money away by having more than
you need? That's money you can enjoy in
the here and now! Reevaluate your policies or talk to a financial
advisor at AARP and get some free advice on how much coverage you need
and get rid of the rest.
- Watt's it all about? Those crazy compact fluorescent bulbs can really save you money. I've seen estimates from 25% to 50% savings on your light bill. It's worth checking out. Home Depot offers 6-packs for what most stores charge for 2 bulbs. Costco also offers incredible discounts when they have one of their instant rebates going on fluorescent bulbs. You can get bulbs that work on dimmers or regular bulbs. It definitely is worth looking into and replacing your incandescent bulbs. (When you're through replacing your bulbs, donate them to the Salvation Army or a neighbor who hasn't made the conversion yet....don't just throw them away)
- Freebies or at least cheapies. Many
restaurants and many stores from department stores to grocery stores
offer special discounts for seniors. Always ask! It might be that you
have to shop on a certain day but that's not such a bad deal. Save
wherever you can and always, always ask if they have a senior discount.
Since my husband is 64, I ask if they have discounts wherever we go.
Even if it's a dollar here and a dollar there, it adds up!
- Pay it again, Sam.
home is not always the best idea for everyone. But you'll never know
unless you ask! Call several lenders or even call one of AARP's free
and do some homework. Would a refinance
save you money and give you more monthly play money? It never hurts to
ask! Also check on-line for the best rates and then challenge any
bricks-and-mortar institution to match the rates you find. If they're
financially savvy, they will.
- Medication madness. In the US today, it's staggering how many medicines the average person takes per day. The costs seem to be increasing rather than the opposite. How to beat the high cost of medicating ourselves? First and foremost, check with your medical provider and/or your pharmacist. Check with a professional to see if you are taking one medication to counteract what another medication does! See if you are on medications that interact with others or if there are medications that can be eliminated or replaced on your list. Always ask for generic. Is there a better place you can purchase your meds like mail-in or the $4 prescription meds offered by many stores such as Walmart? Here's another idea....usually your meds will cost the same whether you have 5 mg or 10 mg or pretty close. Buy a pill splitter for a buck or two and get the higher dose of 10 mg.....then split the meds in half. You get twice the prescription for the same money! You can also save big bucks on the Internet buying diabetic supplies.
- Seek and ye shall find. Being a senior is no different really than being a middle-aged person in the fact that we all want to save the most money we can on everything. Or at least most of us do! The difference between a senior and a middle-aged person, however, is usually that they have a "bit" more time at their disposal. Use that time wisely and to your advantage. Call about everything from your cable bill to your utility bills to your Internet coverage. Make sure you ask specifically for a discount because you're a senior...or ask for a discount if you have automatic withdrawal or your pay for 6 months at a time. Bargain away fees! Try and find the best deals, and if someone won't match what you found elsewhere, switch! That's just smart business sense. Ask for things you want and be forceful about that. It's amazing what a little assertiveness can do. Once you get the hang of it, I'll wager you'll never stop.
- Your little deuce coupe. No matter what you drive, keep it well maintained. You'll save money in the end and spend less on gas and repairs. Again, ask for senior discounts if you need repair work done. Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure because it will eat up more gas if they're not at the correct pressure. Make sure you do things like change the air filter regularly to increase gas mileage. Check your manual to see if you can get away with non-premium gasoline and turn off your AC if you can from time to time. These are all ways to save money on gasoline. And don't forget to plan your trips to avoid wasting gas (and time) for 1-item shopping.
- Maintenance yourself. This is perhaps the best thing you can do to save money in the long run and although not a discount, it's vital! Take care of your health, do the right things, exercise and eat the right things. Don't scrimp on good food and don't go without checkups. The secret to a happy life once you're a senior is being able to do the things you didn't have time to do before but to do those things, you need to be healthy. You also need to be financially secure!
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How to Save Money by Using Senior Discounts
In short, there are many ways for seniors to get something back. That's the way I think of it, too!
You did the time and you should get back a little something for entering your "golden years". With the high cost of everything, it makes sense to try and save where you can and also to get discounts where you can.
Try some of these tips and see if you don't find a little hidden cash here and there. I like to save up the money that we've saved for the month and put it back into the bank so that I can actually see in dollars what we saved!
Life is all about making the most of what you have and money is no different.
Good luck in finding many more ways you can get the most for your senior buck!
If you have more tips on how to save money by using senior discounts, please add to my article and leave your helpful hints!
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