Read these 25 Seniors and Money Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
I seldom buy anything that I won't ask if the retailer gives discounts; even restaurants often allow 'senior' portions...cheaper. I learned this from my husband years ago. I was ready to pay full price for a suit at a large men's store, when my husband asked for any discount; he saved us $30.00! I've gotten discounts from K-Mart, Target, Wal-Mart, HomeDepot, a woman's dress shop, etc! If you don't ask, you'll not receive...that's my motto! So don't be bashful, ASK!
A good way to save money (not just on groceries) is to take advantage of coupons. Don't throw away that bulky envelope with coupons you receive in the mail...there are usually some very good coupons enclosed, from 'oil change' to 'restaurants, two-for-one' to 'tire discounts' for your car. Worth your time to check them.
Consider the fact that banks pay more interest on your CDs (Certificate of Deposits) for longer time-limits. If you will not need your money readily available, you might want to extend a 6-month CD to 1-year (or 1-year to 2-year), earning a better rate of interest. Always be alert to the renewal date of a CD and interest being earned.
If you're like me, I hate wasting time paying bills :o), but I DO like being 'on-time'. Most utility and telephone companies offer the 'automatic-withdrawal' payment plan: each month your bill is paid directly thru your checking account and notification is mailed to you by util/tele company. Easy, timely, and safe.
When grocery shopping and you realize you are low on cash, add the amount you need to the grocery check. Most all grocery stores will NOT charge Seniors for this convenience...you'll save time and money this way, avoiding the trip to and charge of using an ATM machine. 7-11 stores will also allow cash of $10. without a charge, too.
If you are able to keep a goodly amount of money in a savings account, are you getting the best interest available? You may want to put some of this money into a Certificate of Deposit. Check with your banker for the best rates to let your money work for you. If they offer you...say...5-1/4 interest on a 6 month C.D., ask if there is any way to earn more interest. I do, and I always get a better rate. Then have the bank deposit your monthly interest earned from the C.D. into your regular savings account, building up more savings! Remember, you pay taxes on income earned, but then you'll have these savings to pay the taxes.
Many grocers offer great savings if you buy more than 1 of a product. They price 4 (or5) for $$ to entice us. Now, will you really use that quantity soon (I don't like to keep canned goods that long). You can still get the discounted price if buying just one or two of the product. Don't overstock what you do not need or will not use within a month or so.
If I find I have canned goods on my shelf for over two months, I take them to the 'food bank' in my town.
With the advent of the internet, there are many scam artists taking advantage of this communication. Beware of people offering 'great' deals for you to invest your money. Always keep in mind the addage "if it sounds too good to be true...", you know, IT SURE AIN'T TRUE!!! NEVER invest your hard-earned money into ANYTHING that you haven't checked out thoroughly! Don't be afraid to check with your banker, friends, or family before making any investment. And if you have been 'taken', swallow your pride and report the incident to authorities.
Never be too shy to talk to a Vice President or President of your bank. They are good sources to find answers to your banking needs. Yes, they may be busy, but you'll never know until you ask; and they can refer you to the party you need to get specific banking information from. Talk about what type of banking you now have, what your needs are and what recommendations they can give you. Many checking accounts pay interest on a minimum balance, does yours?
If you don't now get the Sunday newspaper, you are missing out on great coupon offers. If you live in a small town, and just get the local newspaper without coupons, check the closest large city to you for their newspaper subscriptions; you can subscribe to weekends only. Be sure they DO have the coupon sections. The savings you get from the coupons, will more than pay for the subscription cost. Cut out only the coupons you might use, and file in an obvious place so you'll remember to use them; an envelope close to your grocery list! Watch for expiration date, and toss those old one. Usually the Wednesday paper will have the 'sales' pamphlets from various grocers, check these for good buys; the prices are good for one week in most cases.
Do you need a will but want to get it at a good price? Check out the AARP Legal Services Network (LSN). These attorneys are screened and will draw up a simple will for $75 for an individual or $100 for a couple. While you are consulting with the lawyer find out what end-of-life directives you need in your state.
Find an LSN attorney near you by going to:
http://www.aarp.org/lsn or call (800) 424-3410.