Seniors and Money Tips

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.

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Does every retailer give discounts?

Always ask!

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!

Are there coupon savings other than for groceries?

Coupons - in the mail

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.

What are more ways to save on utilities?

Utilizing the humidifier

By using a humidifier in our homes we will actually make our homes feel warmer...AND use less heat and save more money!

What are more ways to save on utilities?

Lower thermostat at night

We CAN lower our thermostat at night and still stay cozy during cold weather....two words: electric blankets!

How can I increase interest on CDs I have?

Better CD interest rates

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.

How can I keep my vegetables fresh and longer-lasting?

Fresh vegetables last longer if...

To keep vegetables fresher and longer-lasting, line your refrigerator bins with newspaper, which will absorb excess moisture and prolong freshness and life.

What´s a good dust cover for my hanging clothes in closet?

Utilize worn pillowcases

Don't throw away those worn pillow cases in the rag bag. Snip a small hole in the center of end seam to use as dust-covers for clothing stored on hangers in the closet.

How can I save on my auto/home insurance?

Save on auto/home insurance

Buying home and auto insurance from the same company can earn us savings. I've found having a good, trustworthy agent, then discussing my needs/wants works best for me, and saves me, too!

How can I keep my fishing worms longer and more active?

Prolong life of fishing worms

Pack your worms in moistened sphagnum moss for longer life and better activity. You can also line your creel with the moss to keep your catch fresher.

How can I sharpen dulled scissors myself?

Sharpening scissors

You can sharpen a dulled pair of scissors by cutting through several thicknesses of aluminum foil.

How can I easily, and safely, pay my bills on time?

Automatic withdrawals

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.

How can I save on grocery bills?

Buy favorite ice cream in bulk

Save by buying your favorite ice cream in bulk, then pack/store in smaller containers with wax paper over the surface of ice cream for your needed servings.

How can I avoid all those ATM charges on my checking account?

Cash from the grocer

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'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.

How do I know I am getting the best interest rate on savings"

Getting the best interest on your money

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.

What can I use to line my cupboard shelves?

Lining shelves with paper

To save money, try using heavy freezer wrap instead of white shelf paper to line your shelves...with the waxed side up. This can be wiped off with a damp cloth, and outwears more expensive shelf paper.

What are more ways to save on utilities?

Savings at the fireplace

Closing the damper tightly when not using the fireplace keeps heat from escaping up the chimney. A glass fireplace screen helps keep warm air from being drawn up the flue. Just remember to *open* the damper when burning the logs :o)

How can I avoid all those ATM charges on my checking account?

Saving on ATM charges

I don't ever use the ATM machines. I mean NEVER! Why pay for using your own money. Is it really THAT convenient? Plan ahead and use the drive-in window or go inside the bank and cash a check. All those charges do add up, if your not careful.

How can I become more organized?

Buy 4 for $

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.

What should I be aware of when investing my money?

Beware of the scam

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.

How can I get information on my banking needs?

Get good information

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?

Are there coupon savings other than for groceries?

Savings in newspaper coupons

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.

What are more ways to save on utilities?

Daytime thermostat settings

This is for cold, winter weather: set the thermostat no higher than 70 degrees during the day. Even one degree higher can increase utility costs by 6% or more.

What is best....showers or baths?

Hit the showers

We can actually use less hot water by taking showers rather than baths. Hidden savings on utilities.

How can I save on my auto/home insurance?

More on auto/home insurance

By increasing your 'deductible' on insurance, you can lessen the premium, both on auto and home policies. Weigh the circumstances: can I readily afford the higher deductible when/if needed, or the extra I pay for smaller deductible yearly/monthly premium?

How can I get a will at a good price?

Getting A Will Is Not Expensive

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: or call (800) 424-3410.

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson