Tips for Seniors

5 Great Budget Stretchers For Smart Seniors

5 Great Budget Stretchers For Smart Seniors

The strange thing about money is how fast it seems to go and how slowly it seems to grow.  We spend time trying to find no fee checking accounts and high interest savings.  What we forget is that pennies make dollars.  If you can save on regular expenditures, you’ll see a shift in your budget that may come as a surprise.

Here are some great ideas to save and stretch your dollars.

1. Check with the power company.  They may have savings programs for time of use.  I have a free digital thermostats that they can use to raise my home’s temperature, no more than 3 degrees, for a short time during high demand times of the day in summer. The thermostat installation was free and if I have problems they’ll check my unit for free and tell me if I need an HVAC company. Last time it saved me a service call fee. They also give me a $1 credit for every day they use it.  Last summer, I stayed comfortable and in addition to the service call savings the free program saved power and took $19 off of my bill.

2. Is there a seniors helping seniors program in your community?  Ask if they will check your house for problems.  I had a delightful senior couple change old fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, add insulation around doors, and install low flow aerators on my indoor faucets.  All for free, including the supplies.  Plus, my energy use and carbon footprint went down.

While they were here they gave me details on a grant funded solar screen installation project free to qualifying seniors. I wasn’t good in my ZIP code, but what a deal!

3. Join store loyalty programs.  You’ll get discounts, points towards rewards, future purchases and fuel, even free merchandise bonuses.  Almost all drug, grocery and retail stores, and many restaurants have them with free sign up.

4. Stay away from credit cards for regular purchases if you are not going to pay the entire balance each month, before interest hits.  Interest charges are always higher that your cash back! Instead use a cash back debit card.

5. Join AARP.  My $15 dues saved me $99 on an Ancestry.com membership renewal.  I only checked it on a whim. Which reminds me…

Check all of your memberships, clubs, and associations for discounts.  The savings won’t come looking for you. But, in 15 minutes you could be the proud owner of a free digital thermostat, a discounted family tree and some extra cash in your wallet.  Grandma would be so proud of you.

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