Save Money!: Three Tips for Senior Adults

Piggy bank with money

Many people eagerly look forward to retirement as a time to get to enjoy some of the activities they had to put off when they were working nine to five. But the majority also have some concerns about finances. Without that regular paycheck, the budget may get tighter.

Despite government benefits and 401(k)s, their new income may not feel completely comfortable. That’s why we’ve found three ways that senior adults can save money, both in the immediate and long-term.

Senior Discounts

As the baby boomers continue to age up into retirement, many companies have been reexamining and revamping their senior discount policy. Some are improving their programs while others are cutting their benefits.

Another thing that can be confusing from store to store is that while some stores have store-wide policies, others allow each location or franchise to make their own decisions. So while you may think a particular store doesn’t offer a discount, it never hurts to ask at each location. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Senior discounts typically range from 5% to 20% off, with most being around 10%. This amount may seem small, but it can add up across the board, especially on consistent purchases. A 10% discount on groceries each week may afford you a recreational trip out to eat by the end of the month.

To get started on your quest for the best senior discounts, you can start with this compilation of 100+ stores from Brad’s List.

Stay Healthy

The advice to stay healthy may not seem that it belongs in an article of money saving tips, but avoiding health problems can make a huge dent in your budget. Not all conditions are avoidable by lifestyle change, but many can at least be improved upon. Improving your health will cut back on expenses for prescriptions and doctors visits

One way to stay healthy is by eating healthy meals. Home cooked is usually best, unless you are only cooking by eating processed foods in the microwave. When you cook at home, you can better control what ingredients go into your meals as well as your portion size. Eating natural foods and cutting back on excess sugar and salt can help control blood pressure and diabetes. Portion control will also help you manage your weight.

Exercising goes along with diet to reduce weight and improve physical health and fitness. Even if your activity is limited for health reasons, there are gentle range-of-motion exercises you can do to help with flexibility, strength, and balance. Improving these areas will reduce your chances of having an injury related to falls.

Don’t Make Quick Decisions

Making quick decisions can be the downfall of your budget. Most people know the dangers of impulse shopping. We’ve all stopped by the store for one item and come out with a basketful instead. Those types of purchases can really add up. But it’s not just impulse buying that can run up the bills.

You also need to think carefully before saying yes to extracurricular activities, charities, or parties that may incur extra expense. While you will want to spend time out with friends and family, participate in the local church drive, or go to that 50th wedding anniversary, accepting these types of invitations may come with a price tag for presents, food and transportation, or donations.

Before making any decisions, consider the overall possible expense and see if it fits into your budget. If not, you may have to politely decline, or at the very least offer to participate in a different manner. For example, if you can’t make donations to the local can drive, maybe you can volunteer to help collect donations or arrange the shelves.

ILA carries several products to help you keep your finances organized. Our Personal Financial Management Kit is one of the most popular for those with low vision.