Money Saving Tips for Seniors

by Jamie Simmerman · 6 comments

Smiling lady

Many seniors are living on a fixed income, and even those living comfortably often look for ways to save money to travel more, leave a bigger inheritance, or simply have a larger nest egg for unexpected events.

Since many seniors saw their 401Ks dwindle with the stock market crash, planning for retirement has become a hot topic. How do you save more in less time? While there may not be any quick and easy answers, the solution may lie in pinching pennies and spending smarter.

Here are a few tips to help you stretch that social security or pension check even farther.

Money Saving Tips for Seniors

1. If you’re within five years of retirement age, consider transferring your 401K to a gold-backed IRA.

Gold IRAs are more secure than stocks, and historically show a steady increase in value — a safer investment as you near retirement.

2. Consider shutting off your landline and going mobile. 

Phone service can be expensive. If you’re not the chatty type and only need a phone for occasional calls and emergencies, you may not need your landline anymore. You can even talk to your kids about adding an extra line to their plan for more savings. Most plans allow you to add a line and share minutes for an extra $10 a month. You can also opt for a prepaid cell phone, which can cost as little as $10 a month to keep your minutes active.

3. For social engagement that won’t break the bank, try finding a favorite meeting place with amenities you value.

For instance, you can cancel your newspaper subscription and spend your buck a day on a cup of joe at the local coffee shop. Many shops offer a free “community” newspaper for patrons. This gives you more for your buck than you’d get sitting at home with the morning paper. You can also visit the local McDonalds or library for free wi-fi and social interaction if you want to cut back on internet expenses.

4. Get to know you neighbors.

Only need four pieces of bread a week? Share a loaf with your neighbor and take turns buying the bread each week. You can do the same with all perishables — like milk, eggs, and cheese. Create cooperative grocery lists for the month to help plan your savings ahead of time.

5. Take advantage of senior discounts.

Call your local senior center or visit Sciddy to find senior discounts in your area.

6. Check into lowering your taxes.

I live in Ohio, where Homestead Exemption lowers property taxes for those 65 and older. Check if your state has a similar program.

7. Schedule a visit to your local Department of Job and Family Services.

Even if you don’t need Medicaid, there may be programs available to help you stretch your savings each month. You can apply for a budgeting program for utilities, have a contractor visit your home to install energy saving items like CFL light bulbs or weather stripping, or just get a few tips on making ends meet on Medicare.

8. Visit your local Department of Agriculture.

If you grow the majority of your own food and rely on home canned goods to get you through the winter, your local Department of Agriculture can help. They offer free expert advice for common gardening problems and canning questions.

You can also check into special programs available that are perfect for seniors, like learning to be a beekeeper. Last year, my state offered free training and equipment to seniors who were willing to learn to keep bees to help boost the bee population. Many programs crop up every year, and being in the know helps you take advantage of these free programs and benefits.

What are your senior-specific money tips? 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate June 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

I am a senior who has learned over the years to save on the things I don’t need and spend on those that make life more worth living. Thanks to the microwave, I don’t waste nearly as much food as I used to, for example; when you compare the costs of buying pre-packaged microwave meals to the cost of buying fresh ingredients and winding up throwing half of them out because you can’t use them up, the difference will surprise you. I don’t drive, so my outings are limited; I spend that money on a good Cable package instead, and still save money. But generally speaking, I spend on what makes me comfortable, and not on what’s wasteful.

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KM June 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

How about buying frozen ingredients, such as broccoli, peas, carrots, green beans, corn, and other mixed vegetables so you can still eat more healthfully without wasting food? Those pre-packaged meals are so bad for you, but you don’t have to waste food to replace them. Nonperishable items like rice and pasta can be combined with beans and meat/veggies from the freezer for easy meals whenever you want. They will still stay frozen fine after you open the bag, so you don’t even need to cook everything – just enough for a day or two or whatever is comfortable for you.

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Law Office of Leslie Williams June 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

Lots of places offer senior discounts as well if you just ask. That can be a great way to save a few dollars every day on meals or products.

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KT June 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I had a land line for decades (until 3/13) when I decided to try Straight Talk’s home phone service. I’m most comfortable with a home phone versus a cell phone that because the cell always seems to lose its charge just when I need it.
I was spending on average $30 for local ATT service then an additional $10 to $15 for the cheapest Long Distance Carrier I could find (Pioneer).
After paying $99 for the Straight Talk Home Phone unit at Walmart (which was easy to program and I was able to keep my same phone number which I’d also had for decades!), it costs me about $16/month for a home phone now and this including all the taxes. After 3.5 months, the unit has been paid for in monthly savings and I’m now paying $25 to $30 less per month for phone service with no noticeable loss of quality.
FYI – I do have Directv service which still works even without the land line attached to it. Had I known that, I would have changed over my service much sooner.
Try it – I think you’ll like it. I know I do.
(I do not work for Straight Talk nor am I benefiting in any way from promoting this product. I just want people to be able to save money like I’m doing.

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Property Marbella June 16, 2013 at 3:08 am

Try to find a small farming lots, as many communities have common areas that they rent out very cheaply. You get fresh air, nice friends and vegetables at a reduced cost.

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C.j. June 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Check your local bank or credit union to see if they offer a senior bank account Some banks offer seniors free checks w/their senior accounts

Also check your states Council on Aging to see if your state offers a discount program card for example in the state of Ohio seniors can sign up for the Buckeye program

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