People who are over 50 that are getting closer to retirement may have to pay attention to saving more money. Here are 5 ways to “feed the pig” a little more that just might work for you too.
1. Use Credit Smarter. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you only use your credit card(s) for emergency purchases, like a car repair, or other bills that suddenly appear, or to take advantage of sales on items you use frequently, you’ll go a long way in keeping your balances/payments lower.
Also, take advantage of cards with rewards programs attached so that every time you do use your card you’ll get a percentage of it back. Try to keep balances within your monthly budget so you can make payments on time and avoid APR rates from rising.
2. Make a Clear Budget. Go through all your monthly bills and figure exactly how much everything is costing you and what resources (job, savings, annuities, social security, etc.) you have coming in to deal with them.
Knowing exactly how much you need to have on hand each month to pay bills can help you prevent “binge buying” or splurging at least until after you’ve paid all your necessary bills first. Then, only spend the amount of money you’ve allocated to incidental purchases.
3. Efficient Appliance Insurance: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have to quickly come up with the money to replace, or repair, a major appliance that suddenly goes on the fritz? You can get insurance on all your appliances through your local energy companies for about $30 a month.
If your furnace, refrigerator, hot water heater, stove, etc, is deemed to old to repair, you can get up to $700 or more towards buying a new one. If you get a new appliance with 5-20 year warranty on it, you can usually drop that item from your insurance, or have minimal coverage on it, and lessen your insurance premium per month.
4. Discounts, Gift Certs, Promos. Cashiers may forget to ask, but you shouldn’t forget to get the senior discount every time you pull out your wallet where it’s honored. Many places offer the discount earlier than age 60, at age 55. You can use it for everything from eating out, to renting a car, to buying a cup of coffee, to movies, theme parks, hotel stays, and much more. An awesome benefit of the SD – you, and 3 other friends, can get into the National Parks for free by obtaining a senior pass. Are you a veteran? You can get an additional 10% discounts at home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s etc.
Joining AARP can get you a big list of discounts for many things. If you shop online, be sure to make use of the promo code for a discount and find out how much you have to spend in order to get the free shipping which can be a significant savings. Combining an order with a family member or friend can help you both get free shipping. When eating out, there are many specials offered on food at Happy Hour or an Early Hour dinner. Also, ask about gift certificates for your own future use. If you spend $20, you can get a $25 or more value. Places like Groupon, etc, have many 2 for 1 offers as well.
5. Do Your Own Repairs. There are many home maintenance jobs that you could do yourself and save $$$ on pricey contractors if you take a little time to learn how to do them. Big home improvement stores often hold instruction classes on Saturday mornings on how to do simple leaky faucet fixes .They also carry many instruction books on different subjects to do certain home repair/improvement projects. YouTube is also a good source, as it has clear how-to tutorials for certain repairs.