MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR SENIORS

May 18th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Senior Citizens Find Money Saving Moves

It seems that seniors are always on the lookout for ways to save money. That is likely because most of us live on a fixed income that is based on a Social Security check and -for some- a pension. We don’t like to dip into our investments, if we have any, because that represents the ‘rainy day’ money that helps us feel more financially secure.

When a couple of events occurred in the past few weeks, we took note and decided to share our experiences with our readers.

The utility company sent us a notice that said our monthly electric bill had been reduced by 60%. Wow! We are on the plan that estimates our usage over a year, averages that usage and bills us the same amount every month. A reconciliation takes place every year, and the account is analyzed quarterly to be sure we are actually close to the estimated amount.

We accumulated more than $800 excess payments in six months, and our monthly bill was reduced as a result. How did this happen? Likely, part of the excess was the electric company over-estimating our bill. But it is based on average temperatures, square footage in our home and guesses about how much electricity we will actually use.

What did we do? We do not use the electric clothes dryer; we hang our clothes on two small drying racks outside on the patio. We set our thermostats at 80┬┤(summer) and 78┬┤winter, and dress accordingly. We make sure the furnace/AC is turned off when we do not need it; we open doors and windows front and back to get a breeze through the house in the early morning. Lights are turned off when we leave a room. We seldom use the electric oven in the kitchen; instead we use our patio grille for baking and grilling. We heat water with an electric tea kettle rather than using the cooktop. We turn off electronic items when not in use.

More Tips for Saving Money

The other thing we do to save money is drop our coins in a jar every few days. My purse gets heavy with the accumulation of coins, so years ago we began saving coins and taking them to the bank a couple of times a year. There are all kind of options for what to do with the saved money. We’ve used it for gifts for our adult children; mad money for us; a special treat that we would not otherwise purchase; savings; travel… the options are boundless. The money we saved this time will go for a special trip we are taking to celebrate my 70th birthday.

Money saving tips are numerous on the Internet. This one on the AARP website helps seniors think about what they can do to not only save money, but also add to their income. It is literally possible to add thousands of dollars to your annual income with these suggestions. Take a look and then decide which ones will work for you.

 



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