Seniors: Ten More Ways to Save Money

Jul 21st, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

The response to the SCJ post last week about senior citizens saving money was overwhelming!  So we decided to try to find ten more that are unusual, and not especially well known.  Here they are:

  1. Drive in the continental United States at someone else’s cost.  Rental car companies often are looking to relocate their vehicles; sometimes on local classifieds like craigslist.com and ebayclassifieds.com, you will find an individual who needs a car driven across the country.  You may have to pay gas, but that’s all.  AutoDriveAway is a site that has great information about this option.
  2. Senior citizens over 62 get automatic discounts on Amtrak in the United States and Canada.  Details are available on the web site.
  3. Turn off your car engine when you stop, even for a brief moment.  AARP Bulletin reports 10 seconds of idling your car’s engine uses as much gas as restarting it.  Two minutes uses enough fuel to drive a mile.  Turn it off, Folks!  Unless you have a hybrid, however; they will often do the automatic switch from using the gasoline engine to the electric system, an automatic turn-off. 
  4. Check with your insurance agent about discounts available for good driving records, bundling coverage and household improvements such as metal roofs, upgrading wiring and smoke detectors.
  5. Check with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators to see if some of the $33 billion of unclaimed money (stocks, bank accounts, assets) belongs to you. 
  6. Change your driving habits.  You use five more miles per gallon for every 10-mile speed increase over 55 mph.  Slow down.  Jackrabbit starts and sudden stops use an additional three miles per gallon.  Take your time starting and stopping your vehicle.
  7. Use the free online calculators to determine when you should retire, insurance costs, reverse mortgage options and additional financial decision-issues you are facing.
  8. A reader suggested freezing your credit cards.  Soak them in water and put them in your freezer.  Keeps you from using them.  Put cash in your wallet and watch your spending to cut out non-essentials.
  9. Another reader told us she waits at least two days before she purchases anything over $100.  She looks at it, then walks away or leaves the web site, and if she still thinks she needs it two or three days later, she completes the purchase.
  10. Turn off extras on your phone–land line or mobile.  You can save $5-$10 a month.

That’s it for another ten money-saving tips!  Thanks for your comments!



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