9 Ways Seniors Can Save Money

9-Ways-You-Can-Save-Money-as-a-Senior-in-copy-imageSeniors are living longer now than ever before, which is great news. But statistics on their financial well-being paint a troubling picture. The National Council on Aging estimates millions of Americans over the age 60 are having a hard time meeting their monthly expenses. Most seniors live on fixed incomes, but the costs of healthcare, housing and utilities continue to rise significantly each year.

What can a person living on a fixed-income do?

If you are concerned about your finances, here are nine tips that can help save money for seniors – starting today.

  • Seniors Can Check GasBuddy Before Filling Their Tanks

If you want to find affordable fuel, visit GasBuddy.com – or you can download the GasBuddy app right to your smartphone. Once you enter your Zip Code, the site identifies the lowest fuel prices in your area. It also tells you the highest prices in the area, which can help you see how much you are saving with every fill-up.

  • Visit

If you are trying to get the most out of your retirement budget, GoodRx is an app (and a website) that shows you the best prices on prescription meds in your area. To save additional money, the site offer coupons that you can print or download to your phone and present at the next visit to your pharmacy.

  • Skip Meat Entrees Occasionally and Save Money

Not only is it good health advice to go vegetarian occasionally, but it’s also good financial advice for seniors. Eating Well magazine offers vegetarian meals on a budget, such as black-bean chili, baked macaroni and cheese, slow-cooker vegetarian lasagna or cheese-and-spinach-stuffed portabellas. And – not only do leftovers taste better the next day – they can also help you get the most out of your meal budget.

  • Save Money by Visiting the Library

Seniors are typically masters of the library, but even frequent library visitors may not know everything the library offers. In addition to books (including that current bestseller you have your eye on), most libraries have plenty of CDs, audio books, DVDs and games available for check out. They also offer internet access, photography collections, magazines and even subscriptions to genealogy websites. (This last one can be a money saver since some genealogy sites charge as much as $200 to join.)

  • Speaking of Genealogy … Look for Free Sites

Many seniors enjoy studying their family tree. However, for seniors on a budget, it can be a pricey hobby. Before embarking on a study of your roots, take a look at family tree magazine, which ranks the 25 Best Genealogy Websites for Beginners, including many that are free of charge.

  • Join AARP and Take Advantage of Senior Discounts

An AARP membership only costs about $16 a year, but typical member benefits and senior discounts make it worth your while. You can save money on rental cars, hotels, restaurants, insurance, movie tickets, cell plans and vision plans. Additionally, many retailers and websites offer AARP discounts.

  • Seniors Should Scrutinize Cell-phone and Medical Bills

Going over bills with a fine-tooth comb can be a hassle. There’s too much small print, and half of it seems like it’s in a foreign language. But that’s exactly why mistakes can slip by. You may be paying for things you don’t need. For instance, you may not need unlimited texting on your cell phone plan. Some cell plans, such as My Rate Plan, allow you to order only what you need. Similarly, AARP determined eight out of 10 medical bills contain errors. So, be sure to ask for an itemized medical bill after your next appointment.

  • If You Are a Senior with Credit Card Debt, Pay It Off

If you’ve turned to credit cards in the past to help with living expenses, you may be paying for it now. Don’t feel alone. The National Council on Aging found more than 30 percent of senior households carry outstanding credit card balances. Unfortunately, many consumers opt to pay only the minimum payment each month, which usually results in higher debt. Take a tip from  Bank of America, which suggests more than the minimum each month. By increasing your monthly payment by just $10 a month, you can greatly reduce your debt. For instance, if you have card debt of $1,500 and an 18 percent interest rate, making minimum payments will cost you $1,760 in interest alone by the time you pay off the debt. However, if you pay $10 more each month, the total interest would add up to $557.59 over the life of the debt.

  • Seniors Can Benefit from Making an Extra Mortgage Payment Each Year

Similarly, paying a little more on your mortgage can make a big difference. If you make one additional mortgage payment each year – and apply it to your loan principal, it significantly reduces the overall interest you owe. U.S. News & World Report estimates that one extra payment of about $1,200 a year would save the average consumer $47,000 over the life of their loan.

Looking for additional tips to make ends meet as you age in place? Check out Tips for Overcoming the Rising Costs of Senior Living.