10 Money Saving Lessons From Senior Citizens

As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement, it’s worth it to take the time to determine how today’s senior citizens have become so financially successful. After all, according to MarketingCharts.com, boomers control some 70% of all the disposable income in the United States. What are their secrets for savings?
1. Put Money Away For The Future Seniors who live on a fixed income know the value of saving: pay yourself first and you’ll find that no paycheck is ever wasted. There’s no certain number about how much you should save each week or month, but The Nest recommends putting away ten percent.
2. Find Cheap (or Free) Alternatives Look around for ways to eliminate the dollar-heavy needs of your life. One example: if you dread the daily commute and the gasoline associated with it, ditch rush-hour traffic and ride a no-gas required bike; you’ll not only be saving money, but according to the New York Daily News, you’ll be much happier.
3. Think About Renting Rather Than Owning AARP reports that it’s often a better idea for seniors to rent rather than own in retirement. The same principles — costs of maintenance, time spent in the area — apply to those who aren’t retired.
4. Look For Hobbies That Make, Rather Than Spend, Money You may often see seniors selling custom-made goods at art and crafts fairs, because they know it’s better to find a hobby that pays rather than sink money into your free time. A hobby like breeding pets or collecting valuables can be capable of netting a big return on the investment — as opposed to, say, a motorcycle that only depreciates in value.
5. Wait To Buy What You Want Patience is learned over a lifetime, with seniors having long since realized the economic virtues of waiting to buy. Airline tickets, for instance, can be much more expensive if purchased well ahead of time, reports Quartz, and can be snagged on the cheap as the date approaches.
6. Save Early To Get Compound Interest Seniors who started investing early in their lives reap the benefits in old age. A Business Insider chart illustrates the stark difference: investing $5000 a year will be worth over one million if started at age 25, but only half a million if started at age 35.
7. Use Rewards Credit Cards Instead of Cash Seniors carry more credit card debt, reports Opposing Views, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Provided that you pay off your debt in full each month, there’s no advantage to cash over credit cards. Credit cards not only allow you to better track your spending, but offer rewards as well.
8. Buy In Bulk Visit a grocery store and you’ll see prices like one toothbrush available for $1, four for $2.50, and ten for $4. Buying in bulk often offers more value per unit and ensures you won’t need to run out and buy more any time soon — saving on time and gas as well as groceries.
9. Go Green If you think seniors are reluctant to embrace new things, think again. Treehugger reports that more seniors are interested in environmental changes and issues. Basic green changes to your life like carpooling and solar fixtures can save as much as thousands of dollars in energy and utility bills.
10. Never Pay For What You Can Do Yourself
Deadspin infographic about the cost of drinks at a bar captures the markup of the service industry. Whether it’s eating at a restaurant or having your oil changed at a garage, paying others to do what you can do yourself is never the way to save money.

Author Bio:
Audrey Clark, the author of this post, happens to be a talented blogger who covers a wide selection of interests ranging from jobs and finance to things like travel and leisure, as well as everything in-between. When Audrey isn’t blogging, she is always on the lookout for her next adventure. Connect with Audrey on Twitter and Google+.