Living a thrifty life on the pension often isn’t a choice, it’s a lifestyle many are obligated to. Millions of Australian seniors are living on just the pension alone, and are scrimping and saving where they can to make ends meet and try and have the best quality of life you can.
But even so, there are ways to save more money than previously thought, just by being savvy.
Here are 30 ways to save every week so that you can enjoy life and make the most of your 60s and beyond.
Finding it hard to save money and even live day to day? You’re not alone. It can be difficult to have any money left over, especially if you’re on the pension and you have bills coming in. But how often are you checking your bills for discrepancies? You could be charged for things you didn’t even realised, such as this Telstra scam.
There are plenty of free activities happening in your area – you just need to find out where. Check your local council’s website, or Google “activities in …. area”
eBooks are often 50 per cent cheaper (or more) than hardcovers. Amazon and Booktopia have eBooks available and the best part is that you can read them on a tablet or eReader – no more lugging around a huge book. There are also websites that have free eBooks of the classics!
Forget about a phone plan you’re locked in to – try a month-to-month prepaid instead. The deals are often better and you can bring along your old phone.
Do you remember when almost everyone had a collection of some sort? Nowadays they can be worth a fortune however some people still have boxes and boxes of vintage goodies in their sheds. It’s time to get it out and sell on sites such as eBay and Gumtree.
Whenever you pick up an item and add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for 10 seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back!
Do you have an extra bedroom that’s not being used? Rent it out on a site like Airbnb or Gumtree. If you live near a popular or tourist area, doing so could bring in a lot of extra money.
ShopaDocket, OzBargain and All the Deals are good places to start. Otherwise, simply Google “coupons for …..” or “discounts for …..”
Wait! Before you throw out that blunt razor, why not sharpen it? It’s as easy as running the razor along your arm in the direction of hair growth six or seven times. Alternatively, you can do this on your jean leg. One man online said he used the same disposable razor for years.
Instead of buying brand new, why not make something old look new? Bunnings often have free DIY workshops which show you how to make some drab into something fab.
Go to the supermarket either around 8am or 5pm to take advantage of mark downs – supermarkets are well known to use these times of the day to mark down fresh produce, which you can freeze if you’re buying in bulk or may not use it.
If you live close to shops and your relatives, and only drive a few days a week, it could be a good idea to get rid of your car. It may feel like you’re getting rid of your independence but in actual fact you will get more money to spend on things you enjoy.
Gumtree and eBay have millions of items ready for you to purchase at a great price, and some even for free on Gumtree. You can get awesome deals on things that have barely been used.
Restaurants are an easy target if you want food and now. If you want a great meal, why not have friends over and everyone brings a plate? Plan your meals in advance so you can only buy those ingredients and freeze anything you don’t eat.
If we eat more, we’re going to spend more. Over 60s are much more prone to dehydration, yet we don’t feel like we are. So have a cup of water instead of eating and you’ll be amazed at just how much less food you snack on.
Here’s our favourite apps that will save you money:
Did you know female products have a price difference to the identical product for men? It’s called the pink tax. So buy men’s razors, shaving cream, deodorant and body wash instead of the female version.
Meat is expensive, let’s face it. Tofu is one of the most underused but useful foods, and it’s so versatile. It can be marinated, grilled and sautéed. It sucks up every flavour you cook it with, and comes in silken, medium and firm, depending on your taste.
Chicken breast is very expensive expensive per kilo, so why not change it by buying boneless, skinless chicken thighs? They’re just as delicious as chicken breasts, and very flavourful.
It’s a common misconception that frozen vegetables lose their vitamins, however this isn’t true. In fact, they are just as good for you as fresh vegetables and in some cases are considerably cheaper. You also save time chopping, and can just use as much.
If you want a cheap haircut, contact your local hair college – the students will give you a trim for a bargain price. There are supervisors present to watch the trainees at work. Otherwise, you can dye your hair yourself – there are plenty of online videos.
By cleaning out your wardrobe, you can sell items you don’t need, or at the very least find other clothes to wear. Here’s how to make it easy.
Stop paying ATM fees because you can’t find your actual bank’s ATM. Stop paying for soft drinks, milk and bread at ultra-high prices at the service station.
Where we get our eyes tested is often where we buy our glasses. But did you know you could save a bucket load by taking your prescription elsewhere and shopping around? Websites like ClearlyContacts, 39DollarGlasses and Discount Optical have great deals on frames and lenses. If all else fails, the $2 glasses from the discount store are better than nothing!
Brands exist to compete with each other for your hard-earned money but if you’re buying branded medication over-the-counter, the generic product will do just as well. This includes Panadol or Nurofen – the $1 stuff at the supermarket does the trick.
Many of us are coffee addicts and love to drink one or two cups (or more!) a day. If you’re buying these at a coffee shop or convenience store, you likely already know how much it can add up. Instead, buy a coffee machine and buy your own beans, or go the easy route and purchase a pod coffee machine and some pods. The average price of a coffee is about $1.15 a cup.
We love to look good but you actually don’t need to spend a lot – $15 is the most you should spend on foundation or concealer. Splurge on those two items plus face powder. Scrimp on lipstick, nail polish, mascara, eye shadow and eye liner. You can buy all of these at the chemist or other cheaper stores. You won’t notice the difference but your wallet will!
If you buy $60 foundation, $20 mascara, $15 lipstick and two $10 nail polishes every quarter, you could save $350 by buying $15 foundation, $5 mascara, $3 lipstick and two $2 nail polishes instead.
It’s tempting to just park in the closest car park to your destination but you could be saving yourself quite a bit of money by finding free car parks. Most council websites will have a street car park map and you will be able to find out where they are. Make sure you give yourself enough time to drive around for a park.
An average car park in inner cities is $20 an hour, so if you use it for two hours every two weeks on average, you could save yourself $1040 a year by looking around.
Going to the movies is a luxury in itself, and as seniors we can usually get a discount. But it’s the candy bar that can really sting us. Why not take your own food in instead? Put some packet popcorn (about $1 from the supermarket) in the microwave and take it in with you, along with some lollies or treats.
If you go to the movies once a fortnight with a partner and buy from the candy bar (around $30 each), you could save $780 by doing it on the cheap, as mentioned above.