If you’re retired, or even if you’re still working, it’s fair to say that a lot of us are trying to save as much money as possible while trying to live the best life we can. But could you be spending more money than you need to on the things you’re paying for?
We’ve had a look at the top things that over 60s spend money on and how to reduce our spending so we can enjoy life.
1. Bottled water
This is a bit of an obvious one but sometimes when we’re on the run, it can be easier to just grab a bottle of water than to fill one up. Bottled water contributes to millions of tonnes of waste each year so it’s better to take a collapsible bottle with you and fill it up. It’s better for the environment and your wallet.
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 website 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.
This might seem obvious but there are still so many over 60s who buy a lotto ticket every week. Sure, you might win a little bit from time to time but the chances of getting the jackpot are slim to none. Instead, why not enter into free competitions on websites like Competition Crazy or Win Free Stuff?
4. Extended warranties
If you purchase a product in Australia and it is faulty within a reasonable time of ownership, you are entitled to a replacement, refund or exchange with a proof of purchase. Therefore, extended warranties can be an excessive waste of money, particularly if you get no use out of it.
5. Over the counter medication
Brands exist to compete with each other for your dollar but if you’re buying branded medication over-the-counter, the generic product will do just as well. This includes Panadol or Nurofen – the dollar stuff at the supermarket does the trick.
6. Cups of coffee
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 expensive a habit it is. Instead, buy a coffee machine and buy your own beans, or go to easy route and purchase a pod coffee machine and some pods. The average price of a coffee, if you must have one, is about $1.15 a cup.
7. Drinks and popcorn at the movies
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.
Dinner out on the town can also be a special treat but before you go, check coupon websites for discounted meals. You might find that you save over 50 per cent of what you would usually pay! It helps to look around. Check out ShopaDocket or Groupon.
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!
We love to look good, us over 60 ladies, but most of the time it costs a pretty penny. Makeup can cost a fortune but you actually don’t need to spend a lot – $20 is the most you should spend on foundation or concealer. Splurge on those two items plus face powder. Scrimp on lip stick, 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’re still spending $20 on a book, you aren’t doing it right! Libraries still exist and you can still borrow books for free. You can also get an eReader and buy eBooks online via Amazon or Booktopia, and they are often around $5-10. Otherwise, for the real discount option, there are thousands of free books to download online here.
12. Phone plan
If you’ve had the same phone plan for the last few years, you might want to call your service provider to see what the latest deals are. You could be paying $20-50 more than you should be just because you didn’t check! We’ve also done the hard work for you and found the best way to get a better deal on your phone plan.
13. Cleaning products
Cleaning products can be expensive but did you know you could just make most of them yourself? Vinegar and bi carb are lifesavers and can replace a kitchen cupboard’s worth of products.
Coupon websites – before you go anywhere or use any service, check for a coupon online.
Check for seniors discounts – we’ve found all the senior discount directories for each state
Ask – simply ask for a discount! You can do this when negotiating a bill or even at the mechanic.
Google it – if in doubt, Google it. You will be surprised just how much information is out there about how to save money.
Tell us today, what do you spend the majority of your money on? How do you save money? Share your best money saving tips below.