The baby boomer's guide to saving money on everything

Saving money is one of the things that is constantly on our mind, and whether we’re retired or still working, we want to put away as much as we can to enjoy life over 60.

You make think you’re a real penny pincher but could you be spending more money than you need to on everyday things?

We’ve had a look at the top things that over 60s spend money on and how to get more money in your hip pocket:

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.

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2. Parking

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.

3. Lotto

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

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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.

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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.

8. Dinners

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.

9. Glasses

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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!

10. Makeup

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!

11. Books

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.

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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.

14. Use hand lotion instead of night cream

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It has the same ingredients and can save you so much money.

15. Go on coupon websites before you shop

ShopaDocket, OzBargain and All the Deals are good places to start. Otherwise, simply Google “coupons for …..” or “discounts for …..”

16. Sharpen disposable razors

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.

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17. Go to the library

Libraries can often be ignored but they offer free books, internet, cheap printing, plus free hire of movies, games and they often have book clubs and activities.

18. Eat vegetarian meals

Save your wallet and your health but having one or two vegetarian meals a week.

19. Call your insurance and ask for a discount

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It’s really as easy as that. As a loyal customer, you deserve a discount and as they say, if you never ask, you’ll never know.

20. Learn to upcycle furniture

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.

21. Put more air in your tyres

Fuel consumption can be impacted by how much air is in your tyres, and you can use a lot more petrol if you’re flat. Go to the servo every few weeks and check the levels.

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22. Find free new hobbies in your area

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”

23. Have “no spend” days

Challenge yourself to go a day or two without spending anything.

24. Go grey

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Go grey or back to your natural hair colour and see how much money you save on hairdresser trips.

25. Try eBooks

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.

26. Lower the brightness on your TV

If you lower the brightness of your TV, you can reduce your bill by up 40 per cent.

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27. Check for seniors discounts

We’ve found all the senior discount directories for each state.

 

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.

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.