Seniors: Here’s How to Save Money, Make Money and Enjoy Life

Traditional wisdom says you should pack as much money away as possible to cover yourself on a rainy day. But if you’re constantly second-guessing your every splurge, you aren’t leaving yourself a lot of room to enjoy the fruits of your lifelong labors. Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your budget and live life to the fullest.

Shop around

Even if you’ve already signed up for Medicare, you can make changes during the annual open enrollment period. explains that licensed agents are available to discuss plan changes between October 15 and December 7. While you may pay more per month, adding benefits to your plan can save a significant chunk of money each year. You can also shop around for home and auto insurance and optional services, such as cable television and Internet. If you’ve been with your cable provider for more than one year, they will usually allow you to take advantage of special customer retention discounts, but you have to ask. This can be anywhere from $10 to $50 per month or more; you’ll still get the same services, you’ll just pay less.

Leave the car keys behind

If you find yourself behind the wheel of your vehicle less than once per week, you may be able to get rid of your car altogether. AAA reports that annual operating costs can range from $6,777 to more than $10,000. Rideshare services including Uber can get you back and forth a few times each month for much less, especially if you can make your trips during off-peak hours. You may also be able to take advantage of community-sponsored rides when you need to visit the doctor or grocery store.

Socialize on a dime

Your mental well-being is linked to the amount socialization you receive. Due to waning finances, poor health and a dwindling social network, seniors are at a higher risk of isolation and depression when compared to any other age demographic. You don’t have to let money get in your way of enjoying a good time with your friends and neighbors, however. There are plenty of ways to host a party on budget and how to set a gorgeous hors d’oeuvres table for just $20.

Get out of the house – or out of the country

There’s little doubt that traveling can be expensive. But as a senior, you have an advantage and can pack up and go whenever you like. Not only do you have an opportunity to exploit lower costs for off-season excursions, you may also be eligible for entrance into all U.S. National Parks for just $10 thanks to the Senior Pass, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains in more detail here. If you’re looking to get a little further away from home, there are numerous volunteer organizations that offer free room and board – and sometimes transportation – in exchange for services, such as teaching English in impoverished countries or lending a hand in a community garden.

Create a passive income to fund your endeavors

When you don’t have a regular paycheck and your savings are earmarked for living expenses, there are still ways in which you can receive an income. A part-time job is one option but one that will take up time on a regular basis. Consider establishing a passive income by writing a book and self-publishing on Amazon or Nook. If you have experience in a specific profession, for example, you can offer your expertise to up and comers in the industry. An interesting life story or a unique perspective coupled with a bit of clever online marketing can help you and take in a few hundred dollars or more each month.

The moral of the story? You don’t have to be financially wealthy to have a rich life.

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Jim is a retired banker with almost 30 years of experience. He created MoneywithJim to share his advice and other resources on a variety of financial topics.

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