Saving Money

     For decades, people worked toward retirement. They scrimped and saved and sacrificed things they wanted in their youth for the promise and security of a retirement that was comfortable and full of all the things life promises us. Unfortunately, those hay days didn’t last long, and the reality of retirement is much less ambition these days. Many seniors are working well past 65 years of age and some are even 75 or 80 years old holding down some form of employment.

     For some, a job is a way to stay active and interact with people, but for so many more, it is about survival. “Save your money for a rainy day” isn’t just something your mother said to keep you from spending that money that was burning a hole in your pocket - it’s a way of life. And you can start at any age. Here are five ways to save money for a rainy day so that you never find yourself without even a little money.

Pretend You’re a Squirrel

 Whether it’s one dollar or one hundred dollars. If all you can muster is a few dollars or some spare change, put it in an account or a dish on your dresser. For seniors, a few dollars here and there can make all the difference in their grocery bills. But you don’t have to be well into retirement to save your change: starting to save money at any age is a good thing. Don’t tell yourself it’s too late or you won’t be able to save enough. Stash something away a little at a time and you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t keep it All Bottled Up

In some areas, you can return plastic bottles for money. If you drink a lot of bottled beverages or use tetra packs for juice or almond milk, you can return them for a few cents each. Now, a few cents might not sound like a good way to save money, but if you add that money up all year, year over year, you’ll end up with quite the little nest egg. A large bag of plastic bottles will yield between $10-$15 per bag depending on the return rate in your area, but imagine if you got that money just for returning bottles to the recycling depot month over month. That would surely add up. As a senior, if you have a CDPAP program in place, you can get help to run your errands and ensure your monthly expenses are paid on time.
Let it Go
Just like the song says, “Let it Go!” Don’t hang on to things just for the sake of hanging on to them. Instead of letting your stuff collect dust, you could be collecting some money for them. Old movies, records, housewares, and even clothes are all worth a few dollars each and if you had someone help you organize a yard sale, you could put a little something away for a rainy day. Most yard sales bring in a hundred dollars, especially if you have some old furniture you can sell. People have a tendency to hang on to their belongings but if they’d be better served with someone else, it might be worth it to cash in on what you’re hanging on to.

Invest Like the Rest

Many people think you need thousands of dollars to start investing for retirement; but with just a handful of dollar bills and a good financial advisor, you can make your money work for you. Some people invest as little as $25 a month. While it can take time to see some return on your investment, you can at least rest easy knowing that you are stashing away that $25 or more each month and it will be there when you need it later. You don’t need to put away a lot of money to benefit from it later.

Buy Gift Cards

If you know you’ll spend your cash, get into the habit of buying gift cards that you can use later. This is a great way to save money for Christmas or birthdays. If you have some extra money, use it to buy gift cards that you can give as gifts or spend yourself later. This is also a great way to buy groceries or gasoline for your car. Most gift card companies have lifted the expiration dates on gift cards so you can hang on to them for years, as long as the company doesn’t go out of business. So pick up a $10 grocery card next time you are shopping and put it in a drawer at home for a rainy day. Little by little, it all adds up. So whether you are 16 or 66 years old, you are never too old or too young to start saving money.

About the Author:

Kristen Heller: Kristen is a passionate writer, teacher, and mother to a wonderful son. When free time presents itself you can find her tackling her lifelong goal of learning the piano!

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