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ATM Smart Savings Sweepstakes
We know that saving, especially for retirement, isn’t easy! That’s why the editors of AARP The Magazine created a digital magazine all about savings and retirement. AARP The Magazine’s Special Money & Retirement digital issue is here to help you better save for what lies ahead. Post your favorite savings tip in the discussion below. Just by posting you’ll be entered for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000!
How to download the special Money and Retirement digital issue:
It’s easy to download the digital magazine! Click here to read the special Money & Retirement digital issue.
Enter the sweepstakes in 2 easy steps:
1. Sign in or register on AARP.org
2. Post to the “AARP Smart Savings Sweepstakes” discussion board.
That’s it. You’ve entered the sweepstakes.
I use coupons for shopping and I started to pay myself first before I would pay my bills. I made sure what I would pay myself would still leave me with enough money to pay my bills. I gave up going out to buy coffee at starbucks and lessen the amount of times I'd eat out. I would also make sure my car was operating well. I would utilize the internet to see who had the best price on gas before filling up.
When I was young I learned from my parents to save for things that I wanted before purchasing them and not use credit. I only use my credit cards for things that I am able to pay off at the end of each month and then I never have any credit card debt and never have to pay interest. It saves more than you think.
That saved enough for trips, furniture and much more.
1. Go to websites of your favorite products as many have coupons that can be printed or can be "loaded" on your rewards cards at for example Kroger, etc.
2. Sign up on Walgreens balance rewards program. First you will be tracking important health data and making goals for yourself. It is a motivator. For me - I put my weight loss goal at 1 pound. When you meet the goal you get 250 points. And get your lab work from your doctor and put that in where appropriate, same for blood pressure, blood sugar, A1c, cholesterol. You also track your activity (walking, exercise, etc) do at least 25 minutes perday and you get the goal for the day. Right now today I have $60.00 in my account at Walgreens to spend..that I got just for doing these activities daily. Remember Walgreens has AARP day first Tuesday of each month - you get 20% off!
3. Take advantage of AARP or senior (which can be as young as 50) discounts when going out to eat, auto service,etc. There are many restaurants, etc that offer discounts that are not affiliated with AARP - so always ask
4. Try your best to keep 10% of your income each month in savings
5. If you are a camper - in Florida - for AARP/seniors you can stay at state/national park campgrounds for approximately $10 per night last time I checked.
6. If you are staying at a hotel, especially one week or longer, you can call them and speak with their marketing person and I have gottten as much as 75% off published rates (that was based on a 2 month stay). The longer you stay the deeper the discount. Also if you are willing to give up daily housekeeping that helps.
7. I have found that if I order my long term meds through mail order and get generic - mine are free. That saves me hundreds for each refill (90 day refill).
8. My medicare is through Humana - they have a vitality program which gives me points every day for walking 7000 steps or if I go to silver sneaker gym. I also get points for doing healthy things like getting annual wellness exam, annual eye exam, dental exam, mammogram, bone density, colo rectal screening, glucose test, cholesterol checked, vital signs and being weighed. All these activities give me many points which I can then use in their "Vitality Mall" where I can get iPad, iPod, Fitbit trackers, Polar trackers, workout equipment, gift cards, and many other things. These are all free just doing things I would do anyway
9. Use retail me not when shopping - so many retailers have coupons on there - and you can put the app on your phone - very easy and saves lots.
10. I try to have only $10 cash in my wallet and I have only used an ATM twice in 10 years. When I do my grocery shopping I get minimal cash back to use for a necessity if out to long.
11. Take advantage of the AARP discounts for insurance, purhasing a new vehicle, local shopping, restaurants,etc. - and that local can be what ever city you put in the search field.
12. Link your AARP account to Walgreens and other retailers for more discounts and/or more points to use for puchasing power
13. Use Groupon for going out to eat, dental exams, hair cuts/color, and many other purchases and travel - they have great discounts also.
14. Last but not least I use Quicken software and have a budget set up. I will not go over my "going out to eat", new clothes, etc budget. I actually try to stay at least 10% below the budget on these extras. This software is great to keep track of what you are spending and where. It is a great tool to allow you to exam where you are spending $$$ where it may not be a necessity
So many more - but I don't want to overwhelm!
I was always taught to re-purpose, reuse, and recycle. My family never threw away anything they could fix. Also, get a credit card for emergency purposes but when you use it try to pay it off in full every month. That will increase your credit score which gets you better interest rates on auto loans, mortgages, auto insurance and many other benefits. Do not live for instant gratification but save for what you want. You'll be happier in the long run.
To save $$$ in and for retirement you can:
visit local area library websites for interesting music, theater and art workshops, hear lectures, learn skills and interesting discussions on current topics and some have museum passes that allow you to visit for free!
rent DVDs from the library for a low cost evening at home- they usually include recently released DVDS, catch up on a TV/Cable past season episodes, learn a skill or scope out an upcoming vacation spot
visit county websites for summer music and plays usually held in county parks in the evening - bring a picnic basket, enjoy the evening!
visit hospital websites as many offer community outreach programs which provide information about a wide range of health topics, senior programs, mediation/yoga etc
look up free museum days, free garden days, national park service events, and free art museum days all for things to do that are fun and save $$$
Online Community has updated the site design in our discussions area to make it easier to connect, follow a conversation and access resources.
The new look and feel will be rolled out in multiple phases starting with these initial improvements in the conversations and replies levels.