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October, 2012


I checked out AARP online recently and found hundreds of ideas for how to be frugal. You can too. Then with those extra unspent dollars you can start or augment an investing strategy. With enough lead time and any luck, you'll finish wealthy.

Here are a few of the tips at AARP:

  • If 50 or over, get and use a membership in The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which provides many significant discounts for travel lodging, insurance, retail establishments, etc.

  • Buy a senior pass for a one-time fee of $10 from the National Park Service at any national park entrance station and enjoy free lifetime entry thereafter at any of over 2000 U.S. parks and recreation sites.

Yellowstone Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, WY

  • Many yoga studios provide free trial memberships of healthy yoga classes. Check out the options at Yoga Health Foundation and at your city's equivalent of this Austin Yoga Teachers listing of free and donated yoga instruction.

  • Keep tires properly inflated to assure best gas mileage.

  • Look into free or low-cost tax-time help, usually available to older, poor, and middle-income filers. Often the centers are staffed by certified volunteers, and there are many sites around the country.

  • Pay yourself instead. Consider how much you would have to shell out for vacuuming, maintenance chores, cutting and edging the lawn, etc., and the job might even be done as well by the professionals. So when you do a task rather than hiring it done, pay into a jar for money saved! The accumulated cash can pay for treats for yourself, like a yearned for vacation or else can feather your nest (egg) in longer-term ways.

  • Like it or not in the abstract, SNAP (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) can provide a boon to individuals who have limited financial resources. Yet 2/3 of eligible individuals do not sign up. Failing to do so if you qualify often hurts two ways, in the pocketbook and in one's overall health. Thanks to a non-profit, Wholesome Wave, people can supplement SNAP benefits further through teaming up with local farmers' markets. It might be worth checking into.

  • Look into free or low-cost online college programs, many provided by reputable universities such as MIT, Open University, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford, and many more. Options might be checked at Education Insider, Coursera, Udacity, and EdX.

  • Next time shopping for chicken eggs, note that white shell ones have the same taste and nutrition as the more expensive brown ones.

  • Consider the many uses of vinegar at Vinegar Tips. During my recent vacation on CO, for example, I found it very helpful as a first aid treatment for mild sunburn.

And after we have saved a nice chunk of change by such means, David Bach, in his book, The Automatic Millionaire, tells what to do with it to help assure future financial security: a. start a tax-deferred account and add to it with your monthly savings taken out of the paycheck before you even see it; or b. buy your own home (so long as it is not beyond your means) and see its equity can gradually build up; or c. pay down your non-mortgage debts such as for credit card or student loans; or d. invest in well diversified portfolios of bonds and stocks or bond/stock mutual funds, closed end funds, or exchange traded funds; e. rebalance your assets from time to time, to sell portions of investment classes when they are relatively high and buy other portions when relatively low.

Happy saving!


Larry is not a professional. Don't take him seriously!

Actually, the investment article provided here is for general information only and should not be considered as professional advice, a solicitation to buy or sell any security, or the Word of God. Investors are encouraged to do their own research while considering their personal goals and circumstances, or consult their own professional financial advisors, before making investment decisions. Neither Larry nor LARVALBUG will be liable for any losses sustained by any visitor to this site.

(Disclosure statement: Larry and Val have holdings in some of the suggested assets but do not "make a market" in any of them and do not derive any direct benefit from recommending them, except perhaps for a bit of smug self-satisfaction.)

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