Uncle Junior: No crime in watching what you spend

sopranosDominic Chianese, the short-fused Uncle Junior from "The Sopranos," has money-saving tips that won't kill you:

Tip1: Shop at Costco. He and his wife go whenever they can.

"She likes to get all the paper towels that she can save money on," Chianese told WalletPop.

Tip 2: Ride the subway. "I've been riding the subway all my life," said Chianese, who stars in the new indie "The Last New Yorker," opening Feb. 19 in New York.

Tip 3: Live your golden years in the big city. "Urban life is wonderful for seniors," he said. "They can come out of a building and head where people gather. You can feel safe, feel part of the social fabric." Not to mention easy and discounted access to the arts (watching and participating), no car expenses, plus nearby children, grandchildren, and other stimulating young people who will also benefit from your experience, he added.

The clash of modernization and an era he once knew in his beloved New York City resonate with Chianese upon the release of "The Last New Yorker." Chianese plays a bitter Gotham lifer whose scheming ways get old as the city passes him by.

The real-life Chianese is thriving -- but being smart about it. "I'm not into saving money but I realized it's a discipline that's needed. When I was young I didn't have enough respect for it and that's not good."

Chianese, who turns 79 on Feb. 24, practices a kharmic brand of personal finance: "I was never good at handling money," he said. "I like to give it away. The more you give away, the more it comes back to you."

Asked to elaborate, he followed: "It's when you help your children."

Chianese, a stage ("Requiem for a Heavyweight"), TV ("Damages") and film ("Godfather: Part II") veteran who still sings and plays guitar, counts six children, two stepchildren and 13 grandchildren.

Said the performer: "Thank God for the residuals."

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