5 Great Money-Saving Apps for Seniors
If you're a retiree, you may have more time on your hands, but that doesn't mean your life isn't just as complicated -- and just as expensive -- as anyone else's.
Even though some of your expenses have gone away -- the kids are finally out of college and the mortgage is paid off -- your income is likely lower than it was when you were working, too. Then there are rising medical costs, visits to far-flung relatives, and other later-in-life expenses. Who couldn't use some easy savings? Well, grab your smartphone and get ready to start cutting costs.
LowRx (free; iOS): Many people don't realize how much prescription prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. If you're loyal to your neighborhood drugstore, you might not be getting the best deals.
The LowRx app will change all that. Simply sign up for the discount pass (it's free and requires only a phone number), then search the medication you need and the app will show the drug's cost at pharmacies in your area. It will also display prices of generic equivalents and alternative medications, so that you can discuss that with your doctor and switch to a cheaper drug if it's appropriate.
Sample savings: $4 off coupon for a 30-day supply of Lipitor.
BillGuard (free; iOS, Android coming soon): As you get older, you may find you have more bills, and less patience for reading the fine print to make sure you're not being overcharged.
BillGuard requires a little setup time to link it to your accounts, but once you do that, it combs through them for what it calls "grey charges" –- everything from questionable fees to outright fraud to forgotten memberships. BillGuard claims these charges add up to $14.3 billion a year in added costs for Americans. The app makes it as simple as a tap on your phone's screen to report and investigate iffy fees.
Sample savings: I quickly spotted $35 in late fees incurred while I was out of the country. Notifying the company promptly resulted in a full refund.
Senior Savings ($0.99; iOS, Android version coming soon): One fun thing about getting older is paying less for the same tickets, meals, and activities than you were a few years ago. If you're over 50, be sure to advantage of senior discounts and deals with the Senior Savings app, which includes more than 200 offers, organized by category.
Sample savings: $4 off the regular adult price at Washington, D.C.'s popular Newseum for seniors over 65.
The Christmas List ($1.99; iOS): If you've got more than a few people on your gift list, you know how easy it is to lose track of what you've bought for whom -- and how much you've spent. Stick to your budget and avoid nasty New Year's credit card bills with The Christmas List.
You can track gifts and recipients by store or by person, and the app will keep tabs on how much you've spent on whom. You can store photos of the presents so that you don't buy both your daughters the exact same sweater, or on the other hand, choose one gift to give multiple recipients. The app is even password-protected to ward off snooping grandkids.
Sample savings: $10 if the app keeps you from buying duplicate fruitcakes for your neighbor; much more if it holds your spending in check by showing you where you stand this shopping season.
RedLaser (free; iOS, Android, Windows phone): Owned by eBay (EBAY), RedLaser will help ensure you get the lowest possible price on all those gifts -- and everything else you buy throughout the year. RedLaser is so easy to use, even devout technophobes will get hooked quickly.
Simply scan any barcode (or use the search function) to quickly see price comparisons across a wide variety of online retailers. Prefer to support local businesses? The app includes pricing and location information for those, too. The app even stores all your loyalty and discount cards, so you never miss out on a discount.
Sample savings: $55.99 on a 16GB iPad Mini (the difference between the highest and lowest prices the app provided).
Add it up, and you could save more than $100 right away with these five apps, with more savings to come.
Motley Fool contributor Robyn Gearey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of eBay. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.