For so many of us, finances can be tough, leaving us few options for the things that make our lives more meaningful. That's where senior discounts can help.
I know ... we don't like to do that. But once we get used to the idea of asking, it gets easier, and leaves money in our pockets. And remember, when you ask if there is a senior discount available, you won't be the first to ask that question.
Here are a few ideas:
• If an annual membership at the local museum is $299 and you can purchase a senior membership for $59, you get the same benefits as those who pay the full price. Sign up for its newsletters and read them for a few months to help decide if it's worth it to you to see exhibits and hear speakers.
• If you discover that your favorite restaurant gives senior discounts, perhaps you can increase your dinners out from once to twice a month, especially if added to other new discounts you now ask for.
• Check for senior discounts at the local YMCA. Sometimes during membership drives, two friends can sign up for the price of one, or a spouse can be added for only a few dollars. Or there's a discount if you bring in a few canned goods for the food pantry (especially during the holidays).
• Call the nearest college. Chances are it offers either discounted or free classes to seniors. Some places even have what they call Senior College, with courses geared to what interests us. Look for brown-bag lunch lectures as well as full courses.
Every dollar counts, especially since Medicare Part B is going up another $9.10 in January, cutting into our 1.6% Social Security increase.