AARP holds senators accountable for key bipartisan Medicare vote. Learn more


Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free

Contests and

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Savings Challenge

6 Money-Saving Investments for Cheapskates

The stock market will have its ups and downs. Controlling your expenses puts you in control of your financial future

Savings Challenge Logo

How should a cheapskate invest his money during uncertain economic times? Stash it in a mattress? Bury it in the backyard? I’m not going to give you advice about investing in stocks, bonds, gold or real estate. I don’t give investment advice, nor am I qualified to do so. I give advice about living a better life by spending and consuming less.

See also: Retirement planning for cheapskates.

But since the economy imploded and the value of a typical 401(k) has dropped faster than a cheapskate bending over to pick up loose change on a sidewalk, I have been thinking a lot about the investing side of personal finance. In this New Economy, I think the smart money is on investing in things that decrease your cost of living, as opposed to things that you hope will increase your net worth.

In the New Economy, maybe the question should be: How much will this investment save me? Not: How much will this investment earn me? Maybe it’s time to invest more in ourselves, equip ourselves to live more self-sufficiently, and take stock in ourselves, rather than continue to speculate and worry about the performance of our stock portfolios. 

savings challenge invest in yourself watering dollar bills in garden

— Photo by: Walter B. McKenzie/Getty Images

In this spirit of financial independence, here are six surefire investments that will save you money and make you more self-sufficient:

  • Energy efficiency and generation: You don’t need to have a degree in economics to realize that energy — particularly petroleum-based energy — is only going to keep getting more expensive as supplies dwindle. Installing programmable thermostats at home, consolidating car trips to save gas are easy changes. You could spend more and buy a hybrid vehicle, Energy Star appliances, and solar or geothermal home energy systems. Investing in things that reduce energy consumption or help you generate your own energy are almost always smart money moves. And there’s a tank full of federal and state tax incentives to encourage consumers to do just that. 

Next: Why quality tools are important. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Credit safeguards with AARP® Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID®.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Man using cell phone outdoors

Members save on monthly service & usage fees and get free activation with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.