Yikes! I was just offered my first-ever seniors’ discount. I was at a branch of a large pharmacy chain when the saleslady asked my age in a very gracious way. (The chain’s official age for the discount is 65, but locations vary; this one starts offering the discount at 55.) When she told me the discount was 20%, I jumped at it. (My wallet is much more practical than my vanity.)

Clearly I have passed a milestone. My wallet will be forcing the question, “What age do your senior discounts start at?” out of my mouth at every shop and service from now on.

Canadians’ priorities change as they age. When we are young we’re busy paying off loans and credit cards, saving for home down payments or paying a mortgage. As we get older we add our kids’ education or that precious vacation time to our savings goals. Then, the closer we get to our so-called golden years, the more we focus on retirement savings.

With so many competing priorities, it’s really hard to make it all fit into one little household budget and still put food on the table and the latest sports shoes on the kids’ growing feet.

Asking for discounts based on whatever criterion one may fit (young or old) is one more way of saving some money on both necessities and nice-to-haves. The savings can go into whatever budget bucket is most important to you. Just transfer the discount amount from your chequing  account to the appropriate savings account. You can do this each day or each week online or by using your bank’s smartphone app. Or you can simply put the cash difference into your piggybank at home. It adds up fast!

I wonder how she knew to ask my age. Maybe it was the mouthwash I was buying for people aged 50+? Or perhaps the salve for arthritis pain?