As you’ve likely heard in the news, inflation is much higher than normal in today’s economy. This means that the things you buy and the services you pay for are more expensive than they were last year. However, if you can get a little more creative with your budget, you may be able to make things a little easier on your finances during times of high inflation. Here are our best tips to help you get started.
Groceries are absolutely a place where you’re seeing the effects of inflation.
Here are our best tips to save while you’re at the store:
- Use loyalty or rewards programs at stores that offer them, especially if they’re free.
- Swap name-brand items for store-brand items.
- Buy nonperishable items in bulk.
- Plan your meals out in advance and only buy enough for what you’re making to avoid food waste.
- Take advantage of weekly sales and coupons.
- Compare prices at different stores and through online retailers before making a purchase.
- Incorporate less-expensive meals into your diet, like meatless meals, pasta, or rice.
- Stock up on frozen foods that last longer. They can often be cheaper than fresh versions of the same food.
- Make a grocery list before going to the store and stick to the list.
- Avoid pre-packaged items, like vegetables and fruits. Buy them whole and cut them up at home.
Save money on your monthly costs.
Here are our tips:
- Buy gas at your grocery store to take advantage of rewards.
- Use an app to track gas prices in your area.
- Make your utilities more efficient with upgrades to your appliances, lights, and heating/cooling systems.
- Cancel subscriptions to services or sites you’re not using regularly.
- Prioritize spending on your needs, like housing, utilities, and food.
- Cut down on spending in areas you may splurge, like eating out, entertainment, clothes, etc.
Savings should still be a priority.
Although it’s tempting to take out money from your savings accounts or stop putting money into your savings account, it’s important to make your savings a priority. Here are our tips to do that:
- Set a savings goal and add it into your budget.
- Deposit money into your savings account as soon as you get paid, before spending money on needs or wants.
- Set up automatic deposits into your savings account.
- Keep your emergency savings account separate from your checking account.
- Move to a high-yield savings account with higher interest rates.
- Consider investing your money or going with long-term savings options.
A great way to help with increasing costs is to increase your income.
Side hustles are a great way to add extra income and can often be something you already love doing. Here are some ideas for possible side hustles:
- If you build, craft, create, or make things as a hobby, consider selling them.
- If you have a hobby that others would like to learn, consider teaching lessons or classes.
- Look for online, work-from-home opportunities like typing, editing or writing.
- Consider working on the side as a driver, food deliverer, child care provider, or pet walker.
- Sell items around your home that you’re no longer using.
- Take advantage of surveys or focus groups offering cash for participation.
While inflation creates some challenges with higher prices, there are ways you can save a few dollars here and there to make up the difference.