Inflation means that most things cost more, and your hard-earned dollar is less valuable than it was before. When times of high inflation hit, it’s important to look for ways to reduce your expenses to compensate for higher costs. Here are 7 tips to reduce the impact of inflation.
- Focus on a budget. Every dollar counts in today’s high-cost world. A budget can help you better cope with rising prices. Experts recommend the popular 50/30/20 budget to help you better manage your money. With this method of budgeting, approximately 50% of your after-tax dollars are spent on necessities, up to 30% on wants, and at least 20% on savings and debt repayment. Begin by checking all of your statements to see where your money is currently being spent. Categorize those expenses into necessities and discretionary spending. Cut your spending on items you don’t really need. This will help you to free up the funds needed to get a better handle on your debt and increase your saving.
- Shop smarter. Clipping coupons, downloading coupon apps, and shopping sales can help you get the best prices on the goods and services you need. Look to cut corners by planning your weekly meals in advance, meal prepping, and making and sticking to a grocery shopping list. Look for deals at thrift stores and yard sales. Most importantly, spend money only when it’s necessary.
- Re-evaluate your streaming services. We all subscribed to various streaming services during the pandemic as our primary means of entertainment. Things have changed, and many of us are no longer using all of those services, yet we continue to pay for them. It’s time to take a hard look at your monthly subscriptions to help improve your cash flow. Cancel what you are not using. You can always re-subscribe later when things get better.
- Ask for a raise. While prices are increasing at a record pace, your salary may not be. Talented workers are hard to find, and this might mean the opportunity to secure a higher salary at work. It never hurts to ask, especially if you are a hard worker and are good at what you do. If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to negotiate a raise, now may be a perfect time.
- Take advantage of cash-back apps. A cash-back app gives you a rebate on your purchase. With some, you can earn cash or even gift cards. Here are a few we like.
- Fetch Rewards – With Fetch Rewards, you can earn points on any receipt from any store or restaurant. You can then redeem those points for gift cards and other rewards.
- Ibotta – Ibotta enables you to get cash back every time you shop. When shopping online, you can install a browser extension to find cash-back offers and compare prices. When you’re shopping in-store, the app will help you save on groceries and other items.
- Rakuten – The Rakuten app enables you to apply coupons and earn cash back with just one click. There’s also a free browser extension when shopping from home. Earn cash back for shopping at over 3,500 stores.
- Ease your pain at the pump. The price of gas has gotten out of control. Because it’s a need with most consumers, it’s best to look for a strategy to use less of it or save on what you purchase. Walking, biking, carpooling and using public transportation where available can help you use your vehicle less, hence saving on gas. Take fewer trips. This means fewer visits to the grocery store and other spots. Try to get more done in one trip rather than making multiple visits over the course of a week. Be sure your tires are properly inflated. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that properly inflating your tires can boost your gas mileage by 3%. Sign up for gas and fuel rewards programs. Finally, download the GasBuddy app to search for the best prices on gas. You will also have access to a trip cost calculator, be able to search for cheap gas by state, and save with a GasBuddy card.
- Sign up for a VISA rewards credit card. Benchmark Federal Credit Union offers VISA credit cards that provide competitive rates, as well as reward options based on the card. Best of all, there is no annual card fee.
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