Everything in life is more expensive right now with record levels of inflation wreaking havoc on countless American’s budgets. The current inflation numbers are hovering around 8%, which is higher than this nation has experienced in over 40 years. Suffice to say that even if you are cognizant of your spending habits, the inflation numbers have simply caused the cost of living to go up so high that it can be difficult to maintain your heading towards financial freedom. Thankfully, you aren’t without some form of recourse as there are some budgeting steps you can implement now to better navigate through increasing inflation levels.
Often, one easy way to save money is to eat at home, preparing foods you have purchased from the grocery store. Unfortunately, today, Consumer Price Index reports that this cost has risen 10.8% over the past year. This is the largest increase in food cost since 1980. This means even eating at home has gotten more expensive. Thankfully, you can control how much you spend at the store and get back to your money-saving ways with a few notable shopping hacks, which are outlined below:
- Plan: Don’t go into the store without a list and a plan of what you want to make. Don’t simply go look, as this will always end up as impulse buys are poor planning and end up costing you money in the end.
- Shop Alone: When possible, shop alone so you can get in, get what you need and get out as fast as possible.
- Stock up When Possible: When items you buy frequently go on a good sale, stock up, providing you have a good place to store items, or they will keep. Remember, it does you no good to buy food that you have to end up throwing away because you don’t get to it before it expires.
- Opt-Out of Premade: All prepared foods or premade foods cost more to buy because you are paying for convenience. To easily save some money on your grocery bill, make as much as you can from base ingredients, which are often much cheaper.
- Use Discount Codes: When shopping for anything, not just food, use discount codes for items. Also, make sure you utilize any grocery store sales you can access by being a store card member.
Reduce Spending Through Negotiation
Some bills are simply non-negotiable. You have to have power, you must have water, etc. However, there are some expenses that you can cut out, especially during a time of inflation. Expenses like cable or magazine subscriptions can be cut out in order to reduce outgoing expenses. In addition, call and negotiate with your current internet, home insurance, car insurance, and phone companies. If there are better prices available, consider changing to another company. Even switching to a more affordable option or plan within the same company can help you reduce what you pay out monthly.
Lower Your Monthly Bills!
Do you have a cell phone? Internet? What about cable or satellite TV? Just like most of us, you’re probably paying an arm and a leg for those services. Our team of savings experts will call your service providers and get you lower rates on your bills.
Increase Your Income
Finally, to budget successfully through inflation, if possible, increase your income. If you can work it out schedule-wise, making money outside of your current job to boost your income can help you offset the impact inflation is having on your budget. You can rent out a room with Airbnb, your pool with Swimply, or even your car with Turo or Getaround, which allows you to make income simply by letting others use your stuff. There are also jobs like Instacart, DoorDash, and others that you can try to increase your income. Be aware that this income is often independent contract work, meaning you will have to pay taxes out of what you earn.
Keep the steps outlined above in mind as you navigate increased inflation while trying to stay in charge of your budget.