If you’ve been to a store lately, you know the cost of everything has increased. This is due to inflation, which is the rate of increase in prices over a given period. Inflation occurs when the supply of money grows too large relative to the size of an economy. When this happens, the unit value of the currency diminishes, and the purchasing power falls, thus increasing prices. As you can imagine, inflationary periods are not very budget friendly.
There are many small, quick ways you can make your money go further during times of inflation. For example, instead of going to a restaurant and dropping $75 on a meal, save money by making a meal at home. You can find copycat recipes for your favorite restaurants online, and with a little effort, you can alter the atmosphere at home to make it feel like you are somewhere else.
Another quick idea: look at your subscriptions! Many people subscribe to streaming services, audiobooks, or music sites; however, we may not always utilize the content each month. See if you can pause subscriptions you rarely use. This will help cut down on monthly bills without completely canceling your subscription and losing all your assigned settings.
While these quick wins are great, you should also consider other, less common ways to save money on things you already have in your budget.
Five Budget-Friendly Tips for Inflationary Times:
Plan Your Grocery Purchases:
One way to keep your grocery bill budget friendly is to plan ahead. Assess the items you already have in your fridge and pantry before making your grocery run to eliminate accidentally purchasing duplicate items. Create a schedule for your meals for the week before you go to the store so you know what ingredients you need so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store. Finally, plan your meals around items that are on sale and make sure to check for coupons to maximize your budget.
Consider An Energy Audit:
With the weather beginning to change, consider getting an energy audit on your house. This audit will help identify energy drains caused by air escaping through doors and windows. Fixing these energy drains can turn your house into a more energy-efficient home. They may even have a budget friendly impact on your overall utility costs.
Choose Your Indulgence:
While it is nice to treat yourself occasionally, setting boundaries for yourself for a treat once or twice a month will help cut costs in the long run. There are also many creative ways to enjoy a treat without breaking the bank. For example, instead of getting two large meals at a restaurant, split one meal and save.
Switch Your Auto Insurance Plan:
Do some research to see if another insurance provider has rates that fit your budget better. Or talk to your current provider because they may offer a special incentive to keep you on board. Sometimes your current provider will even match a policy provided by another company to keep you as a customer.
Pad Your Income:
With the rise in inflation, consider asking for a cost-of-living raise with your employer. Some companies automatically add it at the beginning of the new year, but you never know unless you ask. You can also look for additional ways to increase your income, like ride-sharing or weekend consulting.
As you probably know, inflation can go up and down. During times when items are cheaper, it is a good idea to put extra money aside to pay off debt or add to your savings fund. However, when inflation is at an all-time high, consider only putting the minimum amount aside so you can afford your daily lifestyle. Once costs go back down, you can make extra payments or deposits to make up the difference.
Need more help finding ways to save? Sit down with one of our friendly teammates, and we’ll see if we can find ways to help your money go further. From great rates on certificates to our Dare2Compare account review, FFCCU is here to help you build a better financial future.