Predicting how fast inflated prices will fall is widely debated and there are as many opinions as there are experts.
Nevertheless, Americans are continuing to look for ways to cut expenses, earn more money, and find new ways to save. Here are 3 ways you can combat inflation until prices drop:
Make a Budget
Figuring out a spending plan is an essential first step in taking and maintaining control over what and how you spend your hard-earned cash. Start by stepping back and understanding how much you’re spending now. Create a monthly budget that accounts for all your necessary expenses and discretionary expenses. Then you can pinpoint specific spending areas — like grocery shopping, dining out, subscription services or utilities — that are potential candidates for cutting back.
Don’t Carry Unnecessary Debt
The higher inflation gets means less buying power and higher interest rates designed to bring prices under control. An effect of this trend is that it’s harder to pay off high-interest debts. Put extra cash toward paying down debts, starting with the loans and credit cards that carry the highest interest rates.
If you are struggling with how to get it done, consider starting with a debt consolidation loan from Canopy.
Be a Smarter Shopper:
Buy fresh food that is in season! Make a point to buy fruit and veggies that are in season when costs are lower. Or, purchase frozen and canned produce to avoid food waste and keep costs down.
Buying in bulk can help you save on items you know you’re going to use before they go bad. Think about items like meat that you can freeze, frozen and canned foods, and non-food items like diapers toilet paper, dish detergent, antiperspirant, toothpaste, and paper towels. Having what you need already sitting in your freezer and pantry means fewer grocery runs, which is a great way to cut down on fuel costs.
Think about switching to generic brands. Often, store brands offer the same quality as those familiar name brands that spend billions on advertising to make sure you’re aware of them — but store brands come at a much lower price.
If you have the patience to go through weekly coupon flyers, you can find some decent savings. Many grocery chains also have digital coupons you can store on your phone when you join their loyalty programs.
While many of us got VERY spoiled during the pandemic, relying on the flexibility and convenience of grocery and restaurant delivery services, it’s time to give them up. While your time is precious and walking around the grocery store isn’t the most appealing thing in the world, it will save you money. You can still take advantage of the convenience of online shopping, just find stores that offer free curbside pickup and drive to restaurants to pick up your takeout order.
Shop for Cheaper Car Insurance. If you’re guessing there’s a better deal out there, the odds are in your favor. Review your current coverage, talk to friends about where they found a great deal and consider talking to several agents to see who can save you the most. Bundle it with homeowners or renters’ insurance for additional savings.
Put off buying a new car. Because of ongoing supply chain issues, both new and used car prices are expected to stay high for a while longer.
The Inflation Reduction Act extended the $7,500 EV tax credit for new electric vehicles. If you can afford a new EV and the at-home charging infrastructure, it could pay off in tax credits and fuel costs.
See if you can live with just one vehicle. But, if you really need two cars, reduce unnecessary trips, carpool with coworkers, bike or using public transportation when it’s practical.
Sort Out Your Streaming Services. If you’re paying for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Apple + and others, watching TV can be just as expensive as it was paying for a loaded cable package. Limit yourself to just one or two of your favorites. When you discover something new that you really want to watch, just sign up again.
Fighting inflation in your personal economy requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to examine how you might change your own spending habits to find cheaper ways to live well. If you’d like some help getting started, sign up to meet with a Canopy Financial Coach.