As the cost of food, housing, clothing, healthcare, and other goods and services continues to rise, the greater the rate of inflation we see. To clarify, inflation occurs when the supply of money in the economy grows faster than the supply of goods and services available for sale. In brief, there is more demand than supply, leading to an increase in prices. Inflation is hitting many American families, whose hard-earned dollars have already been stretched to the limit. Here are six money hacks to combat inflation.
Money Hacks to Combat Inflation
1 Prioritize essentials
At times of high inflation, it’s important to cut the wants and concentrate on the items you need. This means doing away with the luxury items you’ve become used to. What matters most when it comes to prioritizing items in your budget? Things like food, housing, certain utilities, transportation, medical expenses, child care, debt payments, and savings. Prioritize your bills and expenses in order of importance of those that help meet the basic needs of your family, protect your credit, and help you save for the future. Undoubtedly, now is not the time for frivolous spending.
2 Boost your budget with added income
Earning a little extra can be a big help when your budget is taking a beating. Consider picking up some overtime at work, selling unused items, or taking on a side gig. Anything from dog walking to freelance blogging or delivery driving can help you bolster your income. You might even consider renting out your home or vehicle. You can rent out anything from a room to your entire home on Airbnb, while sites like Turo can help you rent out your vehicle to earn some extra cash.
3 Cut back on grocery expenses
We’re all feeling the pinch at the grocery store. It’s time to focus on shopping at discount grocers, such as Aldi or Walmart. If you have a Sam’s Club membership, use it to save by purchasing in bulk for larger savings. Don’t discount your local dollar stores when it comes to grocery shopping. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar can offer huge savings on certain groceries, cleaning supplies, beauty products, and more. Many dollar stores also have apps to download as well. While you may not be able to cover your entire grocery list at the dollar store, you can certainly save on a portion of it. Lastly, cashback and rebate apps, such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards can help you save even more.
4 Conserve to save on utilities
Focus on the following energy conservation to help you save on utilities.
- Don’t run your washer or dishwasher unless you have a full load to wash.
- Use a programmable thermostat to help you save on heating and cooling.
- Turn your lights off in all rooms you are not using.
- Unplug electronics and small appliances when they are not being used.
- Switch to energy-efficient bulbs.
- Change air filters regularly on your furnace and air conditioners.
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows. Read tips for air sealing your home on energy.gov.
5 Cut the cost of gas
There are plenty of ways to save on gas, beginning with just cutting back on your driving. Be a bit more strategic when you have errands to run and instead of making multiple trips, cut down on your number of trips and distance. Consider carpooling when it comes to transporting your kids to activities and also getting to work. Join gas rewards and cashback programs. Finally, use apps to track the cheapest gas prices. GasBuddy, Waze, and Gas Guru can help you locate the cheapest gas prices in your area.
6 Slash credit card interest payments
If you’re struggling with paying high-interest rate credit card balances, consider transferring those balances to a low-rate balance transfer credit card. For example, Choice One Community Credit Union is currently offering a special 0% APR* VISA balance transfer credit card.
We hope our six money hacks to combat inflation will help you plan accordingly and better cope with rising prices. Read more Choice One blogs to help you cope with inflationary times, including “How to Keep Savings Goals on Track During Turbulent Times” and “Figuring Your Personal Inflation Rate Amid Rising Prices.”
*0% VISA Balance Transfer Rate is valid for 6 billing cycles from the date of transfer. Rate returns to the current rate at that time. Choice One’s current Platinum Visa Credit Card Rate is 8.90% APR and Classic Visa Card is 13.50% APR with No Balance Transfer or Annual Fee. Balance Transfer offer is good on any new or existing Choice One Platinum or Classic Credit Card. 0% balance transfer rate is for balances transferred from another institution only. Transfers may not exceed the credit line a member is approved for.