Dealing With Inflation!

How do we deal with inflation? The cost of goods has increased around 8% over the past year. The income for most has remained constant or only slightly higher during that time. If you are not careful, you will find yourself spending more than your income. Unfortunately, many people don’t notice as they use their credit card to make up the difference or don’t notice until they receive their credit card statement. I want to share a few simple strategies to offset some of the increase.

The price of gas is one of those areas with the largest increase and therefore the first tip is to drive less. This is accomplished by planning your trips. We like the convenience of getting items when we want them. Consolidating trips can reduce the amount of gas used as well as the wear and tear on your car.

Have you ever used coupons? Maybe now is the time to start. Using coupons can reduce cost and in some cases provide you with free items. Look around coupons are out there. A simple search on the internet can provide you with a list of sources. You also get them in the mail or newspaper.

Use your merchandise cards. The gas station I use has a merchandise card. I scan the card and instantly get 3 cents off my gasoline. It also provides me with a free doughnut and coffee on occasion. Many grocery stores offer them as well.

If you are purchasing large items like a refrigerator or even a car, think about delaying those items for a few months. When it is time to purchase, compare prices. The recommendation is to compare prices at three different locations. You would be surprised how stores mark up prices on certain items to reduce prices on others. Their goal is to get you in the store. Your goal is to save money!

Think about a household audit. You don’t realize how many items you have drawing power that you are not using. Unplug it! What about those lights? Turn them off when you leave the room. Now your thermostat, adjust it a little higher in the summer and a little lower in the winter. Remember, little things add up.

I also need to emphasize the importance of a spending plan. You need to know where your money is going. Analyzing your spending plan will inform you of the habits you developed like buying coffee every morning. It may not seem like much, but every trip costs you $2-$10. 

These strategies may seem simple, but little things add up. Be savvy and save!

Save Some Green

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about some ways we can save some green! 

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Before I jump into my money-saving tips, I do want to mention one caveat. Many people are dealing with significant financial struggles at the moment and while the tips in this post might help, they aren’t going to address major concerns. So, I wanted to share this link https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/. This webpage from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has great information about what to do if you are struggling with mortgage or rent payments, tips for managing significant financial concerns, and information on how to avoid scams related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Hopefully, between the great information from the CFPB and the tips I’m about to share, you can get some ideas for ways to keep more green in your wallet. 

  1. Check out your local library! 

This may seem obvious if you are already familiar with or a user of library services. But, I am always surprised to find out how many of my friends aren’t aware that the library offers more than just books! Depending on your local library, you might have access to services like Hoopla or Libby (or some other service). Through these resources, you can often access EBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and more! My local library even recently expanded its WiFi service so that you don’t even have to be inside the library building to use their WiFi. Your local library might even offer additional services like help to find a job, physical games which can be checked out, and more. These free resources can help save money in many ways! 

  1. Try a Pantry Challenge!

If you’re anything like me, then some grocery store purchases end up in the back of the pantry or freezer if you’re not sure how to use them. One way to save some money can be to get creative and try to use those items. Maybe you want to go all-in on the challenge and try to make dinner with only what you have on hand. Or you can use websites like https://www.supercook.com/#/recipes. It will ask you to check off items you have on hand and then suggest meals you could make with those items. Just remember to check the expiration dates on the things you pull out to make sure you aren’t using things that have gone unnoticed for a bit too long…

  1. Buy Used!

Used items are frequently a fraction of the cost of buying something brand new. In fact, buying used clothes and furniture has become trendy recently as more people have been focusing on the environmental benefit of buying used (if you want to know more about that you can find some info here). If you’re in the market for new clothing, furniture, appliances, or even some technology items, do a quick search to see if you can find a used version online or in a local secondhand store. Buying secondhand may not always be an option (I’m guessing there aren’t many used PS5s on the market), but buying used whenever possible can help save some serious money! 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hopefully, these tips can help you save some green this St. Patrick’s day! If you have some other money-saving tips, share them in the comments section and maybe others can benefit from your thrifty wisdom.