With the effects of rising inflation, many sectors in a number of industries have seen prices rise. A financial advisor can help you navigate through such times by investing in what matters and guide you in preparing for the future. However, as a consumer you may be feeling the effects of inflation with the rise on everyday products like groceries, gas, and transportation. Here are a few areas where you can save to keep up with inflation.
Save on utility bills
Electricity bills are an area you could potentially save by cutting down. Electricity bills may be noticeably higher in the summertime with the use of A/C units. You could consider shutting off your A/C and turning on a fan in its place. Typically an A/C unit requires a lot of power to operate but in the case when temperatures are not extreme, turning them off and using fans instead can keep your space comfortable and save you money.
Another contributor to your electricity bill is your washer and dryer. There are no substitutions to needing to clean clothes but there are ways to make the process less costly. One way is to always follow the specified time-of-use pricing for washer and dryers to avoid the premium for cleaning at those times. However, you can skip the drier entirely, if you have a large enough backyard you can set up a clothesline to dry your clothes with the hot summer air.
Lighting is another area of a home or property that can quickly become expensive. Lights that remain on after you fall asleep or if you forget to turn them off end up wasting your money. The use of both smart lights and energy efficiency bulbs that use less wattage can all contribute to energy saving costs. Having timers and schedules setup can help with extra savings, which may not seem like a lot but all add up.
Cut costs at the grocery store
Grocery costs have seen a significant increase in cost. All food categories have experienced the effects of inflation, with certain foods being hit harder. Higher cost food include meats, fruits and vegetables, pasta and rice. With the current state of inflation it does not appear that food prices will stop rising. Some tips to save money on groceries include:
Select cost-effective foods
Meat prices are among the highest attributed to inflation, so eating more vegetarian meals is one method to save money on groceries. Meals may be built around low-cost essentials like pasta, rice, dry or canned beans, potatoes, and eggs. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive than fresh, and substituting generic items for name-brand products may also help you save money without seeing a significant difference.
Make a weekly food plan to minimize impulsive purchases or depending on takeout during the week. To save even more money, look for recipes that incorporate ingredients you already have in your cupboard and fridge, or plan meals using the weekly sales flier from your grocery store. Stick to your shopping list as much as possible, and go to the supermarket with a full stomach to avoid tempting impulsive purchases that might derail your food budget.
Take advantage of deals and discounts
The weekly flier of your grocery store is filled with deals and discounts that can be easily taken advantage of. For items that have a longer shelf life like canned food, they can be bought in larger quantities when they are on sale. For perishables only purchase the essentials that coincide both your budget and meal plan.
Save money on transportation
Another rising expense is the cost of transportation as gas prices have spiked in cost. If rising gas prices are blowing your budget, your first step may be to minimize your driving as much as possible. If your job permits it, request to work from home more frequently. Running errands in batches, carpooling, or using green transportation choices like public transportation, bicycling, or walking anywhere within a short distance will all help you save money. By taking advantage of fuel savings programs at your local gas station, you may be able to save money at the pump. Many gas station companies, for example, offer incentives for joining up for text messaging. A petrol rewards credit card may also allow you to earn points or cash back on gasoline purchases. Finally, think about decreasing the cost of your auto insurance. Based on variables like your driving history, you may be eligible for a cheaper vehicle insurance quote than you are currently paying. Compare vehicle insurance quotes, and select one with the appropriate benefits with lower costs.
Plan ahead for cheaper vacations
Inflation, rising costs of fuel and the increase in demand because of lower post-pandemic restrictions have all contributed to the higher airfare cost. Along with more expensive airfare, there have also been noticeable increases in dining, hotels, and gasoline prices as well. All contributing to a more pricey vacation compared to recent years. If you have the choice, it may make sense to postpone major vacations. A staycation, in which you remain close to home and visit local sights, take day trips, dine at local restaurants, and relax at home, can save you a lot of money today, making it simpler to enjoy your ideal vacation without incurring debt later on. If you want to travel this year, prepare ahead of time for a trip you can afford. Book your tickets early, ideally at least six months in advance, and compare travel prices using internet savings tools. Since costs fluctuate based on the day of the week, having flexible travel dates will help you find the cheapest tickets. You may also save money by using a travel rewards credit card, which gives you a portion of your purchases back in the form of points or miles. Redeeming your accumulated points or miles for flight and hotel reservations may save you a lot of money on travel, as long as you avoid incurring interest charges that cancel out your benefits.
Inflation raises the cost of essential housing, electricity, food, and transportation. If your budget is under pressure, devise a plan to decrease expenditures wherever possible. Credit management can be made more difficult by economic hardship, this can be where a financial advisor may be most beneficial. They can help navigate through the current economic climate while also planning for the future.