Are Inflation Rates Rising?
If things seem like they cost more these days, you’re not wrong. According to Fortune, gas, groceries, and other daily expenses have increased by 8.5% compared to last year, with little to no increase in the average American’s income. In layman’s terms– most people are making the same amount of money they did the previous year, while everything else around them is becoming slightly more expensive.
This is one of the most significant year-over-year increases in 40 years, with multiple factors contributing to the rise. The pandemic has impacted the supply and demand of most products since March of 2020— it’s no surprise that when production is low, and needs are high, this can put an enormous strain on the market. On top of pandemic-related inflation, more recent political issues at play have also taken their toll on the production and distribution of everyday goods.
Unfortunately, as a civilian, there’s very little you can do to fix the global market and economy. Despite that, there is still hope for your personal finances. To combat the rising inflation rates, there are plenty of things that you can do to protect your wallet and save yourself from sliding into debt. Learn about how to deal with higher prices on the goods and activities you participate in daily.
Tips for Dealing with Rising Inflation Rates: Food & Groceries
People are most likely to notice a change in the price of the things they buy daily, so your food and groceries are a critical category to look into. In February of 2022, a gallon of whole milk in the U.S. cost $3.88, and in May of 2022, it rose to $4.33. That alone is a price increase of 7.7%, which accurately represents what Fortune has reported.
The difference in milk prices is a sobering example of what’s happening to food and grocery prices all across the country. Like most humans, you will probably eat multiple meals a day, which means you need to spend money on everything you consume. The combined price increase of everything you eat in a week is guaranteed to put more of a strain on your wallet.
So you may be wondering, how can I save myself from the rising inflation? There are a few simple rules you can follow when shopping and eating.
- Eat Out Less: Food prices have increased everywhere, which means restaurants are also feeling the pressure. It’s tempting to buy a sandwich at lunchtime or order take-out after a long day at work, but these meals add up over time. Consider eating out less and meal prepping instead. Buying meat or produce in bulk can cut costs significantly compared to spending money on restaurant food multiple times a week.
- Plan Meals Around What’s on Sale: There’s an app for everything these days, and there is a good chance that your local supermarket also has one that you can download. You can check out what’s on sale each week, get coupons, and plan your meals around the food with the best deals. This is an excellent way to grocery shop in general, regardless of the fact that inflation has made food prices so high.
- Find Coupons: There are plenty of coupons online that you can save to your phone when you go grocery shopping. Sure, you can still physically cut them out of newspapers and magazines, but there is a much wider variety on the internet if you know where to look. Consider searching your favorite brands to find deals and coupons on the items you buy most.
Beat the rising inflation rates on food by shopping smarter and prepping your meals in advance. If you walk into a grocery store and blindly buy items, you’re much more likely to pay a higher price than if you find out what’s on sale beforehand and gather coupons.
Deal with Rising Transportation Costs in America
It’s hard to miss how high gas prices have soared in the past year. A gallon of gas could cost just as much as the federal minimum wage in some places. People who drive regularly or commute to work daily can feel the devastation to their bank accounts. At the center of the gas price crisis is a tangled web of global politics, and it can feel frustrating when your life is affected by seemingly big and abstract things.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce costs regarding your transportation and finances. According to the American Automobile Association, being a car owner costs about $6,000 a year when calculating gas prices, insurance, and maintenance. With rising inflation rates this year, that number may go even higher due to the increase in gas prices. Below is a list of tips for lowering what you spend on transportation throughout your daily life.
- Carpool: People have to get to work every day, and many Americans live outside of big cities with reliable public transportation. That means there are many cars on the road each morning and night getting to and from the office. Consider starting a carpool group with coworkers who live in your area. If you all chip in for gas every week, you’ll save lots of money over the year on gas and other car expenses. This could significantly impact your wallet and help you avoid paying for the rising inflation rates.
- Implement ‘No Car Days’: Use your car when you need to use your car, of course. But consider implementing ‘no car days’ when you don’t have to go to work or are not busy with errands and obligations. This can mean taking extra time by riding your bike somewhere or taking public transportation. As long as you’re not in a time crunch and the weather is permitting, it can be fun to change your routine and use different modes of transportation. Making a concerted effort not to use your car as often will save you money on gas.
- Take Care of Your Car: Taking good care of your car is vital to make it run more efficiently and, therefore, more affordably. Keep your tires filled with air, take your car in for regular maintenance checkups, and don’t speed or drive recklessly. These things can contribute to a long-lasting car, meaning you won’t need to spend money on it as often. Additionally, a well-maintained car has much higher equity than a run-down one that is in bad condition. You can use your car’s equity to apply for cash in the future, so make sure that you are taking care of your car and keeping up with your oil changes!
How Else Can I Save Money on Rising Inflation Rates?
Saving money and cutting costs means changing your lifestyle, and that can be an overwhelming option to some people. The best way to start is by taking it slow, as opposed to doing everything differently all at once. Meaningful change is most successful when systematic routines are put into place and followed. It does take some effort, but pivoting your habits towards more sustainable and affordable ways is guaranteed to affect your bank account.
Below are more ideas for changing your daily habits to help you save money.
Set up Automatic Bill Payments
Letting places charge you automatically may seem counterintuitive to saving money, but there is a good reason behind it. Life gets busy, and it can be easy to forget to pay bills throughout the month. Companies and banks will typically charge you for this when you miss a payment, which means you will be spending more money than you should.
By setting up automatic bill payments, you won’t have to worry about making your payments on time, and you won’t be charged anything extra. Just make sure you keep an eye on your account to avoid any accidental overdraft fees.
We live in an age where you can get a monthly subscription to just about anything. It’s easy to tell yourself that you need access to a particular channel or access to that yoga app on your phone that you’ve only used twice, but the reality is that you can survive without them.
Consider taking a long, hard look at your monthly expenses when it comes to subscription fees, and you may be surprised by the total. Canceling one or two subscriptions won’t drastically change your life, but you’ll save money over the year, and chances are you won’t even notice they’re gone.
Start Paying With Cash
Make a budget for the month, and figure out what you need to spend each day. Once you’ve determined the total, take that amount out in cash. Then, attempt to only use the cash you have instead of credit or debit cards. Life is full of distractions, and it’s much easier to succumb to impulse purchases when you have a credit card you can charge things to without thinking about the total.
When you only have cash on hand, you become much more aware of how much things cost because you don’t want to run out of money. You don’t have to strictly do this every single day, but it’s an excellent way to stop yourself from frivolous overspending if you feel like that’s an issue in your life. This is a great way to implement discipline in your spending habits and make meaningful changes over time.
Use Reusable Products Instead
It may seem cheaper to buy things like a package of water bottles at the moment, but over time those costs add up. If you really want to change your spending habits, you should consider starting to buy reusable products, like a good quality water bottle and a thermos. These types of products can be expensive up front, but they save you lots of money in the long run.
Instead of buying paper towels, consider cutting up old rags and terry cloth towels. There are plenty of little things you can do to stop buying disposable products all the time, and it can even turn into a fun project to figure out how to replace things.
Not only is this an excellent money-saving trick, but it’s also a much more sustainable way to live. If you care about the health of the planet, using reusable products is a great way to show that you care and are making an effort.
Find Extra Cash and Deal with Rising Inflation Rates
If everything starts costing more, but your paycheck remains the same, you may need to find alternative ways of getting extra money fast. All of the options mentioned above are great for saving over time, but sometimes emergencies pop up that require access to funding right in the moment, not months later.
If you find yourself in this position, you’ll be relieved to know that you have a quick and straightforward option. Consider using the equity in your car as collateral for a loan. Instead of selling your car outright, you can leverage its value and borrow part of that from a lender.
In most cases, you can continue driving your vehicle while repaying the loan, so you won’t have to worry about giving anything up. This is an excellent option for anyone impacted by the rising cost of living who needs access to funds quickly1. You can apply for car title loans serviced by LoanMart online or over the phone, which means you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to find out if you qualify for the cash you need.1 You can learn more about your car title loan options by filling out this inquiry form or calling 855-277-4847 to speak with an agent.
Save Money and Live Stress-Free
There is a catch-22 here– you can’t control the rising price of grocery items, but you also can’t stop buying products. The best way to manage the higher inflation rates is by cutting costs in other areas of your life. When it comes to food and grocery shopping, you should start paying attention to the weekly deals in your local supermarket and downloading coupons for your favorite items. You should also consider prepping more meals at home instead of eating at restaurants.
Save money on gas by carpooling with your coworkers or using alternative modes of transportation. Both options will significantly reduce the amount of gas you need, reducing costs. On top of that, you should make sure that your car is in good condition. A well-maintained vehicle will run more efficiently and affordably
There are many other habits you can change within your life to cut spending and save money. You should set up automatic payments on all of your bills, so you’re never charged late fees, and you should consider canceling subscriptions that you don’t use very often. Additionally, planning out days where you only use cash to curb unnecessary credit card spending can be very helpful.
Learn about how to apply for a car title loan if you ever find yourself in a sticky financial situation. You can potentially receive quick access to funding when you need it most1,3.