Sticking to a budget during times of high inflation is challenging—but not impossible. Here are five ways to help make it happen:
Plan Your Grocery Purchases
First, shop your pantry and fridge before hitting the store. You may not remember what you have at home, so a quick scan can help you stick to purchasing only what you need.
Next, plan your week’s dinner menu before shopping so you can pick up what you need for the week in one go. The fewer trips to the grocery, the less you’ll spend on impulse buys.
Finally, don’t forget to shop the sales! Check weekly mailers for coupons and deals at local grocers.
Consider An Energy Audit
With winter approaching and the cost of energy sources still climbing, this can be a good time to have an energy audit performed on your home. An audit will help identify energy drains, such as air leaks near your windows and doors, so you can fix them and make your home more energy-efficient.
Choose Your Indulgence
Everyone needs to treat themselves to something special now and then, but with costs rising in restaurant meals, movie tickets and clothing, something has got to give. Inspect your just-for-me purchases and try to narrow them down to just one or two treats.
You can also trim the cost of your indulgences. For example, if you love dining out but restaurant meals are destroying your budget, you can eat out but skip desserts and wines, or split an entrée with your dining partner.
Switch Your Auto Insurance Plan
If you’ve had your auto insurance policy for a while and you’ve maintained an excellent driving record, you might save a bundle by switching to a new policy and/or provider. Reach out to your current insurer to discuss your options. Ask about raising your deductible in exchange for a lower premium, reducing overall coverage, or negotiating for a safe driving discount. After obtaining a quote, call several other providers to get competing quotes. Go with your lowest offer, or call back your present provider and ask them to match it for your continued business.
Pad Your Income
If your paycheck is suddenly not enough to support your lifestyle, consider asking for a cost-of-living raise. You can also look for other ways to pad your income, such as driving for a ride-share company or consulting for hire on weekends. Every extra dollar earned counts!