Preserving Your Spending Power - Fighting Inflation
How To Retain Your Spending When Prices Are Rising
Of all the economic problems that arise, inflation is among the most destructive. Every dollar earned is worth less when prices rise, making it even more challenging to make ends meet.
Saving for the future can take a back seat during inflation and even after prices stabilize, families may struggle to carry out their savings goals. To preserve your wealth and buying power, having a strategy can help. Here are some valuable ideas to start with today:
Put An End To Those Nuisance Fees
With every dollar worth less, we can’t afford to waste them. Now is the time to get rid of monthly bank service fees, ATM charges, unused subscriptions, and other costs that may be lingering. First Source offers free accounts with over 30,000 surcharge-free ATM locations.
Banish Food Waste
The only thing worse than spending more at the grocery store is watching those dollars disappear into the trash or down the garbage disposal. With inflation on the rise, it has never been more essential to reduce waste. Embrace those leftovers, freeze the excess, or share the bounty with those in need.
Dining out is also a luxury worth reconsidering during a period of inflation. Dining at a restaurant usually includes the cost of drinks, appetizers, the main meal, dessert & coffee, and gratuity. These additional expenses are not a factor when you cook at home. Creating a meal plan instead of eating out can really make a difference in your budget. Consider crockpot recipes where the leftovers can be parceled into lunches throughout the week or buying in bulk and freezing smaller quantities for individual meals.
Stock Up On Shelf-Stable Staples
Even with prices on the rise, there are bargains to be had. When deals pop up, it is time to stock up. Filling the pantry with non-perishables like pasta boxes, jarred sauce, and canned vegetables will be good for future finances.
Experiment With Meatless Meals
With the price of meat rising faster than most other groceries, now could be the time to embrace your inner vegetarian. Maybe a meatless Monday is a way to experiment. Eating meatless one or two days a week could make a big difference in the size of monthly grocery bills.
Put Off Major Purchases
If you are contemplating a major purchase, ask if it is something you can live without. If so, putting it off until the worst of the inflation spike is over might result in considerable savings.
Seek Out Inflation-Friendly Investments
If extra cash is available to save and invest, looking for products that benefit from inflation is smart. From government savings bonds that track the rate of inflation to stocks of companies with rising earnings, these smart money investments could be suitable for the short term and the long term. Consult a financial advisor for the best options.
Optimize Your Fuel Economy
The price of gas has been especially problematic recently, and inflation at the pump is surely one of the most painful aspects of rising prices. Looking for ways to maximize fuel economy can extensively influence your bottom line.
Think about the way you drive as well as how many miles you travel daily. Heavy-footed drivers tend to use more gas, especially when running late for work. Carpooling with coworkers is a great way to reduce your gas expense and increase your punctuality. It might also be beneficial to plan out errands for the week and complete them in as few trips as possible to save on gas that multiple trips would normally incur.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
Join a fuel rewards program.
Use cash instead of a card when a gas station offers a cash-reduced price.
If a card must be used to purchase fuel, consider using a card that offers rewards.
Gas prices tend to be lowest on Mondays and Tuesdays, so fill up earlier in the week.
Reduce the idle or warm-up time for your vehicle.
Reduce the use of air conditioning and heating in your vehicle.
Use Apps or even Google to find the lowest gas prices near you.
Do you have an auto loan with a high-interest rate? Is there a more fuel-efficient vehicle that you’ve considered purchasing? First Source offers several refinance options that may reduce interest rates and monthly payment costs for those who currently have an auto loan. For those shopping for a new or used vehicle, check out our loan rates.
Inflation is nothing new, and rising prices emanate throughout decades. When prices are rising, it’s easy to despair, but it’s important to realize that spending power can be retained. The ability to make strategic changes to how you shop, drive, cook, and live your daily life still exists.
If you’re wondering if refinancing a loan or re-budgeting your expenses will help you save, give us a call at 315-735-8571 to talk about your options or make an appointment with one of our friendly Member Service Representatives today. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you create a plan to restructure your budget and to help you Live Smarter.
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Article adapted from Balance Financial Fitness.