Top 7 Ways To Save Money (During a Time of Inflation) was written by Dana Wolk and originally appeared on Savoteur. It has been republished with permission.
When inflation rears its ugly head, how can you think about bills while covering life's daily costs? Saving money becomes a pipe dream for many when the cost of living rises.
Thankfully there are ways you can save and create a new budget that will fit surging prices and allow you to save money. Let's dive into the top 7 ways to save money, even when prices are surging with inflation.
1. Check Your Subscriptions
Do you know what subscriptions you have and how much they cost monthly? Do you need them all?
Surprisingly, many people cannot answer these questions. These “low-priced” programs get away with your money. Who will notice $10 a month that they aren't using? Now, you will!
These subscriptions add up over time and saving money takes thought and effort.
There are apps you can use that will find all your subscriptions and help you decide what to keep, but you can do it manually as well. First, list all the monthly subscriptions you're currently paying for and how much they cost.
Next, total your subscription costs to see how well they fit your current budget. (Look at your spending habits to make informed decisions as you make changes. Focus on how much you have coming in and out every month. Budgeting will help determine how much you can afford based on what you have left after paying bills.)
Then, look through everything and decide what you need to keep and don't use.
Do you belong to a gym you never visited? Are you paying for live channels on Hulu and not using them? There are ways to downgrade subscriptions without losing the service.
As you make changes, keep track of how much money you will save each month, and add that amount to your emergency account. Inflation makes saving very difficult, so putting money into your emergency account as often as possible is crucial
2. Make A List Before You Go Shopping
The old saying is, “Never go food shopping hungry.” That is very true, but if you make a list before you go into any store, you are more likely to get the things you need rather than picking up random stuff you see in the store that you don't need.
Part of saving money is to go into everything you do with a clear plan. The shopping list you create will guide you through the store. This will ensure that even with inflated prices, you will stay on task and on budget because you have already determined what to buy and spend before you go in!
3. Plan Ahead and Eat at Home
Eating out is easy, but it is often costly. Food is expensive enough at the grocery store these days. But in addition to the rising cost of food, is the associated rising cost of eating out at restaurants and restaurant take-out.
When you make your shopping list, plan your meals for the week as well. This way, you won't give in to the temptation of ordering a pizza instead of eating a prepped meal you planned that is within the safety of your budget.
Eating in is likely healthier, less expensive, and faster than eating out. Being ready with meal options at home for the week is a win-win situation!
The same goes for your morning coffee. Look at what you spend on coffee every day and compare that to how much it would cost to buy a bag of coffee and make it at home.
Take the difference you save from eating and drinking at home rather than in restaurants and add it to your emergency account funds. See your savings continue to add up!
4. Give Yourself An Online Shopping Day with a Budget
Online shopping can be a great way to keep to your budget because you are not walking around a store finding things you like that are off your shopping list.
Limiting yourself to shopping online one day a week or a month, depending on your budget, will help keep you on track.
Another advantage of sticking to a specific day to shop is that it will help curb impulse buying. Do you need that third bathing suit, or are two enough? Thinking through your purchases before making them will help you save money and stay on budget. There are minimal downsides to sticking to specific online shopping days.
5. Make Sure You Have the Lowest Monthly Service Prices
Look at what you pay for monthly services, such as your phone and cable bills. You can sign up for promotions with your current company or if you change companies. Additionally, always look for sales.
Cutting the costs of your services even by a few dollars a month can make a massive difference over time when it comes to how much you will be saving monthly. When inflation hits, you'll be in great shape if you maintain the health of your monthly service prices.
Call the companies you have plans with and ask about any current promotions you can participate in to cut your costs.
6. Try Couponing
You'll find the best prices and cashback shopping options with apps like Honey and Rakuten. You can also go “old school” and cut paper coupons from newspapers and flyers. Many stores have coupons and discounts you can take advantage of.
Inflation causes costs to rise so much that any discount you find will help you save money.
Dealing with debt frustrates staying on budget, as interest keeps piling up. Options such as balance transfers and debt consolidation will help ensure you don't get buried underneath debt. These options will allow you to cut high-interest rates while cutting down on the minimum you are required to pay.
Why keep paying high-interest rates when you have lower interest options waiting for you? Every dollar helps when you are trying to save money (especially during a time of inflation). Paying less each month thanks to a lower interest rate or debt consolidation is a great way to stay in good standing on your accounts while reducing debt.
Simply call the companies where you have debt balances and discuss your options with them.
Inflation may make it difficult to save money, but if you approach your budget in an organized way you will be able to make informed decisions about what you need to pay for and what you can save. This will undoubtedly make your life easier in the long run. Are you ready to save money? Get started today!