Inflation is here — there’s no denying it. The cost of everything is going up across the developed world and people are starting to feel the pinch. Essentials, such as food and energy, are rising, and it’s causing real hardship.
While you can’t protect yourself against inflation completely, there are things that you can do to maintain your quality of life. At this stage, we still don’t know how long the current episode will last. It could be a few months, or it could lock in for many years to come. It’s just not certain.
Here are some of the things that you can do right now.
Look For Places To Live That Offer Lower Cost Of Living
Try looking for apartments in places with a lower cost of living. Think holistically about your setup. Try to find accommodation that provides many of your needs onsite so that you can avoid high transportation costs. Also look for accommodation that shares certain costs, such as rent or heating, with other people. If you have the opportunity to move to a cheaper city without it affecting your income, then do so.
Cut Your Unnecessary Expenses
If inflation is rising relative to your income, you might also want to think about cutting your expenses. The average person has around eight or nine subscriptions that come out of their bank account every month. Reducing these could have a tremendously positive effect on your bank balance at the end of the month. Consider whether you need to pay for things like Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Find Free Things To Do In Your Local Area
If you go out for a delicious meal once per month, that may no longer be affordable. Instead, you might want to invest in doing free things in your local area. For example, you could take up cycling at the local park or go for hikes along the river. You could also avoid the cost of going to the cinema by watching movies at home.
Try A New Store
I went to our local Food Lion yesterday to purchase a loaf of bread my husband likes, Sunbeam Giant. When I purchased a loaf last week it was $2.79 for a loaf. When I walked into the store yesterday it was $3.87! They must be out of their cotton-picking minds to think I would pay that much for a loaf of bread! It’s like that with most everything we buy – prices are going up, up, up.
Not all stores charge the same high prices. In fact, there are now many that provide better deals. During the financial crisis and subsequent recession, many people switched from buying food at the regular grocer to going to discount stores. These are often up to 40 percent cheaper than standard options and provide a great deal for anyone looking to cut costs.
Follow A Budget
When inflation bites, you find that bills go through the roof and that you can’t take a passive approach to your finances. If you carry on spending as you would normally, you eventually wind up going into debt.
To counteract this, create a budget. Divide your spending into various categories and look at where your money is going every month.
If you notice that you’re spending more on entertainment than necessary (such as going out for meals), then cut back. If your living costs are too high for your income, then you might want to reconsider where you live.
Have you noticed a spike in prices where you live? What are you doing to combat inflation? Leave a comment below and let us know!