We are surrounded by uncertainty: gas prices are at an all-time high, food prices continue to rise and wages are just barely increasing to help us fill the gap. Because of that, a lot of people are feeling the weight of a global financial burden.
While we cannot make any promises or predictions or even speculations about where the economy is heading (hopefully it will find a manageable point again) but we have scoured the internet for some tips to help you through. When it comes to finances, if you are already in a low point, you cannot undo the damage in one day. Rather than seeing that and thinking, “Might as well go big, then,” it’s good to consider that good habits don’t always make us happy in the moment. But, each good financial decision you make now, is an investment for a better future.
Here are 6 money moves to help you cope with inflation.
1. Start using cash.
This might sound really simple or really impossible, but hear me out. When you use a card for everything, it’s really easy to swipe away every cent you have, without thinking about it. Financial counselors suggest setting aside a percentage for an emergency fund, paying your bills, and withdrawing what you need for food, gas, and blow money. Be realistic when doing this, and then slide the rest to a savings account for later use.
If you already have a budget, then you are on the right track. If not, it can seem a bit daunting at first. Write down all of your bills, all of your expenses (food, gas, clothes, vet bills, etc). Now, write down your expected income for the month to come. Once all of your expenses are covered, what is left? Use that gap (no matter how big or how small) to save emergency money and pay off debt. If you are having a hard time finding a gap, do some research on how you can be more frugal. Look at your bank statement. How much are you spending eating out? How much on coffees, cokes, snacks and junk food that is unnecessary? Cut that spending out and SAVE IT.
3. Cut back.
Here again, go over your statement. What are your expenses? Are you using four streaming services for movies and television, and two for music, and a grocery delivery service when you could be buying your own groceries cheaper? Try to cut back on conveniences, and focus on needs. You can save whatever you cut back on to save money to pay off debt and have some stashed away.
Don’t just buy something somewhere because it’s convenient. Yes, it may be easy to grab toilet paper at the grocery store while you are there. But, it’s likely cheaper at a wholesale or bargain store (Walmart, Target, Dollar General) than it is at your local convenience store. The same goes for gas and even some groceries. If you notice one store that is 10 miles further away, but has WAY better deals is offering a sale on the majority of what’s on your shopping list, go there instead. Small habits save tons.
5. Prioritize your emergency fund.
A lot of people say that it’s impossible to make an emergency fund. And while you cannot build one overnight, you can have your employer send $5 a week to a bank account that you don’t see or $25 a week or something at least, so you can start building one. It will take some time to grow. Even having $1000 saved up can be so beneficial.
6. Pull a side hustle.
Not everyone will be able to do this. But, if you are single and have a job that you are working 40 hours a week at, and you are young, start a side hustle. Think of something you enjoy doing: perhaps you like making home decor, or perhaps you like making candles, or perhaps you enjoy blogging. Whatever it is, immerse yourself in a lucrative hobby and find a way to make some money off of it.