Inflation is a continuous and prolonged increase in the general price of goods and services. As we’re due for another recession, most people’s standard of living decreases due to the rising costs of essential goods and services, such as food, housing, education, clothing, and healthcare — gas prices are the one people tend to notice first. With the cost of living set to rise considerably over the next few years, it’s important to find ways to save wherever possible. These tips will help you stay productive and profitable at your current wages even with costs going up:
1. Plan Your Meals
Plan your weekly meals and buy only the ingredients you need. Planning your meals makes you less likely to waste food. Moreover, you may enjoy stocking up on supplies to make multiple meals, but chances are high that you’ll get tired of the same meal day in, day out, resulting in ordering more takeout and more groceries going to waste.
By only buying what you plan on making for the week, you avoid wasting food and being tempted with takeout. Furthermore, by making a list of what you need to buy, you’ll be able to avoid impulse buys or overspending.
2. Cut Out Unnecessary Spending
The simplest way to do this is by taking stock of where you’re spending your money. Don’t overcomplicate it with too many categories, but break it down into recurring payments (rent, utilities, insurance, car payments, etc.), separate groceries from takeout, and take note of any subscription services you have.
Once you’ve separated your “recurring/must-pay” spending from “nice-to-have” spending, you’ll have a better idea of where to cut back.
Frequently, one of the first things people discover is how much they’re actually spending on subscriptions. Most people don’t need all major streaming services all at once. Moreover, some subscription services still give the illusion you’re saving money. As an example, while a subscription to monthly razors may seem like a reasonable subscription, in two years time, such a subscription winds up costing the same as a high-quality reusable razor.
3. Look for Ways to Save
For example, instead of driving to work or school every day for an hour each way, try cycling or walking. In the COVID era, advocate for yourself and request work from home days to combat rising prices in gas. If your company wants to retain talent, they’ll oblige.
If you have a job that requires you to be in the office (such as those in construction or medical field), then consider carpooling with people near your area.
Meanwhile, in your personal life, consider all purchases by their price per use. If you’re wearing shoes every day, it makes sense to consider and invest in a high-quality pair. Meanwhile, if you’re looking at a seasonal jacket, consider how often it’ll be worn and if it’s worth it.
4. Capitalize on Cost Saving Apps
There are numerous, accredited apps specifically designed to improve efficiency and productivity. For instance, GasBuddy will show you where your nearest gas stations are and who offers the best price. Driving an extra 2 minutes may save you an extra $20.
Similarly, most people don’t notice how much time they spend on their phone or “window shopping”. And it’s easy to get sucked into an app like DoorDash or UberEats. For apps that compell you to spend money, set a time limit on them so your phone will shut you out before you sink more money into them.