How to Combat Inflation and Protect Your Four Walls

The word “inflation” is everywhere. It’s the headline in every news article and the crux of every meme and the term we scream under our breath. Yes, “inflation,” is proving as the most talked-about word of this year, but it’s much more than it’s. This buzzword is actually depriving Americans from their precious cash more and more quickly each month.

It’s no surprising that the State of Personal Finance report revealed that 71 percent of Americans think that inflation-related price hikes have had a negative impact on their lives. 26% of respondents saying that it has caused substantialimpact. This means that half of the population is trying to cope with the increasing cost of rising inflation. It’s not like you’re the only one thinking, Why is everything so costly? We’re all feeling it.

What Is the Rate of Inflation Right Now?

In case you didn’t notice you should know that in case you didn’t, the Consumer Price Index is showing inflation of an astounding 8.5 percent right now. That’s the highest level of inflation since the last 40 years. In the past, some experts have suggested that this could be an “transitory inflation”–aka the temporary. But it’s been anything other than this. To top it all off 78 percent of Americans believe that it will continue increasing for the next two years. 

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It’s impossible to control the extent to which inflation increases every month but you can make sure you stay in control of your finances to deal with the effects of inflation. If you’re feeling powerless against these rising numbers There are plenty of strategies to fight the rising cost of inflation. Let’s look at ways to combat inflation one step at each step.

Protect Your Four Walls Against Inflation

Inflation numbers rising like the person who is climbing El Capitan flat out stinks. The shock of sticker prices does not stop there. It comes every time you enter the supermarket and pump gas, or open the electric account, or even take look at the prices of your home.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet and growing tighter by the second, you must ensure that the most crucial aspects of your budget are taken care of. This isn’t discussing you Amazon Prime membership or your Disney+ streaming subscription. It’s important to ensure you have your four Walls (food and utilities housing, transportation and food) are covered every month. Here’s how to combat inflation and ensure the security of your Four Walls guarded!

  1. Food
  2. Utilities
  3. Housing
  4. Transportation

Food

The fruit can becosting more nowadays. It’s almost as if the cost of groceries go up with each new visit to the store (and it most likely will continue to do so).

In the month of March 2021, the cost of groceries has increased 8.8 percent! 82% of consumers have noticed increased prices at the supermarket during the last three months. If you’re not aware it’s likely that you’ve needed to boost your shopping budget to pay for the price of the same products that you purchased in the past six months.

What do Americans paying these days? The monthly cost of grocery bills for one person is between $223 and $410. When you consider four members of a family the cost of their weekly grocery bill goes upwards to $863. Yikes!

Ways to Save on Groceries

It’s possible that you’ve tried every trickwhen you’re trying to making money from groceries. Maybe you’ve. However, remember that getting the most value for money from the supermarket comes down to more than just coupons from the store or Ibotta deals (although we do enjoy these two things).

1. Find the most affordable supermarkets.

The Shocker-Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) won’t offer the lowest costs for food items. That means that if want to cut down on your food bill you need to think about how you go shopping. The U.S., some of the most popular and grocery stores with the lowest price include Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo Foods, Food 4 Less, Costco, Walmart and Trader Joe’s.

2. Choose foods that offer more bang for your buck.

Do we mean beans or rice? Sure, we’re. Rice and beans are inexpensive and healthy and can be used the ingredients to prepare many simple dishes. Consider rethinking your dinner plan if you have to, and find recipes like these that can help you in the kitchen. It’s not necessary for every meal to come with a large chunk of meat with it, either. The cost of meat is astronomical nowadays, so make sure to purchase it when it’s at a discount.

3. Take out the things you don’t need and buy only the things you really need.

Food is essential for lunch, breakfast and dinner, but you don’t have to buychocolate chips or kombucha, nor the fresh watermelon , which costs $7 since someone else took care of it. If you find your budget for groceries being skewed, it’s the time to engage in an honest discussion with yourself about the items you’ll need and which you do not.

4. Utilize cash-back coupons and apps.

We took some snide remarks about them in early on, however they can make a big impact on your grocery budget. Utilize cash-back reward applications such as Ibotta, Receipt Hog (recommended), Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards to save. While rebates do not offer discounts at the beginning (like coupons that are traditional) but you’ll be able to see savings over time after the savings from cash-back will add to.

Also, coupons can be a great assistance as well. Stores and brands have numerous coupons for variety of products. Make sure that the coupon applies to something you’ve already bought, so don’t purchase something you’ve never used simply because you have coupons available for it. Some stores will increase the value of coupons during certain dates of the week, or offer you a discount of $5 on purchases that is $50+ (which isn’t difficult to achieve these times).

Utilities

Have you looked at your bill for electricity recently and found that it has increased by three times? Yes, welcome into the realm of increased prices for energy because of inflation. In the month of March, the cost of energy have increased by 32 percent! This is insane. It’s no wonder that it costs the earth for heating your house and the lights on.

Ways to Save on Utilities

If you’re looking to lower costs for your electricity charge as well as your heating cost it’s possible to use these strategies to strike the energy costs.

1. Make sure that your appliances aren’t running unless they’re fully charged.

The kids splattered chalk stains on their pants, once more. However, instead of washing the pants by themselves make sure that you’ve got enough laundry to do an entire loads of washing. The typical washing machine consumes 590 kWh and the average dryer consumes 769 kWh. 7 All of that adds to.

When it comes to dishwashers, the exact rule applies. Do not run it until you have an entire load of dishes to wash.

2. Programming your thermostat.

Warning: If you’re going to be at home for the entire day, your heating isn’t required to flow throughout the home. You could reduce your energy consumption by 10% per year by turning the thermostat to 7-10 degrees for 8 hours every all day. 8 Therefore, turn the thermostat down prior to heading out of the house.

3. Use less.

This seems like something that’s easy, isn’t it? If energy bills are taking up your finances one of the most beneficial ways to reduce your energy usage is make an effort to reduce the amount you use of it. Simple things such as switching off the lights or wearing a second layer of clothing can help much to stop your energy usage from increasing.

Housing

Just like everything else the cost to live is ridiculous. This is true whether your apartment is rented or purchasing an entire house with three bedrooms. In the month of March 2021, the cost of the roof that covers your head was up five percent. 9 This is the highest 12 month increase in more than 30 years.

Renting

Did you receive a letter that said your rent was going to go up? Yes, a lotof people received the letter. Rent prices have increased by 19.8 percent since January 2021. That’s with the national median rent per month currently at $1,789.  Sheesh. The rise in rent are a real pain, especially when the increase is this huge. However, you don’t need to sit around and take the brunt of it. Here are some effective strategies to brace yourself for the rent jump.

Ways to Save on Rent

1. Roommates are essential.

We understand that you do not want to be living with others. People are complex. Some people don’t like washing their dishes after making spaghetti. But, you know what? The same people could reduce the rent of $1,800 down to $900 or $600. To save as much you could make it some extra dishes to wash in the sink.

2. Take out a lease for a longer period.

If you’re sure you’d like to stay in the home that you’re at you can negotiate in conjunction with the landlord. If you sign the 16 or 18 month lease, the landlord could reduce the cost of the month to you andlet you set a rate that you can lock in to protect you from the rent increasing. What’s the bottom thing to remember? It’s never hurts to get a grip on your negotiations abilities.

3. Get out.

Moving is definitely the most difficult. Moving all your belongings and then physically transporting them to another location is a major hassle. Everyone hates moving. If you can get the cheapest rent, 15 miles outside of town, suck it up and get moving.

Buying

You may have heard that it’s somewhat difficult to buy an apartment at the moment. With the rise of inflation, housing shortages along with lower interest rates on mortgages the value of homes have shot up. This is great news for anyone selling your home however not the best news if you’re looking to purchase your first house.

The median national home price rose to $363,700 by year 2021’s end. That’s more than 50k more than what it was in 2020! With the Fed raising interest rates and again, prices for homes could fall down.12 What’s the reason? It’s because when mortgage rates are higher, there’s usually more people looking for houses. But, the expectation for 2022’s developments in housing is that the prices will continue to rise up, but not at a rapid rate.

Ways to Save on Housing

1. Save between 10 and 20% to pay for a down payment, and stay clear of the PMI (private mortgage insurance ).

As with everything else on this list it’s our main suggestion regardless of what’s happening around the globe. The more cash you have to put towards the down amount for an apartment, the better because it’ll result in a smaller mortgage. The more you save and the lower your mortgage will cost. That means that your mortgage payment will be lower and we’re huge supporters of this.

Even though skipping the payment for PMI could not affect the amount you pay for your mortgage however, it canlower the monthly mortgage payment. That’s a big victory!

2. Be sure that your home payment isn’t greater than 25 percent of your monthly take-home salary.

You don’t want to end up in any way and most definitelynot with inflation on the rise. Making sure that the house you pay for isn’t higher than what your income is able to handle will ensure that you make room within your budget to be able to live.

3. Keep an eye on the market until it is cooled down.

House-buying enthusiasm is real. However, just because you’d like to purchase a home right now doesn’t mean that you have to. With interest rates in the Federal Reserve likely to increase later this year, we’ll be able to see the housing market cool down a bit when the mortgage interest rates adapt to the changes. If current house prices make you itch, simply ride it out and watch for prices to go back lower.

Transportation

Gas Prices

To travel from one point to B, you’ll require transportation. For most people it’s the use of a vehicle. If you don’t have an auto that operates on electricity, you’ll require gasoline to keep your vehicle moving. Inflation (and the Ukrainian-Russian conflict) has pushed up the cost that you pay at the pump – by quite a bit. The cost of gasoline is currently $4.28.13 and oil prices are about $110 per barrel right now however, it did rise to $129, which is up by $40 in just two weeks.14,15

Ways to Save on Gas

There are a lot of ways to reduce the cost of fuel which don’t require you to drive around as Fred Flintstone.

1. Join cash-back and gas reward programs.

Join gas rewards programs offered by companies such as Kroger or Costco (just be sure that it’s a free reward you sign to in addition to aren’t credit card). You can also check out cash-back programs such as GetUpside to earn cash every time you visit the gas station.

2. Make use of apps to track the lowest gasoline costs.

You don’t need to use fuel driving around town looking for the best deal. Use an app such as GasBuddy and Waze, to search for the lowest gas prices in your region.

3. Take a trip.

Do you have a few things to do this week? Take them all out in one visit rather than making 8 separate shopping trips in the course of the week.

4. Carpool.

When everything other options fail when it comes to saving gas, consider carpooling. Carpooling for work, school, or to the kids soccer match is the perfect method to create a connection with a person while also saving money.

Car cost

Do you think of buying a vehicle this year? Prepare for the price to be higher than it has ever been, even in the case of used vehicles. In 2021, at the time of the last year the median price for used cars hit an all-time high of $29,999. This is the first time in history that the price for pre-owned cars has surpassed the $29,000 mark. The prices won’t be predicted to decrease in 2022, either. Experts believe that we’ll see the cost of a car used to be $30k for the first occasion in history. 

Ways to Save on Cars

The cost of cars is insane However, there are some ways to save (our most popular is probably top of the list).

1. Don’t purchase a car now.

In the first place, this isn’t the moment to be in the search for a new car. It’s really not the right time to buy a car. Try to be creative and find ways to get things going for a few months without having to make a purchase. Don’t put it off until your car is in a state of repair and you need to get a new car as soon as you can begin working.

2. Find out about car insurance rates.

If you’ve decided you’re planning to maintain your current vehicle now is the time to shop to determine if you can get an lower insurance cost for your vehicle. If you could lower your annual premium by 375 and free up more than $30 from your monthly budget!

3. Carpool with your coworkers.

Instead of shelling out money to buy a car now, you can simply share an Uber ride to work with colleagues. It doesn’t need to be all the time however, sharing your commute can have a significant impact on your life and keep your from making a quick car purchase.

4. Share a car.

Do you have a second vehicle? Perhaps both of you could use one car for you two. See the possibility of borrowing the car of anyone who doesn’t need a second vehicle at the moment.

5. Spend money on a second-hand vehicle.

If you’re planning to take on the daunting task of buying a car now ensure you have a budget in place and shop around for the best price and have the vehicle checked by a reliable mechanic.

Watch Out for These Traps

Okay, everyone is thinking of the best way to “help” you handle inflation. But what do you know? These ideas may not be what they’re made out to be. Make sure you stay away from these traps.

Buy Now, Pay Later

If you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing an buy now or make a payment later option while shopping online, you will. These companies entice shoppers with the notion of breaking down a huge, impossible-to-pay-for-it purchase into four smaller installments. In reality 35% of consumers think they’ll more likely utilize buy now, pay later, or buy now options because costs of living rises higher.  Many take advantage of this offer without realizing that they’re in debt. However, 36% of respondents say they’ve used buy nowand pay later to pay more than they’re able to afford.

At first, you may think that splitting up the installments will help to combat inflation. In the end, paying a small amount to buy something today and paying a bit in the future isn’t really thatbig of an issue, is it? Wrong. If you’re unable to make the next installment (because inflation took up too the majority of your earnings at the supermarket) then you’ll be hit with interest and late charges.

And do you know what? Many people are prone tomiss payment due on these items. The State of Personal Finance study indicates that 3 out of four people who purchased now or plan to pay in installments within the last 3 months have not paid.

Store Credit Cards

They try to lure into a deal: “You’ll get 10% off every purchase when you use our store credit card!” The answer isBut don’t let the “discount” fool you. Making use of the credit card for stores isn’t a way to save money (sorry to be rude to you). The word “debt” means. Even if it’s 10% off coupons.

Zero Percent Financing

Are you unable to afford things due to rising prices? zero percent finance will happily assist you in paying for items that you aren’t able to be able to afford. But be patient. Do not fall for this trap too. Even if they’re so sweet and delaying from slapping them with interest as soon as they can but that doesn’t mean nothing. If the interest willkick into (oh it will) and it will make you feel like a jerk. If that zero percent expires the companies typically compensate for the time lost by pounding the head with the highest interest rates.

Personal Loans

If you’re trying to survive If you’re struggling to make ends meet, a individual loan could appear to be the lifeboat you’ll have to stay afloat. But , in reality that it’s not. They don’t solve the issue, they only create a bigger hole to solve the issue that you already have.

More Tips to Combat Inflation

In reality we have a couple other ways to tackle inflation in our arsenal. Try these suggestions:

Buy Less Stuff

Before you call us Captain Obvious listen to us out. Many people are unable to accept the thought of changing their lives and making sacrifices in order to spend less money. They aren’t keen on purchasing a generic product and avoiding purchase on impulse. While it’s an obvious option, most people do not like to think about it. The truth is, the cost of gas for your car will be more expensive, then you’ll have to concentrate on things that you are in control of (like the amount you spend) to make more money.

What are some ways to reduce expenses and make couple of sacrifices? Consider a spending freeze in which you do not spend any money for the entire weekend. Change to generic brands in the supermarket. Keep in touch with your friends and take a carpool for work to save gasoline. Make every effort to reduce your expenses whenever it is possible.

Make More Money

The gig economy is growing in momentum as well as other side-hustles everywhere It’s fairly easy to earn extra cash nowadays. Are you experiencing a slow weekend? Start with Door Dash, Task Rabbit, Uber or Lyft. You can even get an occasional job during the evenings or on weekends. Plus, you’ll likely receive discounts at the store in addition to of your extra earnings. If you are a Saturday worker at Target You’ll not just earn some extra cash however, you’ll also get discounts on your groceries as well. Win-win!

What about earning more money from working full-time? There’s good news in the area of salary: employers plan to increase the average salary by 3.4 percent in the coming next year. This is great! However, there’s a negative side that’s also true: inflation is growing faster than raises do. Keep in mind that over the last twelve months, the cost of both goods and services has increased by 8.5%.21 If the next increase you get isn’t 8.5 or more then inflation will devour all the ground you’ve gained from this raise.22 It’s a bummer.

That isn’t a reason to not strive towards a promotion or work yourself ready to solicit an increase. However, it is important that you need to plan your money to make maximum value for every penny.

Budget Your Money

Check out this, if you’ve had your finances affected by the rise in prices It’s not a problem for everyone. If things cost more, don’t toss your budget away. No! There is a need for a budget now more than ever before.

Don’t let the chaos take you over! Price increases are a sign that you’ll need to alter your budget. If you’re looking to boost up your cost of groceries make sure you’re getting cash from some other source. Let’s say the category of restaurants. This means you’ll have to cut down someplace. If you have all the groceries in the fridge, you can stay at home and enjoy them instead of shelling out $50 out for dinner.

Budgeting can be more of a burden at the moment but our budgeting software, EveryDollar, helps make it much simpler. It lets you monitor your spending and track your spending and adjust your spending in a flash through the application. Also, tell those price increases to get out of there–because you’ve got a strategy to stop inflation.

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