Is there anything that hasn’t been impacted by inflation in 2023? First came the rising inflation rate on gas, then housing. Now, you may be seeing food prices rising at your local grocery store, too. It’s been roughly 40 years since the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been so high in the United States, and many Americans are feeling the pinch.
So, what is the current cause of inflation? Many experts believe it’s a combination of factors, including disrupted supply chains, material shortages, and an unstable job market. Expected inflation rate projections are looking to continue the trend. In the meantime, there are several ways you can combat the rising CPI index.
You can’t control inflation and interest rates, but adequately managing your personal finances can help you save more money that can be used to combat rising costs. Let’s take a closer look at several ways you can reduce your expenses and stretch your monthly budget.
How to Save Money on Groceries
Saving money on groceries has become one of the biggest concerns for families in the United States. Food inflation hasn’t been this high in decades, so grocery shopping on a budget is now a key part of personal finance management for millions of Americans.
Here are some popular money-saving tips that may help you save on food:
- Buy generic goods instead of brand-names
- When possible, buy in bulk
- Never grocery shop while you’re hungry
- Shop at your local farmer’s market for fruits and veggies
- Supplement your grocery budget with your local food bank
- Make a list before you shop and stick to it
- Use grocery store weekly ads when planning your grocery list
- Look for coupons online
- Buy frozen or canned vegetables instead of fresh
- Incorporate more low-cost foods into your meals, like rice and pasta
- Utilize helpful grocery apps
Managing Money and Tackling Debt
Debt can put a serious damper on your personal finances during high inflation, especially if you’re paying high interest rates. The way to tackle your debt depends on the type of debt you have.
For example, if you’re buried under credit card debt, consider enrolling in a debt repayment program or applying for a 0% APR balance transfer or low interest personal loan. These options can help you consolidate your debt, spend less on interest rates, and give yourself more time to pay off your debt.
Got student loan debt? If you have private loans with high interest rates, see if you can refinance them at a lower interest rate or more manageable payment plan. If you have federal student loans, repayments are currently set to resume on June 30, 2023, unless the Supreme Court rules in a case before it regarding the legality of the Biden administration’s cancellation of student loans. If you cannot make your loan payments, you can check to see if you qualify for deferment, lower payments, or if a different repayment plan will help you save more.
Utilize Money Management Tools
Utilizing a spending tracker or budgeting app can help you manage your personal finances and find ways to cut down on costs. Many of these apps are free or can be used for a low monthly fee.
Looking for the best budgeting apps in 2023? Consider these popular options:
- Personal Capital
- YNAB (You Need a Budget)
Home Finances and Reducing Expenses
House price inflation has affected both the housing market and rental prices across the country. There are many ways you can reduce your housing expenses,but it depends on your unique housing situation. Here are some ways you may be able to save on housing:
- See if you qualify for better mortgage terms and monthly payments through refinancing
- Get a roommate to cut down on costs
- Move to a smaller, more affordable place
- Move further from metropolitan areas
- Find an apartment that includes utility payments
- Find ways to make your home more energy efficient
- Negotiate rental costs when signing a new lease