Does everything seem more expensive all of a sudden?
It’s not all in your head. Inflation is rising, and prices aren’t going down anytime soon. You may notice higher prices on everyday items like gasoline, food, and clothing. While it’s inconvenient to most, it can be very detrimental to individuals already living paycheck to paycheck. Without a plan in place, these individuals may find themselves skipping meals, walking to get places, or falling behind on monthly payments.
At AA Tax & Accounting Services, we understand how frustrating rising costs due to inflation can be. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you combat increasing costs and keep more money in your wallet.
Create a Budget (and Stick to It)
We get it; budgeting isn’t the most fun activity. While we’re big supporters of following a budget all the time, it’s more important than ever that you monitor your money coming in and going out when there are inflated costs on everyday goods.
Create a budget that puts a significant focus on areas where inflation may be causing a spike in costs, such as rent, food, services, transportation, and more. Once you understand how much you have to spend in each of these categories each month, it is time to figure out how you can stretch your dollar a bit more.
Are there any changes you can make to your spending habits? Can you purchase groceries at less expensive stores? Do you have the storage space to buy groceries in bulk from stores like Costco so you can stock up early and avoid paying higher prices later on if they continue to increase?
Are there any underutilized streaming services that can be paused, even if only temporarily? Consider the different ways you can cut down the money leaving your bank account (or racking up debt on your credit cards), and find ways to make your money go a lot farther.
It may be easy to create a budget. The hard part is sticking to it. Make sure you continue following your budget and re-evaluating it throughout the month so you can pivot as needed.
Negotiate Your Everyday Expenses
Even with a set amount set aside each month to pay a specific bill, you can get that bill lowered. Evaluate your monthly expenses and determine if any costs may be negotiated. Consider things like your phone bill or cable bill. Give your provider a call and see if you qualify for any current promotions.
Sometimes, even letting them know you’re considering moving to a new provider will motivate them to give you a better rate to keep you as a customer. The worst thing these providers say is no, and you will continue paying what you’re already spending. We recommend negotiating down your credit card APR, gym membership, phone plans, cable, and any other recurring payments.
Getting more for your money is an excellent way to add value at the same price. If your current provider isn’t willing to lower the cost, you may want to consider switching to a less expensive provider — or cutting the service (i.e, cable) altogether.
Postpone Major Purchases
The rising costs due to inflation won’t last forever, which is why it may be beneficial to wait on some larger purchases if possible. Unless a significant home appliance or car breaks down, you’re likely better off waiting. Because of the current labor shortage and supply chain issues, consumers will be faced with a high price tag if buying now. If you can defer the purchase to a later date, there’s a good chance you’re going to shave some money off the sticker price.
Have Questions About Your Financial Strategy?
AA Tax & Accounting Services is prepared to give you the answers you need. Our team of accountants has the experience of navigating the most effective strategies for financial planning.
The AA Tax & Accounting Services team can help you execute the right financial strategies to save you money and combat inflation. Contact us to schedule an appointment.