I feel the pinch too. We had to up our grocery budget and our fuel budget. We even upped the thermostat (here in Georgia, we already got the AC blowing). But believe it or not, inflation doesn’t control your finances – you do. And there are plenty of things we can do in order to keep inflation from completely wrecking our finances.
Inflation stings and it doesn’t help much when you go on social media and see all the ‘doomsday-better-get-prepared-for-it-to-get-worse” posts. It also doesn’t help when the grocery stores are constantly out of things.
I feel you. It sucks. It honestly does. I wish I could tell you when this will all get better but the reality is I have no idea when that’ll be. But what I do know is that there are some things that you can do starting this week to help alleviate some of the pressures you’re feeling.
If you haven’t already started actively budgeting your money then today is the day to start! And remember you don’t need to budget into the future – in fact, given the craziness of inflation, the war in Ukraine, and its global impacts, it’s probably best to stop budgeting too far into the future as the price of many things may be too volatile.
If you’ve read my book, you know that I recommend using the Quick-Start Budget method as I think it’s super easy and it uses your real money – as in the money you currently have sitting in your checking account. Not money that you hope or plan to receive in the future. My book goes into way more detail on setting up a Quick-Start Budget but if you want the cliff notes version – head here to watch the video on Instagram of me walking you through a mock budget.
2. Offset the Costs
Cashback and rewards sites are everywhere now and they can be so helpful in helping to offset the rise in prices that you’re feeling. Now, please don’t feel like you have to use every single one out there. Just pick a few that work for you and stick to them. Trust me, you’ll do much better and be happier with less to keep up with. Some of my personal favorite apps/sites for cashback and rewards are:
- Swagbucks (I’ve been using them since I had babies at home!)
- Rakuten (used to be called ebates)
- Fetch (I prefer this app over Ibotta as I don’t buy a lot of name-brand items often that Ibotta requires)
- Gasbuddy (This isn’t a cashback app but more of a price comparison tool for fuel. It will help you find the cheaper gas near you! It’s great for summer traveling!)
- GetUpSide (I’ve earned over $20 in cash back so far just by using this app! It’s a great way to save at the gas pump!)
3. Second-Hand Works Too
I know Easter is coming up, and if you’ve got kids, you’re probably trying to find the cutest Easter outfits for your kiddos and maybe a few things to put in their Easter baskets like shoes or pajamas (these are the two most common things we give our kids every Easter). And as I discovered earlier this week when I went to Walmart to grab my husband some new underwear and my boys some new socks – clothing prices have gone way up too!
That’s why I want to reiterate something that I’ve been sharing for years – secondhand is totally 100% okay to give as a gift. You don’t need to run out and buy something brand new for you, your kids, or anyone else. You can score some amazing secondhand clothing items that won’t break the bank!
Here are a few of the places that I commonly shop for secondhand items (and have the most success with high-quality items):
- Uptown Cheapskate
- All for Kids Consignment (if you’re in Georgia and local to Woodstock or Marietta, make sure you check this one out!)
- Goodwill (I don’t have as much luck at our local Goodwill as I do at the Goodwill in the “fancier” part of town. So definitely look at a few locations before dismissing this one).
This is my daughter’s new-to-us Easter dress and her new-to-us sandals from Thredup!
4. Go Outside the Box
Since the cost of things is rising, you may find yourself having to do things differently than you’ve done in the past. If you’ve followed our family’s debt-free journey for a long time, you’ll remember that for years our family’s beach vacations were on a super small and tight budget. That meant we stayed in a tiny home in order to accommodate our limited budget. (You can read that full story here.) You may find yourself in a similar situation where you can’t really afford to take the super nice vacations that your family is accustomed to so you may have to think outside the box in order to make a family vacation a reality. The same can go for other areas of your spending – instead of buying your eyeglasses directly from your eye doctor, you may need to opt for a cheaper alternative and purchase them through a site like Zenni and Warby Parker. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative and go outside of what is normal for you.
These are my $100 Warby Parker glasses. You can read my full review of them here.
5. Keep Investing
Okay, okay, I know that this one is hard. The market seems to stumble more these days than rising, and you’re feeling the pinch at the stores and at the pump. I know it can be hard to remind yourself why investing is so important, but it is. In fact, it’s literally the only true way to beat inflation. I know it’s hard, but $5 today (even though it won’t buy you very much) invested over the long haul can net you a very pretty penny! In fact, just $5 invested every month for the next 40 years (assuming a 10% return) would net you $37,267! And that’s just $5 a month! Imagine what that would look like with investing $500 a month (I did the math for you – it’s $3,194,829!!). So don’t stop those investments – even $5 every month adds up!
Alright, friend! What would you add to this? Oh, and don’t forget! Audible has my book for free for new members! Head here to grab my book!
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