How to Combat Inflation and Protect Your Four Walls

inflation. It’s the headline in every news article as well as the gist of every meme and the term we scream under our breath. Yes, “inflation” is proving to be the buzzword for the century, but it’s much more than the word. The buzzword actually strips Americans from their precious cash every month, and it’s getting faster.

It’s no coincidence that we’ve released our State of Personal Finance report revealed that 71 percent of Americans believe that price increases due to inflation have had a negative impact on their lives. 26% saying it’s resulted in an important impact. It means that half the population is trying to cope with the increasing burden of rising inflation. It’s not like you’re the only one asking, 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 shows the rate of inflation at an astounding 8.5 percent at the moment. That’s the highest rate of inflation since the last 40 years. In the past, some experts have claimed that this will be an “transitory inflation”–aka temporarily. But it’s been anything other than this. And , to make it even more impressive 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 fluctuates each month but you can make sure you stay at the top of your spending to manage the effects of inflation. Even if you’re not able to defend yourself against these rising numbers but there are plenty of strategies to fight the rising cost of inflation. Let’s explore ways to combat inflation one step at each step.

Protect Your Four Walls Against Inflation

The rising inflation rate of an upswing in 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 an eye on the cost of housing.

If your budget is tight and is getting tighter every second, it’s important to ensure the most essential aspects of your budget are taken care of. This isn’t speaking about the cost of you Amazon Prime membership or your Disney+ streaming subscription. It’s important to ensure the Four Walls (food and utilities transport, housing, and utilities) are covered every month. Here’s how to combat inflation and ensure you Four Walls guarded!

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

Food

It’s not a dream, that fruit has beencosting more nowadays. In fact, it appears that the cost of groceries go up with each new visit to the store (and it most likely will continue to do so).

Take note: From March 2021, prices of food has increased by 8.8 percent! 82% of consumers have noticed increased prices at the supermarket during the last three months. In fact, if you’re like most people you’ve likely needed to boost your shopping budget to cover the costs of the exact items you bought in the past six months.

What do Americans spending on groceries these days? The cost of monthly food items for a single 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

You may feel that you’ve tried every trickwhen you’re trying to making money from groceries. Perhaps you’ve. However, remember that making money at the grocery store can amount to more than just coupons for stores and Ibotta deals (although we do enjoy both of them).

1. Go to the lowest-priced supermarkets.

Whole Foods – Shocker (aka Whole Paycheck) won’t have the most affordable costs for food items. This means that if you are looking to save money on the cost of groceries you need to think about how you go shopping. Within the U.S., some of the most expensive supermarkets with the lowest prices include Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo Foods, Food 4 Less, Costco, Walmart and Trader Joe’s.

2. Choose foods that provide more value for your buck.

Do we mean beans or rice? Sure, we’re. Rice and beans are affordable healthy and nutritious and versatile. You can make use of these ingredients to cook various delicious food items. Consider rethinking your dinner plan if you have to, and find recipes like these that can make a huge difference when you cook. It’s not necessary for every meal to include a huge slab of meat in it, either. It’s expensive to buy meat these days, so purchase it when it’s at a discount.

3. Get rid of the unnecessary items and buy only the things you require.

There is a need for food for lunch, breakfast and dinner. You don’t requirechocolate chips or kombucha, nor the watermelon fresh that costs $7 since someone else did it for you. If you find your budget for groceries getting blown away, it’s time to engage in an honest discussion with yourself about what groceries you’ll need and which you do not.

4. Utilize cash-back coupons and apps.

Okay, we may have taken an oath about these at earlier times, but these could make a significant impact on your grocery budget. Utilize cash-back reward programs like Ibottaand Receipt Hog (recommended), Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards to save. Although rebates won’t offer you an immediate discount (like coupons that are traditional) however, you will be able to see savings over time when the cash-back savings will add to.

Don’t forget that coupons can be a great assistance as well. Brands and grocery stores offer 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 for it. Some stores will increase the value of coupons on certain times of the week or offer you a discount of $5 on the purchase worth $50 or greater (which isn’t too difficult to do these times).

Utilities

Have you looked at your electricity bill recently and discovered that it’s doubled? Yes, welcome in the age of rising costs for energy due to inflation. From March 20, 2021 on, the cost of energy have risen by 32 percent! 6 That’s insane. It’s no wonder that it costs the earth for heating your house, and to keep the lights on.

Ways to Save on Utilities

You may be trying to reduce costs for your energy cost and heating cost or heating bill, you can utilize these strategies to strike back at the cost of energy.

1. Make sure that your appliances aren’t running unless they’re completely full.

The kids splattered chalk stains on their pants, once more. Instead of washing those pants by themselves make sure that you’ve got enough laundry for an entire loads of washing. The typical washing machine consumes 590 kWh, while the typical dryer uses 769 kWh. All of that adds to.

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

2. Set your thermostat.

Warning: If you’re going to be at home for the entire day, your heating does not have to be circulating throughout the home. It’s possible to reduce your energy consumption by 10% over the course of a year by turning the thermostat by 7-10 degrees 8 hours per all day. Therefore, turn down the temperature before heading out of the house.

3. Use less.

This seems like something that’s easy, isn’t it? If energy bills are draining your budget one of the most beneficial options is to attempt to cut down on it. Simple things such as switching off the lights or wearing a second layer of clothing can help much to stop you from having to use more.

Housing

As with everything else in the world today it’s expensive to live is absurd. This is true whether the apartment you’re living in is rent-free or purchasing a house with three bedrooms. In the month of March 2021, the cost of an apartment or a house has increased by five percent. This is the largest annual increase of 5% in the last 30 years.

Renting

Did you receive a letter informing you that your rent is due to go up? Sure, 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 aren’t pleasant, particularly when the price hike is that huge. But , you don’t have to be a spectator and accept the brunt of it. Here are some effective methods to prepare yourself for the rent jump.

Ways to Save on Rent

1. Find a roommate.

Okay, we understand. You do not want to be living with people you don’t know. People can be complicated. Some people do not want to wash their dishes after making spaghetti. But what do you know? The same people could reduce the rent of $1,800 down to just $900 or $600. To save as much you could make it some extra dishes to wash in the sink.

2. You can sign a contract for a longer term.

If you’re sure you’d like to remain in the house you’re currently in you can negotiate in conjunction with the landlord. If you sign an 18- or 16-month lease, your landlord may lower the monthly cost to you andlet you set a rate that you can lock in to safeguard your rent from increasing. What’s the bottom point? It’s never a bad idea to get a grip on the negotiation abilities.

3. Get out.

Moving is definitely the most stressful thing. The process of packing all your possessions and then physically transporting them to another location is a major trouble. No one likes the idea of moving. However, if you can get the cheapest rent, 15 miles outside of town, suck it up and move.

Buying

It’s somewhat difficult to buy houses in the present. Due to housing shortages, inflation along with lower interest rates on mortgages the value of homes have shot up. This is good news for anyone selling your home but not great news for those trying to purchase your first house.

The median price for homes in the United States rose to $363,700 by year 2021’s end. That’s more than $50,000 more than the price in 2020! As the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates yet again, home prices could fall down.12 What’s the reason? Because when mortgage rates are higher, there’s usually less buyers for houses. But, the expectation for 2022’s the housing market is that the prices will continue to rise upwards, though not at a rapid rate.

Ways to Save on Housing

1. Ten to 20 percent off to pay for a down payment, and stay clear of the PMI (private mortgage insurance ).

As with everything else on this list we offer this as our primary recommendation regardless of the current events around the globe. The more money you can save to put towards the down amount for an investment property, the better, because it’ll result in a smaller mortgage. The more you save more, the lower your mortgage will cost. This means that your home loan will be lower which we’re huge fans of this.

Additionally, while missing paying PMI may not reduce the total amount of your mortgage but it can lower your monthly mortgage payments. This is a major victory!

2. Be sure that your home payment is not more than 25 percent of your monthly take-home salary.

You don’t want homeless at any point and certainlynot 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 keep enough money in your budget to afford living.

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

House-buying enthusiasm is real. But just because you’re looking to purchase a home right now doesn’t mean you must. With interest rates in the Federal Reserve predicted to increase later in the year, we’ll observe the housing market cooling off in the coming months as the mortgage interest rates adapt to the changes. If current house prices make the skin crawl just sit back and then wait for the prices to come lower.

Transportation

Gas Prices

To travel from one point to B, you’ll need transportation. In the majority of cases this means an automobile. If you don’t have an auto that operates on electric power, you’ll be requiring gasoline to keep your vehicle moving. Inflation (and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine) has pushed up the cost that you pay at the pump – by many dollars. The cost of gasoline is currently $4.28.13 and oil prices are at around $110 per barrel but it has risen to $129, which is up 40 percent 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 pedal around in your car 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 as well as aren’tcredit card). Check out cash-back applications such as GetUpside to earn cash each when you go to the gas station.

2. Utilize apps to monitor the lowest gasoline price.

You don’t need to use fuel driving around town looking for the best deal. You can use apps like GasBuddy or Waze and locate the lowest prices for gas in your region.

3. Do one trip.

Do you have a few things to do this week? Do them all in one go rather than making 8 visits to the shops on a weekday.

4. Carpool.

When everything other options fail when it comes to saving gas, consider carpooling. We’re here to tell you that carpooling to work, to school, or to the kids soccer match is the perfect method to create a connection with a person and save money as well.

Car costs

Do you think of buying a vehicle in the near future? Prepare for the price to be higher than it has ever been, even when you’re considering used vehicles. In 2021, at the time of the last year the median price for used vehicles reached the all-time record of 29,000 dollars. This is the first time that the cost for used cars has crossed the $29,000 mark. The prices won’t be predicted to decrease in 2022, either. Actually, experts believe that we’ll see the cost of a car used to be $30,000 for the very first occasion since the beginning of time. 

Ways to Save on Cars

The cost of cars is insane There are several ways to save (our most popular is probably the first).

1. Don’t purchase a car now.

The first thing to note is that it’s not the ideal moment to be in the market to buy a car. It’s really not the right time to buy a car. Be creative and come up with ways to work things out for a while , without needing to make a purchase. Don’t put it off until your car has a problem and you need to get a new car as soon as you can begin working.

2. Find out about the best rates for auto insurance.

If you’re deciding that you’ll keep your current car now is the time to shop for alternatives and determine if you can get an lower insurance cost for your vehicle. If you could lower your annual premium by 375 which is a savings of more than $30 from your monthly budget!

3. Carpool with colleagues.

Instead of shelling out money to purchase a car now, you can simply share your ride to work your coworkers. It doesn’t have to take all the time however, sharing your commute could make a big impact and prevent you from making a rash car purchase.

4. Share a car.

Do you own a second car? Perhaps both of you could use one car for two of you. Check with friends and family to see whether you are able to borrow the car of anyone who doesn’t need a second car at present.

5. Spend money on a second-hand vehicle.

If you’re planning to take on the daunting task of purchasing a car now be sure to plan your budget you’ll need to shop around to find an affordable price and have the vehicle checked by a reliable mechanic.

Watch Out for These Traps

Okay, so everybody is thinking about the best methods to “help” you handle inflation. But, guess what? 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 never had the pleasure of seeing an buy now make a payment later option when shopping online, you will. These companies entice shoppers by offering to break down a huge, impossible-to-pay-for-it purchase into four smaller installments. In reality 35% of consumers think they’re more likely to make use of buy now and pay later alternatives when prices for living rises upwards. Many take advantage of this offer without realizing that they’re in debt. However, 36% of people confess to using buy nowand pay later to buy more than they’re able to afford. 

At first, you may think that splitting up the installments will help fight inflation. Since paying a tiny amount for something right now and then just a bit in the future isn’t all thatbig of difference, is it? Wrong. If you’re unable to make the next installment (because inflation took up too part of your income at the supermarket) You’ll be hit with interest as well as late charges.

And you know what? Many people have a tendency tomiss the payments due to these plans. The State of Personal Finance study indicates that 3 out of 4 individuals who have used buy now and payment later plans within the past three months have failed to pay.

Store Credit Cards

These types of things attempt 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. The opening of an credit card for stores isn’t a hack to save money (sorry to disappoint you). It’s debt. Even if it’s an offer of 10% off.

Zero Percent Financing

Are you unable to afford items due to inflation? Financing at zero percent will happily assist you with paying for items you cannot be able to afford. But be patient. Do not fall for this trap too. Even if they’re so sweet and delaying from slapping you with interest as soon as they can but that doesn’t mean nothing. If interest willkick into (oh it will) then it’s likely to make you feel like a jerk. If that zero percent expires the companies typically compensate for the time lost by hammering you with higher interest rates.

Personal Loans

If you’re trying to survive A individual loan could appear to be the lifeboat you’ll must keep from sinking. But , in reality that it’s not. The loan doesn’t solve the problem, they simply 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 that we can pull out of our bag. You can try these out too:

Buy Less Stuff

If you’re thinking of calling us Captain Obvious listen to us out. Many people are unable to take the idea of altering their lives and making sacrifices to pay less money. They aren’t keen on purchasing a generic product and refusing to make buying impulse items. Although it’s a simple option, most people do not wish to make the decision. However, the reality is that when you consider that gas for your vehicle will increase the cost, you’ll need to think about something that you are in control of (like the amount you spend) to make more money.

Where can you reduce your spending and make a couple of sacrifices? Consider a spending freeze in which you aren’t spending anything throughout the weekend. Change to generic brands in the supermarket. Keep in touch with your friends and take a carpool to work in order to save gasoline. Make every effort to cut down where there is a way.

Make More Money

In a world where the gig economy growing at momentum as well as opportunities for side business everywhere it’s easy to earn extra income in these days. Are you experiencing a slow weekend? Start with Door Dash, Task Rabbit, Uber or Lyft. You can even get an hourly job in the evenings or on weekends. Plus, you’ll likely receive an extra discount at the store on top of the additional income. If you’re a weekend worker at Target and you’re lucky enough to earn a little extra money and earn discounts on your groceries as well. Win-win!

What about earning more money from the full time job you have? 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 some negative news 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 percent or higher then inflation will devour all the ground you’ve gained from the raise.22 This is a bummer.

This does not mean that you should not work to get promoted or build yourself ready to request an increase. However, it is important that you must devise a strategy for your money to make maximum value for every dollar.

Budget Your Money

Check out this, if you’ve had your finances stifled by the rise in prices It’s not a problem for everyone. However, just because things are priced more today, don’t put your budget in the trash. No! It is time to make a budget more than ever before.

Don’t let the chaos overtake you. You’re in control! Price increases are a sign that you need to adjust your budget. If you’re required to beef your cost of groceries ensure that you’re getting cash from some other source. Let’s say, the restaurant category. You’ve got to cut costs someplace. If you’ve got everything in the fridge, go home and eat them instead of spending $50 out for dinner.

It’s true that budgeting is more of a burden in the present but our budgeting software, EveryDollar, simplifies the process. It lets you monitor your spending as you track what you spend and adjust your spending in a flash through the application. Also, tell those price increases to get out of the way, because you’ve got a strategy to fight inflation.

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