April 03, 2018
Prices are rising on all types of goods nationwide and squeezing Americans’ budgets. Inflation reached 7.9 percent for the 12-month period ending February 2022. The struggle is many people’s income is not matching that rate of inflation.
Although the price of essential items, such as groceries and gas, is increasing rapidly, you can optimize and manage your budgets to balance your income and expenses with these tips.
5 Tips for Managing Household Budgets Despite Rising Prices
The price of household essentials is increasing everywhere. Inflation is impacting nearly every household expenditure, such as stapled food items like bread, milk, eggs, and the cost of gas just to get to and from the grocery store.
Take some time to review our budgeting basics resources if you’re just getting started with budgeting. Then read up on these five tips for managing your household spending to avoid monthly deficits despite the current rising prices.
1. Buy in Bulk & Utilize Your Grocery Reward Program
Wholesale store memberships can help you take advantage of bulk pricing. Although you’ll have the upfront expense of the membership, if you prioritize purchasing items from these wholesale stores, you’ll save enough money to pay for the membership and still put some savings back into your budget for other things.
But you will need to be vigilant in purchasing as much as you can from these stores including using gas station benefits and watching for additional sales, rebates, and specials from the wholesale clubs.
Which grocery store do you currently go to most often? Are you using their reward programs to get the most bang for your buck? Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club offer dividends and money back on your purchases - keep track of these and put the dividends toward to cost of your membership.
Or if you live near a larger grocery chain that offers gas services, be diligent about using your grocery rewards to lower your price per gallon.
Owning a car is extremely convenient because you can go where you want when you want. But with the skyrocketing cost of gas, carpooling can work wonders for balancing your expenses and income.
Consider sharing school pickup duties with neighbors. Ask around the office for coworkers who live in your area and take advantage of your local park and ride carpooling stations.
Additionally, you could ride the local bus or public transportation to save on fuel costs if you have a stop near your home and office. Or, just carpool with family members if you work nearby one another.
Think through your required errands for the week to cut down on around-the-town driving too as you consolidate your driving behavior.
3. Look for Ways to Cut Expenses
While those streaming services you signed up for were an affordable expense last year, they might not be anymore.
As you work with your budgets to find affordable ways to manage expenses, you might need to reduce entertainment and convenience expenses. While monthly subscriptions for household items like toilet paper and meal kits might be incredibly convenient, they are also far costlier than purchasing those goods in a local store. Eliminating even $5-10 per week on grocery or household staple item delivery can have a major impact on your annual household budget.
4. Shop Discounts and Use Coupons
Shopping discounts require added time and attention. But it can also offer incredible convenience. Use the GasBuddy app to find the best prices on fuel near you to save a few dollars on every fill-up. And clip grocery coupons to reduce your expenses wherever you can.
Many stores now offer the convenience of digital coupons, which means you don’t have to spend all the added time clipping coupons, storing them, and remembering to pack them when you head to the store.
You’ll be surprised how quickly these small savings add up week after week.
5. Consolidate Debts
To try to reduce the inflation rate, the Federal Reserve is increasing interest rates for the first time in three years. This may be the beginning of rate hikes that analysts and experts anticipate over the coming year.
Before interest rates become too high, now is the time to consider consolidating debt and bills. By consolidating debts, you can decrease the number of payments you’re making monthly, which in turn will help with budgeting.
Get Additional Help with a Personal Loan
Sunset Finance offers installment loans with fixed payments for a set term. This allows you to fit the loan payment into your monthly budget. Check out Sunset Finance FAQs or give us a call if you have questions.
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