You have to be under a rock in order not to see that everything around us cost more money these days. Food prices are up. Gas prices are ridiculous. Rent and home pricing are skyrocketing. Everything that we spend our money on is costing us more these days than it has in the past. The reason for this in simple terms is that we are experiencing inflation.

The inflation that we are experiencing today has to do with a couple of factors. One factor is that in 2020 the economy was flushed with money thanks to the stimulus bills that came out during the pandemic. The reason for all of the money in the stimulus bills was because the pandemic caused an economic crisis and in order to keep the economy from going off a cliff the government had to put money out to prop it up.

The government gave money to everyone.

Individuals receive money. Companies receive money. Nonprofits receive money.

Everyone received something.

This first factor led to the second factor. Too much stress on the system thanks to the trillions that went out. The purpose of the money was for it to go into the system by individuals spending it and businesses using it to keep employees in their jobs, but the demand for goods overwhelmed the system. Mainly because the system was not ready for the sudden influx of money. Another problem was the supply chain crisis that made everything even more difficult.

All of this with a few other factors led us to where we are today.

This can be a hard time financially for everyone so I wanted to share a few tips that may help ease the burden of inflation.

Venture Out

This is the perfect time to try out new brands in the grocery store and the drug store. When I was paying the $50,000 of debt off I had no problem buying store brand cereal, medication, cleaning products, anything. I was trying to save money so that I could use the money saved to pay towards the debt. I still buy store brand products today except cereal because I figured out how to not pay full price. I love Target Up and Up brand. Believe it or not many of the brand companies you like have a department in their company that make the off brand which is the same product at a discounted price. The company is getting all the money so you might as well save on your end.

Get The Rewards

If there is a store you shop at or an app that gives you money back rewards make sure you sign up for it! You should be signed up for every reward program at every store you shop at. Grocery stores, drug stores, coffee shops, etc all have customer loyalty programs. These programs will help you save money on everyday items and even give you free food or items throughout the year. Every time I go to the grocery store I save at least $30 and that is without coupons. There are numerous gas apps that tell you where the inexpensive gas station are located and even some like Get Upside that will give you money back at certain stations. You should aim to never pay full price for anything. In fact as I am typing this I just received a notification of a FREE Jimmy Johns sandwich!

Pull Back

To really save money sometimes you need to pull back. That means going out to eat less, buying clothes only when needed, skipping that trip with friends. As high as gas prices are right now you may need to go to work and straight back home. Or even better if possible ask can you work from home two days a week every week. This will definitely make your gas stretch further. Another option is to pick 2 “No Spending Days.” These days are where you don’t spend any money on anything! It will be easier on you if it is the same days each and every week.

Inflation more than likely will not go away any time soon so hopefully you can use some of these tips to help you and your wallet.

Below you will find the news segment that I did on this topic.

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International Financial Literacy Speaker and Author

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