In the U.S. inflation is upon us, and it looks like we’re headed for recession. How can we prepare for the future and come out on top?
The rate of inflation in the United States was already at 7.9% in February. This is the highest rate seen in the last 40 years. The price of food has increased dramatically and continues to climb as the months creep toward fall. And should we talk about fuel prices?
Yikes! Prices for gas in the U.S. is 50% higher than last year. And if you’re looking to purchase an automobile or home, you better think twice. Now is not the time, as even used cars are 40% higher in 2022.
So, where’s the hope? What can we do to improve and maintain our lifestyle?
Reduce energy expenditure
Let’s start with the electricity costs to run the home. To reduce utility bills, and reduce electricity usage by a whopping 25%, just make a few tweaks to your home, and adjust temperature settings. Turn your thermostat up to prompt the air to shut off automatically.
Ensure that your home is insulated properly as well. Check all windows and doors to repair any breaches that can allow air to escape. You can also wash clothes in cold water, use LED lights, and take shorter showers. Take inventory of your home and adjust for energy conservation.
When decreasing the rate of your spending, you can start with automatic drafts. Subscription services can add up and drain your bank account. If you don’t need it, get rid of the service.
Also, now is not the time to purchase high quantities of products like usual. No, you shouldn’t stop spending money because this can hurt the economy. It just takes a slight decrease to keep you on track.
Save your gas
There’s an easy way to reduce fuel consumption, and that’s to just stay home. However, considering we need to go to work, to the grocery store, and run errands, this isn’t feasible. But here’s an idea, plan your trips to include all your errands in one day.
When shopping for groceries, make a list and stock up for the entire week. As for work, carpooling is a great idea. If three people share driving duties with their own car, it will reduce the gas usage quite a bit.
And since we have the internet, we can spend time with friends online more often, instead of going out every day. Instead, take a walk or ride a bike. Here’s another idea: if you must buy a car, try an electric model. It’s a cheaper option than gas right now. Due to the changes in oil prices and purchasing limitations, gas will continue to hold at higher prices and possible increases.
More product adjustments
When shopping for food or other products, try using generic brands instead of name brands. Also, eat less expensive items and learn how to be more creative with meals. There are many videos online and articles that can teach you how to create something spectacular out of common staple foods.
Use coupons, sales, and specials to reduce the overall price of your grocery haul. Also, it’s wise to download shopping apps that give points for receipts and when buying certain products that you normally purchase. Use all the tricks to cut down on product expenses.
Try to protect your savings
Although it may look as if you could be dipping into your savings soon, try to avoid this at all costs. Your savings should only be used in dire emergencies. So, if you can get by without touching your savings, you will be better off in the future. Also, try to continue contributing whatever you can each month toward your savings account.
More employment/better employment
It may be that your job just isn’t paying all the bills anymore. Well, maybe you need a better job, or it’s possible you have time for a side hustle. Side jobs aren’t as demanding as full second jobs. Working online in your spare time can supplement your income and release a bit of financial tension. To create a side hustle, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you can type fast enough, there are many data entry jobs and grant writing positions available online. Get started by visiting social media pages where others are consulting about this money-making option.
If you grow your own vegetables at home, you won’t need to purchase them. If you have your own farm animals, you’re given the ability to produce milk, eggs, and meat products at home. Self-sustainability takes work and time, but with each change you make, life becomes a bit more affordable.
Practicing self-sustainable living can drastically reduce your spending and stabilize your finances. Try to take care of as many aspects of your home, property, and nutrition as possible by doing it yourself. And don’t forget, learn to do your own home repairs and yard maintenance.
Improve your credit score
If you have very bad credit, now’s the time to improve your status. And, the good part is that you don’t have to spend more money to do this. Applying for credit cards or loans from direct lenders can help you gradually improve your score. With an improved score, you can make faster purchasing decisions for needs. Having a very bad credit score will reduce your ability to thrive. Loans and other avenues provide credit lines that lenders see as a positive aspect of your financial portfolio.
Let’s protect our financial future
Yes, interest rates are going up, and jobs are becoming scarce, but our future isn’t set in stone. And it’s not just the U.S. that’s facing difficulties right now. The whole world is braced for a great financial change in the next two years, partly due to the conflict in Ukraine. What you want to do is stay informed and two steps ahead of this process. Make changes now so the future will be easier to navigate. Stay tuned for more.