Beating Inflation in 2023: 9 Tips To Help Stretch Your Paycheck

With a current inflation rate of 5%, everything the general population spends money on has become considerably more expensive in the last eighteen months. As prices started rising, gas and food were the first to be struck by increasing inflation.

As everyone around the globe started to deal with rising costs, pinching paychecks tighter and tighter, governments had to change tactics to keep inflation from running rampant. In the United States, the Federal Reserve (the Fed) started slowly raising interest rates, trying to curb inflation and head it off before it became uncontrollable.  We’re still above the widely accepted 2% the Fed prefers but getting better.

Here are some tried and true tips, courtesy of Qapital that should keep your money working for you even if the economy isn’t.

1. Let That Light Shine

When it comes to handling money, there is a simple, effective method to see where you’re spending your cash and credit. Put it in the sunlight. In business and journalism, sunlight is compared to disinfectant. When you can clearly see where your money is going, it's easier to evaluate your weekly and monthly expenses. You can then eliminate areas of spending you no longer find valuable.

Doing so will tighten your budget and free up money to repay debt or increase your savings.

2. Money Matters

One way to beat down inflation is to pay what matters first. Rent, car payments, insurance, etc., are bills that should be first up on your budget.

Most people have a ‘wants’ list that often grows exponentially compared to their paycheck. When inflation comes knocking, those wants should go on the back burner. After you've paid for the essentials, you can spend money on all the ‘little’ comforts like Amazon Prime, your favorite streaming service, or that new hat you’re dying to buy.

Paying your necessary bills first will ensure fewer worries. And once you see where your “free” cash is being spent, it might help you break the ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ cycle.

3. Do It Yourself

Doing things yourself can help you save a significant amount of money. For instance, repairing your clothes and learning basic car upkeep skills can save on replacement and maintenance costs.

Additionally, eating out can be expensive, while making your own can be cost-effective and the recipes can be tailored to your taste preferences. Finally, cooking at home is generally cheaper than eating out, so learning to make your own meals and sauces can be a great way to save money on dining expenses.

4. Write It Down

Lists are one of the best ways to stop yourself from impulse spending. Buying on impulse is a surefire way to dwindle your money so fast you end up in the negative month after month. By making lists of significant shopping, like groceries and clothes, you’ll safeguard against spending money that should be going elsewhere. The next time you plan to shop, make a list of essentials, and you’ll be less likely to impulse buy.

5. Buy In Bulk

Buying in bulk is usually good advice, as prices tend to be cheaper when you purchase more of an item. but in some instances, it can be tricky. While buying essentials like toiletries and condiments, you have to be careful not to buy things you don’t need or don’t need as much of. For instance, buying engine oil in bulk might not be something you need to purchase. Knowing the difference is essential to making bulk buying worth it. Steer clear of this type of shopping if you can’t stick to essentials only.

6. Loyalty Programs Pay

Before shopping, check to see if your favorite stores have a loyalty program for returning customers. These programs offer perks like loyal customer coupons or a certain percentage off your next purchase or discounts on gasoline purchases. Sometimes you can accrue cash toward future purchases as well. These offers can help you save money on purchases you’ll need to make.

7. Let Technology Help

Most loyalty programs, as mentioned above, can be tracked using your favorite store’s mobile app. Tracking allows you to easily keep track of perks you can take advantage of on your next shopping trip.

Digital coupons are also a great way to take advantage of online savings. These tech-based savings can go a long way in saving you at the checkout counter and should be your first stop before you head out to shop.

8. Schedule Shop

Instead of shopping when you run out of something, consider scheduling your next shopping trip.

Being conscious of when something’s going on sale, especially if it’s a big-ticket item, can save you massively in the long run. Even grocery stores have deals that suit your needs better in a week or two than what you will get if you head out now.

Keep your eye on sales dates for shopping you do regularly, get a look at the current and future sales offerings and then plan your trip accordingly. Doing so will save you time and money as you won’t need to shop as often. Fewer trips to the store will also mean less gas consumption and less wear and tear on your vehicle.

9. Try Meatless Monday

When buying groceries, poultry, beef, and pork are some of the most expensive items people spend money on. Trying out a ‘meatless Monday’ or spending a month on a vegan diet can save you serious money. And even if you don’t decide the vegan option is for you, you’ll save on that meal or month of food purchases.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.