Your lifestyle is intricately woven by the balance between your income and expenses. With the ever-present specter of inflation, however, people have found themselves compelled to adapt and evolve.
1. Ebooks Over Hardcovers
The bookworms admit they have adopted more ebooks, with readers recommending the best places to get ebooks, like Libby and The Library, making their top list.
Some libraries may offer ebooks too. So you may have other options to explore so that when a book you want is checked out on one, it's available on the other. But ebooks are not cheap for everyone. Some feel that ebooks are beginning to get expensive.
2. People Cook Their Own Steak
Did you know that two steaks at a grocery store are the price of one at a restaurant? That's what one person revealed. Outside the restaurant, you get more for the same price. So instead of paying a premium for steak, many home cooks resort to making them at home and exploring all sorts of kitchen tricks for their steak to taste perfect.
People can't help but worry about what the future would look like with the rate prices skyrocketing and the ability to afford fewer and fewer things. As one user remarks, there's more anxiety about how they can afford to live in the future and whether they should make plans that assume the economy won’t self-implode. They say that the cost of living is ridiculous and hope someday we won’t have to start paying to inhale air at this point.
Someone else who lives in a higher-cost area is stressed out with constantly finding ways to save money. With their medical appointments already on hold, her kids are also annoyed that they don't have fun snacks anymore, which rubs salt into the wound. It appears there's no relief in sight because now, she wants to get a third job.
4. Rent Issues
People are feeling the bite with rent increase and the housing whiplash. A user talks about how rent went up 23% last fall in her area. Thinking she had it worse, she attempted bargaining for a discount with the manager of her complex.
Only to learn that a tax increase made it necessary to bring the complex to market price and that all the 2-bathroom apartments within 50 miles are the same rent or more.
5. Paycheck No More Exciting
A pay raise is no longer considered good news. As a result, one user's paycheck is no longer as exciting. This was not the situation a year before when she was ecstatic over modest increases.
However, with inflation surpassing the rise, you're back to square one because a $30 raise today doesn't mean you won't get an email the next day about your auto insurance going up by $100. With such lingering thoughts, how can a raise be truly exciting? It's not hard to see why the user feels that way.
6. No More Eggs
Everyone knows how the price of eggs has risen dramatically. For many people, eggs are only served on special occasions. However, others have discovered new methods to avoid eggs by eating a lot of oatmeal and pancakes for breakfast. They're not only inexpensive, but they can last for weeks. A banana can even act as an egg substitute in baking.
7. Changing Shopping Tactics
People choose cheaper shopping centers, and alternative shopping means spending less money. One user said they used to buy at Aldi more frequently but have since reduced their visits. They remarked that while Aldi's canned goods are still relatively affordable, they had upped the cost on many things.
The user notably mentioned that frozen pizzas, once $1.99, are now nearly $4. Even with long queues at lesser stores, users were willing to put up with it if it meant getting something cheaper and of good quality. Others on the thread said that changing purchasing habits meant hunting for more secondhand clothing, buying meat at discounts, and choosing frozen vegetables over fresh ones.
8. Less Travel
Those who enjoy traveling have cut practically all their travel plans due to financial constraints. One user had six destinations in mind, but it is now down to two. They also warn they may discontinue their solo international visits. For those who can still afford to travel, pre-planning trips for when it is cheaper to travel or stay at the chosen destination is their technique for making travel happen.
9. Fewer Savings
One vegetarian is concerned about their inability to save more. While inflation hasn't significantly altered their lifestyle, they can afford the higher prices because they've been frugal. However, something has to give. That added cost has reduced the amount of money they can currently save.
10. Lost Hope
Another user has become less optimistic about achieving her dream of upgrading her lifestyle. They've given up on the dream of a lifestyle upgrade. They're content with living small for now, with a small 660-square-foot house, one used vehicle, and a healthy budget. They'd rather live like this than stretch themselves thin, financing the biggest house and most expensive cars while throwing themselves in constant anxiety.
11. No More Starbucks, Less Takeout
More people are experimenting in the kitchen. Many people prefer to drink coffee at home and limit themselves to one weekly takeout meal. However, some admitted having difficulty giving up weekend takeout. After doing all of the house cooking for the week, I suppose wanting to take a break from cooking is understandable.
12. Weight Loss
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? One user says she's lost 15 lbs because she can’t afford gas to drive to work and school and can’t afford groceries.
Amaka Chukwuma is a finance and lifestyle writer with a real knack for the craft. She's been at it for over four years, making her mark on places like FinanceBuzz and The Buttonwood Tree, not to mention some cool collaborations with various brands. Her. Her work with Wealth of Geeks has been widely appreciated, with syndication across multiple platforms and publications. Amaka's got a BA in Linguistics. When she's taking a break from her writing adventures, you'll probably find her digging into some delicious pies or exploring the food scene. Want to see what she's up to or get a taste of her work? Hit her up on LinkedIn and Twitter.