How to Manage Money in a Tight Market
We have all been made well aware of inflation through the shocking grocery bill and extreme gas prices. What is important to know is how inflation has impacted your salary and financial security. Last year there was a 7.9% increase in the consumer price index. This increase resulted in spending an average of $5,340 more a year on essential goods and services from the prior year. To counteract this increase, the typical salary increase in 2022 was 3.4%. Ideally your salary increase should match or exceed the inflation rate in order to stay competitive with prices in the market. Employees are being affected nationwide and 80% of American workers said their current salary is not keeping up with inflation.
With this information, we want to provide you with 7 money saving hacks to help cut back on spending in 2023:
- Try “no spend days”
- ” No spend days” have become quite the buzz over the past few years. Mark your calendar and dedicate a day where you don’t spend money on non-essential items. Meaning if you need gas, then you can get gas. Unfortunately if you see the CUTEST pair of shoes you need NOW, then you have to wait to buy them. “No spend days” allows you to train yourself to wait on non-essential purchases.
- Manage your subscriptions
- Sneaky subscriptions are an unnecessary expense. Take a moment to go through your credit card statements to see what subscriptions you are paying for. Maybe you forgot about a few, so be proactive and cancel them.
- Cut Back on Food Spending
- Yes, eating food is essential to living life but there are many ways to cut back on your food spending. Go grocery shopping at the beginning of the week and plan your meals ahead of time to avoid unnecessary purchases. Then choose one day a week to eat out. It’s nice to treat yourself but it’s realistically too hard to eat at home all week. This will help you eliminate food waste and use all the groceries you buy without feeling restricted from eating out.
- Try the 48-hour online shopping rule
- If you find yourself impulse buying, then try the 48-hour rule. This entails putting items in your shopping cart and waiting at least 48-hours before purchasing them. Oftentimes you will go back to your cart and realize you don’t want the items in your cart. Avid shoppers have found this increasingly helpful, but advise people to start small with 24-hours. These small changes make a big difference.
- Try at-home workouts
- Group fitness is fun and encouraging but come with a large price tag. Before signing up for memberships, make sure it is something you can commit to and find yourself enjoying. For some people it’s not worth the investment. If you are finding yourself spending way too much on your gym membership, try doing some at-home workouts. There are so many at-home YouTube videos that truly get your sweat-on. Some popular fitness gurus are Madfit and Pamela Reif. They have variety of offerings and even offer free workout programs if you are looking for more structure.
- Cut back on entertainment spending
- Who doesn’t love going out and spending time with friends. Unfortunately is comes with a large expense. Ubers, drinks, covers and alcohol in general get expensive quickly. You don’t need to have a wild night out to have a fun weekend. Instead of going out every weekend, find other less expensive alternatives such as game nights, movie nights, or simply take turns cooking a meal. This way you can still spend time with friends, get your social fix in, and not break the bank while doing so.
- Figure out all your credit card benefits
- If you find yourself automatically hitting the “I accept the terms and conditions” button without actually reading them, then this one’s for you. Credit cards always advertise their amazing benefits, but do you actually know yours and how to claim your rewards? Can you get extra points by using your credit card on gym memberships or by grocery shopping? Learn your benefits and use them to your advantage; after all that is what they are there for.
We hope some of these help you in this challenging economic market!