Budgeting With Inflation
The toll of inflation can be seen everywhere you look nowadays and is impacting all of us.
Just about everything you want to buy is getting more and more expensive and that has made keeping my budget intact extremely difficult. As a result, I have had to make changes to my budget and how I live in order to save money. Thankfully, there are a few useful tips out there that have changed my buying habits and have allowed me to maintain a budget despite the rising cost of living.
With the cost of food going up it has become increasingly more important to always look for the best and cheapest deals when shopping. I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Safeway because I lived close to Safeway and it made sense, but I have started to go to other stores now in an effort to save money. As I am in a small area there are not a whole lot of places to go, but Walmart has lots of options for groceries that tend to be cheaper than Safeway. Many of the food items I am buying don’t need to name brand items and shopping at Walmart allows me to get other brands that are much cheaper. I still go to Safeway for certain items, but when I go I always make sure to check their online site to see if I have any redeemable coupons to help save all the money I can. If I want to buy something fresh like fruits or veggies, I try to go to Safeway, but for just about everything else I am able to go to Walmart and get something of similar quality for a less expensive price.
Along with the rising costs of food, transportation costs are also rising due to increases in gas prices. While this has made life more difficult, I have tried to adjust my schedule and habits as much as possible to allow for less driving. The first way I have limited my driving is doing all of my errands at once whenever possible. Instead of driving around everyday doing little tasks, I try to do as much as I can when I go out to get something so that I can limit the amount of times I have to use my car. Sometimes this can be difficult because I don’t have enough time or stores may be closed, but for the most part I can avoid those issues. If I know that I am going to swing by a couple of different places on my trip then I will check their websites before I leave to make sure that they are open at that time. There is nothing worse than driving over to a store and then finding out it's closed and now you just wasted all the gas you were trying to save. On top of limiting my own driving, when I go to do things with others I try to make sure we share a car. Carpooling can be very beneficial in lowering your gas budget and can allow both you and your friends to all save money while still going out.
While there are lots of different ways to try and beat inflation, the most effective method I have found is closely monitoring my budget. I have had a budget in place for a couple of years now, but I am now seeing that I go over my budget or get very close to going over regularly. Because of this, I keep a close eye on all of my expenses so that I stay below my budget. Staying under my budget has become harder due to the increase in prices so monitoring it also allows me to know when it is time to increase my budget.
I try to do everything I can to stay below my spending limits, but rising prices are making it difficult to maintain that limit and I am keeping an eye on this because I know I will eventually have to raise the amount I allow myself to spend. Thankfully I have not had to increase my budget yet and I have been able to survive thanks to smarter shopping and limited traveling. I know that eventually inflation will completely catch up to my budget and I will have to make a change. In the meantime, keeping an eye on my budget has allowed me to see where I am spending extra money and try to limit those costs.