High inflation has been in the news a lot lately. The pundits and the politicians are arguing about what caused it and what to do next, but you just want to survive from day to day. If you want to survive and thrive in this environment, here are 7 smart money moves to make when the inflation rate rises.
#1. Pay Down Your Debt
When the inflation rate is running high, debt becomes an even bigger problem. If you want to survive inflation, paying down your debt is always a great place to start.
Paying down debt during an inflationary period can have a host of extra benefits, from freeing up cash for more important things to giving you a better credit score and financial profile. If you still have debt, it is time to double down and get it paid off.
#2. Stop Throwing Your Food Away
With the price of groceries so high, you might be surprised to find that as much as 30% of all items purchased end up not in your stomach but in the trash. Food waste is a huge problem, one that is even worse when the inflation rate is running high.
Instead of shopping to the recipe, try creating recipes based on what you already have on hand. Smartphones make this easy — just enter the list of available ingredients into your favorite search engine and put it all together for a healthy and satisfying meal.
#3. Negotiate Down Your Medical Bills
Did you know you can negotiate a lower rate on your medical bills, and even on your medical debt? If you have lots of medical bills and no way to pay, talk to the provider about negotiating a lower rate.
If you have a limited income, you may even be able to have those bills forgiven. Most hospitals and medical groups have programs available that provide financial assistance to qualified individuals and families.
#4. Pay Attention to Your Career
If you think surviving inflation is hard when you are working, you don’t want to know what happens if you are unemployed. Now is not the time to slack off at work, so strive to add value to your organization with every project you tackle and even assignments you turn in.
Doubling down at work could also make you eligible for lucrative raises, a potential glimmer of hope in an inflationary environment. In times of inflation, companies often need to raise wages, so do not be afraid to ask for more money if you are a great worker.
#5. Slash Your Unwanted Subscriptions
Depending on the situation, you could be wasting anywhere from $10 a month to hundreds of dollars a month on subscriptions you have simply forgotten about. From the streaming subscription to the service you rarely watch to the protection plan on the smartphone you bought several years ago, you will likely find creative ways to save.
There are even apps that will make the subscription-slashing process easier. With the downloading of an app, you can track your subscriptions and cancel the ones you do not need — no extra work required.
#6. Put Off Big Purchases if You Can
When the inflation rate is high, making a major purchase may not be the greatest of ideas. If you can hold off for a little longer, you may be able to get the same item for a lot less, so think twice before making a major purchase.
If you do need to buy a big ticket item, shopping around could save you a lot of money. You might be able to save even more by purchasing a gently used product or buying it online, so take your time and do your homework.
#7. Find Some Unclaimed Cash
Last but not least, wouldn’t it be great if you could find some extra money? Locating some extra money now could give you more cash to spend, blunting the impact of higher prices and giving you some breathing room until things improve.
You could have unclaimed money and not even know it, so check the registry of unclaimed property your state maintains. It’s easy to search your state for loot, and the quest should only take a few minutes of your time.
Surviving a high inflation rate is no easy thing, but there are strategies you can use to make those high prices less oppressive. The tools and tricks listed above can help you make the most of your money, giving you the time you need to survive the current bout of high inflation.