Everything seems to be so much more expensive now. Housing, food, car and gas prices are rising; and people are struggling to keep up. While you can’t control the increase in prices, there are things you can do to ease the burden.
Review your budget
It’s one thing to have a hunch that things are getting bad, but you won’t get the full picture until you crunch the numbers. Gather your most recent bills and receipts, then create a budget using the updated figures. If you’re worried about not being able to pay all your bills, prioritize your rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, medicine and childcare. Once you have a budget in place, start tracking your expenses to ensure you’re spending your money wisely.
Reduce your expenses
Reducing your expenses will make it easier to save money or pay off debt. Start by canceling any memberships or subscriptions you don’t use. If there’s a streaming service you love and are unwilling to part with it, at least downgrade to the ad-version which is usually cheaper. Food is another category where people tend to overspend. You can trim your grocery bill by buying things on sale, clipping coupons, choosing store brands and using cash back apps to get rewarded for buying items already on your shopping list. The internet is full of tips for saving money on all sorts of things so do your research.
Save as much as you can
No one knows what the future holds, but the best way to be financially prepared for anything is to save as much as you can now. Many experts recommend saving at least 20% of your income each month. However, anything is better than nothing. Save whatever you can now and increase the amount as your budget allows. The easiest way to build your savings is to set up an automatic transfer between your checking and savings account.
Find ways to earn more money
Sometimes you trim your budget down to the bare bones and it’s still not enough. Luckily, there are lots of ways to make extra cash. Many people will be traveling during the summer and may be looking for someone to house or dog sit. Working parents need someone to watch their kids once school lets out, so search for babysitting gigs. You can also deliver food, clean houses, do yard work, tutor or sell your services on an app like Task Rabbit. Applying for jobs at businesses in your area is also an option.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Dealing with financial issues can take a major toll on your health and relationships. So do your best to practice a low stress lifestyle while you work through this rough patch. You can relieve stress by exercising, eating healthy, getting at least 7 hours of rest, spending time with loved ones and cutting back on caffeine.