Best Ways to Fight Inflation and Save Money at Home

JP Blignaut JP Blignaut
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This year, not just here, but all over the world, consumers face the reality of inflation, leading them to pay more for general goods and services. Broad economic uncertainty, geopolitical tension, and supply chain constraints have all added to the many issues causing inflation to skyrocket to its highest in several decades. From food, fuel, housing, and electricity, prices have increased by eyewatering amounts.

Although it might seem as if inflation is starting to reach a peak before coming down slightly again, economic experts are suggesting that consumers keep a close eye on their spending habits, and also their monthly budgets.

If you're not aware of what inflation is, or what it does, a simple explanation states that inflation lowers the value or spending of money, while individuals are left earning the same amount every month or annually, prices of everything esle are increasing. This leaves a decrease in the value of physical spending, making it harder and more expensive to purchase regular everyday goods and pay for other types of expenses.

Inflation is seen as a silent killer, eating away at the value of money without one even realising.

Cut costs on your grocery bill

The first place where consumers tend to pick up the effects of inflation is in consumer goods such as consumables. The best way to start making adjustments is by cutting costs on expensive grocery bills.

You can start meal prepping, or even plan your meal for every week, as this will give you an exact idea of what you purchase. On top of this, you can also start buying groceries at more budget-friendly supermarkets that offer discounts and specials on certain goods.

You can also opt for more cost-effective foods such as canned goods and pre-packaged vegetables instead of purchasing more pricey items. Finally, comparison shop, see which places offer better deals and savings, instead of constantly shopping at your favorite grocer look around for better deals. Perhaps it's time to put your culinary skills to the test and prepare more meals at home.

Safe on Transportation

For many of us, fuel costs have skyrocketed in the last few months, only adding significant financial headwinds to our budgets. Another way to start cutting back on your expenses is by spending less money on fuel. Ensure that you have a monthly fuel budget and try and stick to it as much as possible.

If you live in an area that doesn't necessarily require you to drive that much, see if you could rather walk, bike, or make use of public transportation. You can also carpool with your colleagues to help save a bit of money on the daily commute. If possible, see if you can work from home more often instead of having to go into the office every day.

Unfortunately, the days of taking a ride to relax and unwind have become limited, for now at least until fuel prices have come down again. Make the most of every trip, i.e. instead of driving to go buy groceries, also include other errands in that trip. This minimises multiple commutes around town which quickly start to add up.

Be more energy effecieint

Yes, electricity is also another utility that has seen significant price jumps in recent months. There are several reasons for this, but in order for you to save more, you can look to cut costs by being more energy efficient.

Start by replacing your globes with more environmentally-friendly options, and before you think you won't find your type of style, there are dozens of options available online.

Switch off lights and appliances when they aren't being used, and make less use of air conditioning and indoor heating when not needed. You can also replace older appliances that tend to use a lot of electricity, and turn down the heating on your geyser or heating pump as this eats into your monthly electricity bill.

Dine out less

Dining out has become a luxury only a few can afford, especially in these trying times and if you're trying to make ends meet every month you will need to consider dining out less every now and again.

The best way to do this is by budgeting for entertainment and leisure and sticking to your pre-planned budget as much as possible. You can also choose to do this less frequently during the week, and by visiting less expensive restaurants.

Your morning coffee is also costing you more these days, so see if you can cut back by making coffee at home, or simply skipping the queue and directly going to the office. Don't try and spend irregularly, but also be easy on yourself. Treating yourself every now and again is fine, but completely indulging will hurt your financial goals.

Plan for cheaper vacations

Being able to go on holiday is a privilege these days, and while it may seem as if holiday packages are cheaper now that tourism is back in full swing after more than two years of closures, you'll be surprised to see how expensive flights, accommodation, and transportation have become.

The best way to still enjoy your off-time is by planning well in advance for your vacation and by choosing a more affordable place to visit. See if you can visit somewhere closer, or maybe take a friend or family member along to help you pay for travel expenses.

Research more affordable ways to travel such as taking a train or bus, rather than flying, or maybe living in an Airbnb instead of an expensive hotel. Cook meals at home, instead of dining out every night.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should start planning in advance, well before you actually go on holiday as this will help you set up a realistic savings goal.

Do more home DIY projects

Keen to renovate or change your home up a bit, but your budget is a bit tight at the moment?

To get more value for money, and complete that project you've been putting off for so long, see if you can rather do it yourself, instead of paying a professional or buying it from the store.

Consider the project you want to complete and plan around that. Set up a time frame and budget, then start researching smart and innovative ways you can get it done without having to spend a lot of money. There are hundreds, if not thousands of interesting ideas available online that can help you with DIY projects.

pay down credit cards and other debt

Finally, as part of your new monthly budget, start looking at paying down your credit cards and other debt. It might be a tough thing to consider, but financially, all your debt is slowly holding you back and eating into your savings.

The better you plan to pay off debt, the easier it will be to plan and budget for other financial expenses. If you're not sure how to get this done, speak to an expert, or confront your financial advisor to help you set up a repayment plan. You can also talk to your bank to see if you can refinance your payment structure.

There are several cost-effective ways in which you can repay your debt without running into the red every month.

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