Inflation Survival Guide: Four Ways to Stretch Your Dollar Further

Unless you’re truly off-grid or have just been hiding out under a rock, you know the inflation struggle is real. In June, the inflation rate peaked at 9.1%, which is the highest it’s been since 1982. That’s forty years! Wild right? Currently, we’re at about 8.5%, which means that we still have a long way to go before we’re back to the 2% inflation rate deemed normal by policymakers. 

Unfortunately, when inflation increases, companies don’t hesitate to offset expenses by passing costs to consumers. We’ve seen significantly higher prices in everything from gas to groceries and more. Even Dollar Tree increased their prices by a quarter, which makes them no longer a dollar store I guess.

Anyways, with prices rising across the board with no end in sight, you’re probably wondering how you can stay afloat in this economy. Fortunately, there are things you can do to cut costs and stretch your dollar further. Here are a few tips to help you survive, if not thrive, during inflation. 

1. Cut unnecessary expenses.

This one is probably the most obvious. Make an itemized list of all of your expenses and stop paying for the ones that you don’t really need. Is there a subscription box you can eliminate? A streaming service you barely watch? Can you simply paint your own nails at home instead of spending $50+ every week at the nail shop? Do you eat out often? Figuring out where your money is going every month and cutting out extra costs can help you save a lot. 

2. Shop smarter.

There’s often not much difference between name brand products and their generic counterparts. Buying generic can save you money. At the grocery store, instead of buying fresh veggies and fruits, much of which goes to waste anyway, buy frozen versions of these items instead. They tend to cost less and last longer. Plan your grocery list around what’s on sale that week and use coupons whenever you can. 

3. Stop guzzling gas.

We’ve really been feeling the pain at the pump with fill up costs as much as $50 to $100 depending on the vehicle you drive. Transportation is a necessity, but there are ways to preserve gas during inflation. Carpool whenever possible. Drive 5-10 miles slower when driving to improve your fuel economy. If possible, talk to your employer about working from home at least one day a week. And whenever you have to run multiple errands, plan the most efficient route to conserve gas. 

4. Increase your income. 

This may seem hard to do but with a little creativity and effort, it’s really not. You could start by asking your current employer for a raise. The worst they can say is no. If you have extra time on your hands, consider picking up a side-job. There are plenty of work-from-home hustles available online as well. You could become a tutor, write resumes, conduct customer service calls, etc. If you’ve got extra clothes or other items around the house, you can sell them online too. If there’s a will, there’s a way.