Make Ends Meet: How to survive during inflation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many Americans believe that the cost of almost everything is so high that it will break their bank, with many believing most of the country is “in the same boat” in the midst of today’s problems.
Many people may be in the same ocean, but they are all in different boats. That means that inflation affects everyone differently, and for those whose boats were already taking on water during the pandemic, inflation is causing those families’ boats to sink.
“It doesn’t take a big increase in prices to have a huge effect on peoples finances,” Nick VinZant, Senior Research Analyst and Insurance Expert for QuoteWizard, said. “It’s unbelievable at this point. I think it’s the highest it’s been in over 40 years.”
Americans have not seen such a steep increase in prices since the early 1980s, and it doesn’t appear that relief is on the way anytime soon.
“The longer this goes on, the worse it’s going to get,” VinZant said.
Many Americans are feeling a great deal of anxiety as a result of rising prices.
“We found that almost 50% of people are saying they’re having a difficult time paying for their usual household expenses right now,” VinZant said. “In Kentucky, it’s 54%. In Indiana, it’s 56%.”
While wages are rising for some, they are rising at a slower rate than the prices of goods and services people need on a daily basis.
“It’s across the board in areas that people can’t get around,” VinZant said. “It’s food, it’s gas prices. You gotta eat. You gotta go to work.”
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights rising costs across the board, food, gas, furniture, vehicles, transportation, shelter, medical services.
“A lot of people were already living on the margins paycheck to paycheck to begin with, so it really didn’t take much to push people over the edge anyway,” VinZant said. “It costs a lot of money to not have a lot of money.”
To fight the rising cost of living, consumers must arm themselves with tips and tricks to save every penny they can. VinZant suggests:
* Make a budget and rethink housing needs
* Swap out brand names for generic as much as possible
* Plan meals and make a list before shopping
* Use grocery store savings apps and coupons
* Incorporate more meatless meals
* Buy in bulk
* Set the thermostat a little higher as the temperatures warm up
* Seal air leaks around windows and doors
* To save on fuel costs, carpool, keep tires properly inflated, drive the speed limit and keep the car tuned up
“Eventually, inflation does come to an end,” VinZant said. “The question is how much damage is done by the time that happens.”
QuoteWizard’s full report breaks down inflation’s impact on each state.
Inflation can have a negative impact on everything from budgets to people’s moods. Make every effort to reduce costs wherever possible and discuss with family and friends how they are making ends meet.
If eating out is not in the budget, host a traditional potluck dinner with family and friends to avoid the expense of eating out.
Consignment shops may be the answer for those who need to buy clothing. Also, those who need clothing for your children can start a swap shop Facebook group with other moms in the neighborhood. Just remember to put safety first in everything, both financially and physically.
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