Money Girl

25 Clever Ways to Save Money During Inflation

Episode Summary

Instead of letting inflation hurt your finances, fight back by protecting your spending power and saving more money.

Episode Notes

With inflation at an all-time high, you might be feeling a strain on your finances. A wise way to fight back is using some clever ways to cut costs—how about 25 of them? That's what we'll cover in today's show so you can put them into action for quick money wins.

Money Girl is hosted by Laura Adams. A transcript is available at Simplecast.

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Episode Transcription

With inflation at an all-time high, you might be feeling a strain on your finances. A wise way to fight back is using some clever ways to cut costs—how about 25 of them? That's what we'll cover in today's show so you can put them into action for quick money wins. 

Hey, friends! My name is Laura Adams, and I'm so glad you downloaded the show. If you're new here, I'm an award-winning personal finance author and have hosted Money Girl since 2008. I also work with select brands as an on-camera PR spokesperson, consumer advocate, voice-over talent, and multimedia creator.

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Today's episode is number 739, called 25 Clever Ways to Save Money During Inflation.

Here we go! 

Tip number one is to shop around for a cheaper cell phone plan.

If you're paying more than $50 per month for cell phone service, you may be able to save money by switching to a cheaper provider, such as Mint Mobile. For just $15 per month, it gives you unlimited talk and text, plus 4GB of data. 

Number two is to cancel unused subscriptions.

If you're paying for anything you don't regularly use, it should immediately get canceled so you can put your cash to better use. Review your expenses and look for products and services like a gym membership, magazines, and clothes or food subscriptions you don't genuinely need.

Tip three is to trade in your car for a less expensive model.

Everything related to vehicles is costly, like fuel, maintenance, and sticker prices. If you have an expensive car, trading it for a more affordable model reduces your monthly payments and may cut your auto insurance. 

Consider getting an electric vehicle or EV to lower the total cost of ownership and save money over the vehicle’s lifetime. According to Tenet, EVs are 75% cheaper to charge (compared to fuel), require 40% less maintenance expense, and many models come with a tax credit of up to $7,500. Financing or refinancing your EV with Tenet also saves hundreds on your monthly loan payments. 

The fourth savings tip is to downsize your home.

If you have a bigger house or apartment than you need, find a smaller or less expensive one. That allows you to cut multiple expenses, including mortgage or rent payments, utilities, maintenance, insurance, and general upkeep.

Number five is to ride a bike or walk.

Try biking or walking to locations near your home and avoid driving altogether, when possible. Or you might carpool or alternate trips with a neighbor if you live far away from shops.

Tip six is to compare insurance quotes.

Remember that being loyal to your insurer doesn't mean you're getting the best deal. You should shop your insurance policies yearly, not just when inflation is high. By getting quotes for auto, home, renters, or health insurance, you collect rate data and will likely find the same (or better) coverage for less with a different company.

Number seven is to check for insurance discounts. 

Many property insurers offer various discounts, such as bundling coverage (such as auto and homeowners or renters) with the same company, working in specific occupations, completing online driver's education, installing home safety equipment, getting married, and being a good student. So, ask your insurer if you're getting every money-saving discount you're entitled to.

Tip eight is to increase your insurance deductibles.

Another way to save money during inflation is raising your insurance deductibles. That means you must pay more out-of-pocket for claims but have lower premiums. Just be sure you always keep an emergency fund to fully cover a deductible for your auto, home, and renters insurance policies. 

Number nine is to reduce your insurance coverage.

In addition to increasing your deductibles, you can reduce coverage to save money. That said, it's never wise to be underinsured. So, only use this tip if your situation has changed, such as having an older vehicle you paid off.

Tip ten is to shop at discount stores.

Discount stores like Aldi, Costco, and Walmart can be excellent places to find items for less than pricier places like Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Take time to compare prices for the groceries you typically buy the most.

Number eleven is to buy generic brands.

Often, generic brand products are just as good as name brands but cost less. So, don't be afraid to try something different and see how you like it.

Number twelve is to grow your own food.

If you have the space, consider growing herbs on your window sill, a tomato vine on your porch, or various fruits and vegetables in your yard. Growing and preserving your own food can be a fun hobby that drastically cuts your grocery bill.  

Number thirteen is to make more home-cooked meals. 

A foolproof way to save money during inflation is cooking at home more often. By planning meals, you can make expensive ingredients (like meat) go further and use inexpensive ingredients, such as rice and potatoes.

Tip fourteen is to make cleaning supplies.

You can clean your home using inexpensive, eco-friendly ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Before buying a glass cleaner or laundry stain remover, search YouTube for videos on how to make your own.

Number fifteen is to shop second-hand stores.

Spending money at local or online thrift and consignment stores is an excellent way to pay less for clothing, accessories, furnishing, and sporting goods. Plus, you'll be doing your part to help the environment. I'm a huge fan of buying new or gently used clothing at sites like ThredUp and TheRealReal.

Sixteen is to create a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of essential items you can mix and match. It's a clever way to save money during inflation because you can feel satisfied with just a few key pieces instead of being tempted to buy new clothes. 

Number seventeen is to use the library. 

If you love to read, listen to audiobooks, or watch movies, getting a library card is one of the easiest ways to save money when inflation is high. Most libraries have an online portal where you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for your Kindle, computer, or mobile device, so you may not even have to visit a local branch.

Tip eighteen is to negotiate with creditors.

Contact your creditors to discuss your situation if you struggle to pay credit cards, loans, or utilities. Many have hardship programs to help struggling families temporarily. Some can put your payments into forbearance, work out a reduced payment plan, or cut your interest rate.  

Number nineteen is to use a balance transfer offer.

If you're getting charged expensive interest on a credit card, consider transferring the debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card. That allows you to save money during a promotional period that may last from 6 to 18 months. However, if you don't pay off the balance before the promotion ends, you can get stuck paying a high interest rate.

Number twenty is to create a budget.

By tracking your income and expenses, you can see where you may be overspending, make cuts, and see your progress over time. If you're unsure where to start, try a free budgeting tool like Mint or manually enter your data into a Google Sheet.

Number twenty-one is to ask for a raise.

When the cost of living increases, it's essential for your income to keep up. Consider negotiating for a raise, finding a higher-paying job, or raising prices if you're self-employed.  

Number twenty-two is to start a side hustle.

And speaking of self-employment, there's never been a better time to earn money on the side. There's no limit to ways you can increase your income during an inflationary period. Depending on your skills and experience, you could become a rideshare driver, teach online, or provide a local service for extra cash.

Check out my latest title, Money-Smart Solopreneur–A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers, for more information on starting and growing your own venture.

Tip twenty-three is to sell unused items. 

Everyone has some gently worn clothes, housewares, or sporting goods they aren't using. Try selling them online at Poshmark, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or a local consignment shop, such as Play It Again Sports, to declutter and fight inflation.

Number twenty-four is to switch to a better bank. 

If you're paying monthly bank service fees, it's time to switch to a free checking account. Many online banks and credit unions have no fees and pay competitive interest rates on savings.

Twenty-five is to start investing.

While investing may not sound like a way to save money during inflation, it's one of the most brilliant tips I can give you. By starting sooner rather than later, your investments compound and can grow faster than the inflation rate. So, start investing now, if you haven't already, and your future self will thank you.

Before we go, I want to invite you to connect with me on Twitter @lauraadams or Instagram @lauradadams. And is my personal site where you can use my contact page and learn more about my work, books, and money courses.

That's all for now. I'll talk to you next week. Until then, here's to living a richer life.