All this news about inflation is probably causing your heart to beat faster these days.
You’ve worked hard. You’ve saved. You’ve budgeted based on what you can afford, with a little bit extra beyond the necessities. Add rising food and gas costs on top of this, and you’re bound to find your paycheque is being stretched to the limits.
Will you need to take another look at your budgeting? It may be a good idea.
To help, here are some tips to help you budget smarter to combat inflation in your personal finances.
Tracking your expenses can be mentally challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for or, more importantly, why you’re looking through old transactions.
What people don’t realize is that the purpose of going through past transactions isn’t to berate themselves about spending their hard-earned money. It’s to gather data so they can adjust their spending moving forward – and stay within their monthly budget.
Mint Budget (by Intuit) is a FREE tracking app we love using here at BNA. Our clients like it too!
Mint connects with your online banking platform. As transactions go through your accounts, it will categorize your spending in real-time. For categories in your overall monthly budget that you would like to have better control over, you can set limits for categories so you can review right away and know if you are on track.
Download Mint Budget here: https://mint.intuit.com/
It’s amazing how much money you can save by turning down the temperature on your thermostat, having shorter showers and turning off the lights when you’re not home. A programmable thermostat can help. With high utility costs, now might also be a good time to lock in these rates to ensure a predictable monthly payment.
Not everyone has the option of taking public transit. If you can, you may be able to save some money. Or see if you can get a couple more years out of your vehicle before getting a newer model.
For those with flexible workplaces, negotiating a hybrid work-from-home schedule with your manager can reduce costs for gas, parking and even insurance!
While it’s convenient to pick up the phone to get dinner delivered to your door, picking just one or two nights a week to dine out or order in will save you a bundle!
Don’t cook? Now is a great time to learn! With all of the amazing online recipes and YouTube videos out there, you can quickly become a master.
Also, take a look at your grocery list. Can you get by with cheaper options? Is there a less expensive place to shop? What about bulk deals? These are all things worth exploring.
If you are already feeling the crunch of inflation and are borrowing more money than you have coming in, rethink your budget now before things get further out of hand.
By making a plan, protecting yourself and holding on through the tough times, you will be in a better position to weather the storm.
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