PERSONAL FINANCE: Adjusting your spending to deal with inflation | Business

It’s no secret that many Americans are feeling the pinch of savings as inflation continues to rise. Although many people are aware of the rising cost of living, there are small adjustments that can make a big difference to help reduce the sting on your finances.

Here are some strategies to consider:

Return to easy service. During the pandemic, many of us have turned to cheap services that come with added value. Are you used to getting food delivered from your favorite restaurant? Do you pay to have your items delivered? Do you shop online and spend extra money on shipping? You may be surprised at how much you can save by running your own business.

Cancel unused subscriptions and memberships. Do you subscribe to multiple streaming services? Are you getting packages in the mail from subscription boxes that were popular during the shutdown? Are you paying for one or more club memberships that you are not using? Decide what you can live without, then get rid of what you don’t need and keep more dollars in your bank account every month.

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Find a deal. Check with your mobile phone provider to check your plan. Shop around for better rates on home and auto insurance and adjust if it makes sense. Consider getting rid of cable or satellite if you can get away from entertainment more easily. Coupons, discounts and savings are back in fashion.

Don’t pay yourself. Stop paying many ATM fees. Check with your bank for free cash machines. Many grocery stores offer cash-back options if you need a few bills in your bag.

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Avoid late fees. Pay your bills on time to avoid late payments. Sign up for automatic payments whenever possible so you don’t miss payment deadlines.

Postpone big ticket purchases. If your car is still a good runner, and your equipment is working, put off your plans to buy a new model. With rising costs, you will pay top dollar for inventory that is still in short supply due to supply chain challenges. For financing purchases, higher interest rates will raise the total cost.

Stick to the essentials. If you can cut back on your indulgences now, budgeting will help. If you are going to the store, make a shopping list to counter the purchase.

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Review your housing costs. You may not have much control over your monthly rent or mortgage payments, but you can handle the extras. It may be time to let go of your parking space or extra storage equipment. Consider getting a roommate to share the expenses. Downsize if you can’t handle your current life anymore.

There is no way to know how long this period of inflation will last. However, taking these steps can help you save money.

Holley Smaldone-Cragg, CMFC, is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial in Geneva. He specializes in cost-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for over 35 years. Their website is ameripriseadvisors.com/holley.com.

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