Surviving Inflation: 10 Practical Tips to Manage Rising Costs in 2023

As of July 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has given us a bit of a reality check - the inflation rate for all items over the past year has still risen by 3.2 percent compared to the previous year. It might not be as jaw-dropping as it was last year, but it's still pinching our wallets, right? So, what's the game plan when your income doesn't magically grow to match the inflation rate? No worries: We've got you covered with some practical steps to keep your finances in check during these challenging times. With the holidays soon approaching, let's dive into these ten tips that can help you make your money go further for the rest of 2023.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Okay, let's start by trimming the fat. Take a good look at your weekly and monthly spending. Do you really need all those streaming services, beauty boxes, or that gym membership you never use? Consider taking on some DIY tasks like cleaning or yard work to save some extra cash. And if you're in the habit of eating out during work hours, try packing your lunch – those small savings can really add up!

Revamp Your Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is one area where we can make a big difference. Forget the fancy name brands and go for the store brands or generic options – they're just as good and can save you around 20-25%. Also, frozen fruits, veggies, and meats are just as nutritious as the fresh stuff but can cost up to 50% less. Score!

Save on Home Energy

Your home can be a goldmine of savings. Fix those pesky drafts in your doors and windows, adjust your thermostat, switch to those energy-efficient LED bulbs, upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, take shorter showers, wash your clothes in cold water, and fix any leaks you've got going on.

Maximize Gas Efficiency

Gas prices can be a real buzzkill. But you can fight back by planning your trips better. Combine your errands, take the most fuel-efficient routes, ease off the gas pedal a bit (you can save up to 14% on fuel), and avoid idling – it all adds up!

Deal with Debt

We know that monthly debt payments can be a thorn in your side. Try to at least pay the minimum, and if you can, throw in a bit extra to get rid of it faster. And when you're out shopping, consider using cash to keep those credit card balances from climbing. Maybe consider a consolidation loan to lower your interest on your existing debt.

Boost Your Income

More money, please! Don't be shy – ask your boss for a raise if you think you deserve it. You might also have a hidden talent or hobby that can bring in some extra dough. And hey, selling stuff you don't need can give your wallet a nice little boost.

Keep Saving for the Future

Even though today's expenses might be a tough nut to crack, don't give up on saving. Financial experts recommend saving three to six months' worth of living expenses stashed away in an emergency fund. If you haven't started one yet, no worries – just begin small and grow it over time. Maybe consider a term share at a high-interest return rate.

Explore Investments

Beating inflation might sound tricky, but it's doable with smart investments. While there's some risk involved, investing your money can potentially offer better returns than letting it gather dust. Stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds are some options to consider. Do your homework and maybe chat with a Blue financial advisor to make savvy choices.

Price Comparison and Coupon Apps

Let's bring technology into the game! Use apps and programs like NOVA Perks™ to score the best deals on the stuff you buy regularly. They can help you find discounts, and cashback offers that'll keep your spending in check.

Financial Education and Budget Tracking

Knowledge is power, right? Learn more about handling your money and keep a close eye on your budget. Budgeting apps or good old spreadsheets can help you track your income and expenses, so you know where to cut back when needed.

Managing your finances in an inflationary world might seem daunting, but with these strategies, you can stay on top of your game. Trim those unnecessary expenses, shop smarter, conserve energy, tackle debt, boost your income, and keep saving for the future. Don't forget to explore investment opportunities and leverage technology to find the best deals. And if you're ever stuck, consider seeking advice from a pro – a Blue Member Relationship Officer is available for an appointment at any of our 20+ locations or call us at 1-800-368-9328. Keep your chin up; we’ve got this together!

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