Let’s face it: the cost of living kicks us in the butt. If you are wondering why you are struggling to advance, it is because the game against you is rigged.
While wages have risen over the past few decades, they have not kept pace with inflation. To make the injury worse, the cost of large purchases such as homes, cars, and college degrees has increased More quickly than the rate of inflation. In other words, the cost of everything is going up much faster than your salary.
The government has a practical way of measuring this – a so-called consumer price index, which is essentially the price for ordinary things that we all pay together. The Bureau of Labor Statistics just compared prices in February 2021 to last year and found that food prices were up 3.5%!
By and large, the cost of living has essentially doubled in the past 30 years, according to a number of studies and this cost of living calculator from the American Institute for Economic Research.
Are you struggling to keep up? We have seven cash movements that you can start today:
1. Reduce your grocery budget by planning ahead
Groceries make up a large part of the high cost of living, so it’s a great savings goal. Try to prepare for the week ahead with some meal planning.
This goes way beyond creating a shopping list. Real meal planning will help you save money because it will help you use what you buy and avoid wasting food and money. It also prevents you from having to spend extra cash on emergency lunches or late night takeaways.
First, think about how many meals you are responsible for each week. If it’s just you, your answer might be 21: seven breakfasts, lunch, and dinner. If you have a family, count meals per person – a dinner for three counts as three dinners, even if you all eat the same thing.
Now is the time to find out how much grocery you need to buy to make it to your next purchase. By buying the same items repeatedly, you’ll know which ones to stock up on when they go on sale. Stocking up on sale items will also help you freeze meals for the future. If there’s a way to buy in bulk and prepare the foods you eat most often, go for it!
2. Get paid every time you buy toilet paper
No matter how strategic you are, food is still a good part of your budget. Everyone has to eat. You can also make some cash back while your groceries are being bagged.
A free app called Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items in the grocery store.
Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing that you’ve purchased an item from one of the brands listed on Fetch. For your efforts, you will receive gift cards for places like Amazon or Walmart.
You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here for free gift cards.
Over a million people already have it, so they have to be into something.
3. Stop overpaying for online articles
As the cost of everything goes up, you need to watch out for every penny. Wouldn’t it be nice if you got a notification every time you shop at Amazon or Walmart.com and you’re on the verge of getting ripped off?
This is exactly what this free service does.
Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it will check other websites including Walmart, eBay, and others to see if your item is on sale for a cheaper price. You can also get coupon codes, set up price drop notifications, and even see the item’s price history.
Let’s say you buy a new pair of shoes and assume you’ve found the best price. Here you will receive a pop-up in which you will know whether this particular pair of shoes is available cheaper elsewhere. If coupon codes are available, these will also be automatically applied to your order. *
Last year, this saved people $ 160 million.
You can get started with just a few clicks to see if you are overpaying online.
4. Pay off $ 540 / year off your auto insurance in minutes
Every dollar counts here. Reducing necessary expenses can make a world of difference. When was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should buy your options every six months or so – this could save you quite a bit of money. But let’s be honest. It probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesn’t have to be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. All you have to do is enter your zip code and age and your options will be displayed.
With Insure.com, people saved an average of $ 540 per year.
Yup. That could be $ 500 in your pocket just to take a few minutes to consider your options.
5. Stop paying your credit card company
Talk about the high cost of living: credit card debt is the most expensive type of debt, and the only way your credit card company gets rich is by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne can help you fight back.
If you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, AmOne will provide you with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And since personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you become debt free the much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why it still has an A + rating with the Better Business Bureau after 20 years in business.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $ 50,000 online. You need to give AmOne a real phone number to qualify, but don’t worry – they won’t spam you with phone calls.
6. Add $ 225 to your wallet just to see the news
Keeping up with the cost of living is a little easier when you can add a little extra income. For example:
It was an historic time for news and we are all constantly updating the latest updates. You probably know more than one news junkie who claims to be a respiratory disease expert or a political thought leader.
And research companies want to pay you to keep watching. You can top up up to $ 225 per month by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars. They present short news clips for you to choose from every day and then ask you a few questions about them.
All you have to do is answer honestly and InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month. That may sound too good to be true, but it has already paid its users more than $ 56 million.
It takes about a minute to sign up and get paid to see the news.
7. Leave your family up to $ 1 million
As the cost of living continues to rise, have you ever wondered how your family would get along without your income after your absence?
How would they pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now is a good time to plan for the future by looking at life insurance.
You are probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes – and you could leave your family up to $ 1 million with a company called Bestow. Life insurance rates start at just $ 16 per month.
During the pandemic, interest in life insurance has increased as more Americans realize they likely need it. In addition, more and more people are looking for exam-free life insurance because they don’t want to go to a doctor’s office for a personal check-up. Companies like Bestow use algorithms instead of medical exams to evaluate applicants.
If you’re under 54 and want a quick quote on life insurance without leaving your home, get a free quote from Bestow.
To sum up, it is difficult to keep up with the cost of living. But if you follow these seven steps, you can get one leg up.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He too is struggling to keep up with the cost of living.
* Capital One Shopping will compensate us if you receive the extension using the links provided.