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5 Practical Tips for Fighting Inflation at Home

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The arrival of Joe Biden to the White House not only revived the Democrats at the national level but also an old ghost that some thought was extinct in the United States: inflation. Since the inauguration of the current president, households have experienced the largest price increases in 40 years. Although it has moderated in recent months, inflation is still quite high for the American citizen’s palate, so we created a list of 5 practical tips to fight it from home.

According to data from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the items that increased the most during 2022 were transportation, food and beverages, household goods (clothing, books, furniture, electronics, etc.), and housing.

Because of this situation, and according to an estimate by Moody’s Analytics, the typical U.S. household spent $445 more in September to purchase the same goods and services as a year ago.

The scenario is not simple for consumers, as they now have to make friends with the calculator and have it close at hand before making any purchases. To make that job easier, here are some useful tips to implement at home.

1- Reduce expenses

According to consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch, “looking at all your bills is an easy place to start” to combat inflation. Often, families sign up for services or add subscriptions and then forget about them. So entertainment, internet, phone, and even insurance would be a good place to start rethinking those expenses.

Since Joe Biden took office as president, inflation skyrocketed to a 40-year high (Source: EFE).

“There’s probably a lower-cost plan that you would fit in better, you don’t need that unlimited data. So why pay that extra money?” added Woroch in dialogue with Next Advisor.

2- Plan your shopping (and don’t go to the supermarket if you’re hungry)

When going to the supermarket, the ideal is to prepare a well-defined list beforehand, which should not change. In this way, you avoid taking things you do not actually need and reduce the final expenditure.

At the same time, a psychological detail is entering the supermarket without being hungry. According to the author and neuroscientist Michael Crossley revealed to The New York Times, “not only are you likely to overbuy. Your perception of everything is slightly altered when you’re hungry,” added the expert from the University of Sussex (England).

Therefore, by feeling too hungry, the brain allows generalizing perceptions of food and ignoring if an item is particularly healthy or expensive.

3- Increasing income

While this may seem a bit insensitive, the truth is that there is a small action that can generate income easily and without much effort: rents.

To combat inflation, Andrea Woroch suggested starting by reviewing “all your bills” (Source: EFE).

Again, and according to Andrea Woroch, the key is to go “one step further and think about how you could rent your stuff and get regular income coming in.”

Indeed, Next Advisor detailed the most popular sites for these rentals:

4- Regulate electricity and energy consumption

According to popular financial guru Dave Ramsey’s website, “one of the best things you can do is try to use less of it. Even the little things like turning off the lights and putting on an extra layer of clothing can do a lot to keep you from using more.”

According to the CPI, transportation leads the year-on-year increase in prices, at 12.6%.

This applies not only to electricity, but also to heating. Instead of leaving the thermostat on all day, turn it off before leaving home and turn it on when you return. Lowering the thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day can save up to 10% a year.

5- Gasoline, the last of the battles

Inflation can also be fought behind the wheel and, according to a Value Penguin study, “found that 91.55% of households reported having access to at least one vehicle in 2020, up from 90.82% in 2015.”

So, that’s a lot of people who will need some advice on how to save in this area. In this case, one of the interesting options is to sign up for gas rewards programs at places like Kroger and Costco. However, it is crucial to make sure beforehand that they are registered as free rewards and not with credit cards.

Lastly, in addition to moderating the number of trips, there are apps like GasBuddy or Waze, which can be very useful for finding the cheapest gas prices in the area.

Joaquín Núñez

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