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How to Combat the Inflation Surge as a Consumer
According to economists, American consumer prices have jumped 6.2% — the largest inflation surge in over three decades.
Here are a few tips on how consumers can prepare and combat this inflation surge.
Save, But Don't Lose Your Spending Power
You want to save money right now for the most part, mainly so you have a safety net in case things get worse. Try to save what you can and limit your non-necessity expenditures.
On the other hand, try not to keep too much building without spending, as you want to maintain your buying power as a consumer. Strike the balance between a safety net of savings and responsible spending.
Shop With Scrutiny
Right now, you're buying fewer goods for the same amounts you spent for more in the past.
This is unavoidable for the most part, but you can lessen the blow of increased prices on goods.
First off, do what I always advise; shop with coupons, savings apps, and seek out weekly deals and promos. You cannot go wrong when you seek out savings. The effort pays off, so don't skimp on this step.
Next, shop with more scrutiny than ever. You have to be conscientious of which retailers are offering the best deals on the goods you need. Sometimes, this means doing your weekly shopping at a few different stores to pay the lowest available price points.
This may not be feasible for every consumer, but even discount stores like Dollar General offer ways to digitally shop and strategically apply coupons, all from your phone. What this means is that while price points have risen, we also have more opportunities available than ever to shop and save from the comfort of home. If you can't shop at 3 stores in person, see what they offer on an app where you can simply pick up the groceries rather than spend time shopping in the store.
Wait on Big-Ticket Expenses
Bigger purchases, like home remodeling, cosmetic home or auto repairs, or anything big-ticket and unnecessary for functionality should be postponed. Prices for these types of expenditures are at steep points right now, so hit the pause button if you were planning anything like this.
If you save that money now, prices for these expenses will almost certainly be going back down in the coming months.
Find Strategic Ways to Increase Your Income
Try to increase the amount of ways you have money coming to you. This doesn't necessarily mean trying to juggle another job or anything drastic for you and your family.
For example, open a Mercari, eBay, and/or Facebook Marketplace store. If you have gently used items to get rid of, sell them now. With the supply chain crisis still a challenge for consumers right now, many consumers are turning to resellers online for gifts this year. Take advantage of this and dust off those gently used handbags, unopened cosmetics, electronics, video games, books, and more. These items sell, and they sell fast.
Another idea would be to try some freelance contracting online to make some extra cash each week. There are numerous work sites online, job boards, and social media groups you can join to search for such a gig. The remote work space is booming, so try your hand at something like that and see how it works for you.