Three words to jump start you as you read through this article — inflation is real. The rising prices of goods and services make us tighten our purse strings further. It makes you reassess how to make the most out of your salary.
From the spices we put in our food, to the things we wear, the services we avail in our favorite spas, car shops, salons, and many more, we need to consider how to budget and manage our money wisely. To compensate for inflation, you may consider looking for a new job to maintain or increase your spending power. Because whichever side we look at, everyone’s affected by this. So to help you out, here’s what you should do to beat inflation.
1. Know your needs and quit unnecessary purchases
Eyeing a new pair of fancy shoes and trousers? One question to ask yourself when purchasing— what for? If you are planning to buy something which you currently have and you do not need, then just exercise some willpower and do not buy it.
It all boils down to one thing— live within your means. Be mindful of your priorities to avoid ‘extra’ expenses on the side. Knowing your needs and cutting down on your disposable spending is one effective way to manage your salary and beat inflation. Beyond beating inflation, if you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck and want to stop, drawing a fine line between your needs and your wants is even more important.
2. Plot out your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses
Financial management might not be part of your undergraduate curriculum but it is a must. And it is a life skill everyone must master.
It starts with experiential learning. You analyze how you spend your money and try to alter it to fit where it should go. There are numerous budgeting options available but the 50-30-20 rule is still the most useful. That is, 50% of your salary goes to utilities, 30% goes to food and other important needs, and 20% goes to your emergency fund.
Some people would record every expenditure right down up to the last centavo. Far from being frivolous, this habit will help you be clear on where every centavo is going when budgets are tight.
3. Have your meals at home
While restaurants may serve you good food, who doesn’t like coming home to viands cooked by your parents and/or special someone? If this is not applicable, be the strong-independent-person and prepare meals for yourself.
Having meals at home does two things— you get to save money and you get to eat healthily.
In case time is your problem, a little meal planning and effort is needed. Tip: prepare your meals for the entire week on a Sunday and have it stored inside the fridge. And there you have it, instant healthy and cost-saving food.
4. Cut down on ‘optional’ needs
Optional means not compulsory. Start from there. Optional needs are things you can live without or things that can be alternated with something else.
Optional needs include your gym membership. “I need to go to the gym, because it’s my priority.” Oops! Have you tried home-based workouts? Or going out for a walk? Even taking a short ten minute break at work to go for a stroll is beneficial for your mental and physical health, while helping you to de-stress at work.
Can you live without having to pay your Netflix account? Spotify? Of course you can.
5. Avoid in-between meals
Of course this does not mean you have to starve yourself. In-between meals are often unnecessary because some people take it just to kill time. Skip morning and afternoon snacks in-between meals, so you can save more.
Eating the right amount of healthy food during the daily basic meals— breakfast, lunch, and dinner— would help you avoid spending more for morning and afternoon snacks, which helps you save money.
6. Go for greens!
Another stepping stone to beat inflation is to have more greens. A not so bad idea- the undeniable effects of these on your body and the cost efficiency make it an official go. Vegetables are cheaper in batches or in packs. Here you can consider buying for the entire week and storing them in the fridge for later use.
7. Think of something long term— invest!
Planning for your future is an asset and an admirable trait. An award-winning writer once tweeted about her emergency funds and investments— she allots her savings for investments as they will be a great aid in the future. She makes sure she has enough in case she has no job providing an income for 6 months.
Investments are a thing now, so banks tend to offer more depending on your needs, lifestyle, and the amount you can chip in. There are many investment options available- take time and care to do your research on how your personal savings and investment strategies can make your money go further.
After all, the statement goes— make do of what you have. Inflation is happening and it would not change anytime soon. A little tip— becoming more proactive in situations like this can go a long, long way. These tips should help you beat inflation. However, if you have tried these options and find that you are struggling to keep up with rising costs of goods and services, it may be worth searching for jobs with higher income, so that you can continue living the lifestyle you desire.