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Navigating Inflation Without Breaking the Bank

Inflation can be frightening, especially if it already feels like you can barely cover your household expenses, to begin with. With supply chain issues, consumer demand, and other factors driving prices to the highest they’ve been in 40 years, it can be hard to figure out how to pay bills and still come out ahead. Don’t let monthly spending get you down. Take these tips for navigating inflation without breaking the bank. 

Image of a man working on a budget.

Look at your spending first 

Take an objective look at your spending before you make changes. What do you spend the most on, and what areas have gotten harder to keep within your budget? Knowing where you’re spending your money will help you identify the areas you can cut back on. Incorporate the rise in prices into your budget, or use this as a reason to start budgeting in the first place. 


Focus on the categories that are affected the most 

Once you’re dialed into the areas where costs have increased, it’s time to adjust your budget. Look where you can afford to cut back—that might be luxuries like travel, entertainment, or dining out. Or maybe you can carpool to work to save on gas. This will vary from person to person, so your decisions might look different from others. 


Reduce rates on debt now 

Inflation will likely drive interest rates higher from here. Check in with your debts, like credit cards, mortgage, and auto loans, and see if you can refinance or move your balance to a lower-interest account, like a credit card. That might mean moving credit card debt to a low-interest card or one with an interest-free promotion for the first few months. It’s a great time to do this now with credit card rates rising. 


Woman with a calculator working on a budget.

Reduce debt spending if you can 

If you have a low-interest rate locked in and you’re struggling to pay your bills and expenses like groceries and gas, consider repaying your loans less aggressively if possible. You might want to see if there’s a way to reduce your monthly payment. Or if you’ve been paying more than the minimum, maybe cutting back to making only the minimum monthly payment can help. That might feel frustrating, especially if you’ve been working hard to pay off debt early. And while it doesn’t feel great to see your repayment date pushed back, it sure beats going further into debt to put food on the table. Just be sure to keep paying at least the minimum on time. 


Shop the deals 

Groceries and gas are the areas impacted by inflation that affect consumers the most. If you don’t have a lot of time to think about how to save, this is an excellent place to focus. Check out coupon apps for the grocery store, add browser extensions for online shopping that automatically apply discounts to your cart, and sign up for fuel rewards wherever possible. That might be at your local grocery store or directly with the gas station. This is the modern equivalent of coupon cutting and getting the deals wherever you can to help you save. 


Woman shopping for deals in the grocery store.

When the financial landscape leaves you wondering what to do with your money, RMCU has you covered. Get more money tips from the RMCU blog, and reach out to meet with the money pros in person when you need to. 

Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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