BOSTON — We’re all feeling the financial pinch after inflation rates hit a 40-year high this week. Families are spending an average of $500 more a month because of the high cost of gas, groceries and rent. Consumer blogger Andrea Woroch offered up five “inflation hacks” to afford the higher cost of living.
SCRUTINIZE MONTHLY BILLS
Are you paying for unused subscriptions or unnecessary services? Woroch says go through your bank statement to look for monthly or annual fees you don’t need.
“It could even be that extra cable box that you have in the guest room that no one watches. Perhaps you really don’t need the premium movie channels. That could save you $50 a month,” Woroch said.
Woroch said consumers should look at their home and auto insurances premiums. People often shop around for the best price when they buy their home or car, but those costs can slowly creep up over the years. Switching to another provider could save you big. Woroch recommends using the Zebra to compare quotes from insurance providers.
“I looked at my home owner’s insurance last year, compared rates, switched and shaved $1,000 off my annual premium,” Woroch said.
THINK BEYOND REGULAR RETAIL
“For everything else you can’t buy used, just make sure you’re shopping sales, shopping at the end of the season and looking for coupons,” Woroch said.
Woroch recommends Edison Mail, an email app that can aggregate all the coupons in your inbox and help match them when you’re shopping.
MAXIMIZE CASH BACK
Make sure your credit card is giving you back the most for the purchases you tend to make most frequently. Woroch said CardRates aggregates all the best cash-back cards in one place so you can compare and find the card that works best for your spending habits.
“Look at your year-end statement from last year. How much did you spend on different categories? Think about where you spent the most and find a credit card that rewards you for that category. That’s going to help you earn more money back across all of your purchases,” Woroch said.
CONSOLIDATE HIGH INTEREST CREDIT CARDS
Let’s face it: a lot of us have credit card debt and the high interest eats away at our monthly budget. Woroch says credit card users should consider a zero percent balance transfer card. Some cards offer promotions with no interest for the first 12 to 21 months.
“Paying down your high interest credit card is crucial to free up cash in your budget to afford these higher prices,” Woroch said.
EARN EXTRA SPENDING CASH
You might not be able to get a raise or find a better paying job, but there are some things you can do in your spare time to earn extra cash.
Woroch says consider selling items in your house, like bicycles, furniture, toys and unused gift cards.
- Get up to 92% back on those old, unwanted gift cards at Raise
- Rent you car at GetAround
- Rent your parking space at SpotHero
- Rent your swimming pool at Swimply
- Rent your unused baby gear at BabyQuip
Woroch said you can also earn up to $1,000 a month pet sitting at Rover.
“I love this option for maybe stay-at-home moms or people who work from home. You can essentially be pet-sitting while working,” Woroch said.
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