5 Money Moves You Can Make to Combat Inflation
If you’re looking around in disbelief about the cost of living these days, you’re not alone. Inflation, or the rate at which the price of products and services increases, is at some of the highest levels it has been in decades. Luckily, there are things you can do to combat the impact of rising prices and continue to save.
Examine your expenses
One of the best ways to make the most of your money is to take a close look at your expenses. It can help you see where rising prices are hitting you the hardest and where you can cut back on unnecessary spending.
Start by tracking your expenses for a month or two to get a better understanding of how you’re spending your money. Once you have a clear idea of where your money is going, you can make informed decisions about which expenses are necessary and which ones you can live without. Don’t be afraid to cut things from your budget – you can always add them back in if you truly do miss them or need them.
Look for deals, discounts, and coupons whenever possible. Avoid impulse purchases and only buy what you really need. Whenever possible, buy items on sale or in bulk to get the most bang for your buck. You can also consider shopping at discount stores or turn to generic brands to save money on everyday items.
Keep in mind that it may not always get the best possible deal. For example, it probably doesn’t make sense to drive across town to save 5 cents a gallon on gas. However, shopping strategically can help bring awareness to your shopping habits. The more aware you are of prices, the easier it is to avoid impulse purchases.
Maximize what you earn on savings
Find a product that offers more than or closer to the inflation rate on your savings. Many savings accounts are currently earning way less than the inflation rate, which means the money you’ve saved is actually losing spending power over time.
Depending on what your financial goals are, you might want to consider a high-yield savings account, a certificate of deposit, a money market account, or Step. With Step, you can earn 5.00% on your savings balances up to $250,000 if you have a monthly qualifying direct deposit^1.
Pay down high-interest debt
Wiping out high-interest debt on a timely basis can help reduce the amount of total interest you owe and free up money for things like building an emergency savings fund. The amount of money you should put towards paying down debt versus building up your savings depends on your individual situation.
If you want to start chipping away at your debt, it can be helpful to write down the total amount you’ve borrowed and the interest rates you’re paying on each. With every payment you make, you’ll build momentum!
Take advantage of credit card rewards
Credit card rewards programs can be a great way to get money back if you have the discipline and ability to pay your balances in full every month. Otherwise, interest charges can end up costing more than any rewards are worth.
Consider choosing a credit card that offers cash back, rewards points, or other incentives aligned to your lifestyle. For example, if you are planning a big trip, you might want to optimize for a travel rewards program instead of one that’s focused on everyday essentials, like groceries and gas.
Remember, the Step Visa Card offers customers with a monthly qualifying direct deposit^1 up to 3x points at select merchants, 2x points on dining, food delivery, and charitable donations, and 1x points on entertainment and streaming. You can redeem your points for cash back.
By examining your expenses, shopping strategically, maximizing what you earn on savings, taking advantage of credit card rewards, and paying off debts, you can stay ahead of the curve and maintain your financial stability. Remember, every little bit helps, so start taking action against inflation today.
*1: Your Step deposit account is not an interest bearing product. The savings percentage is not interest, but instead earned as cash rewards directly funded and managed by Step. The rewards, if calculated as an APY, would be 5.00%. This percentage is variable and may change over time. See our Step Premium Rewards terms for more detail. To qualify, a minimum direct deposit of $500 or more from a payroll provider or employer within each 30 day period is required. We may offer promotions for new or existing customers from time to time.
*This content is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this post constitutes investment, financial, tax, nor legal advice. Consult your investment advisor, accountant, or legal counsel regarding your particular circumstances.