5 ways to save money amid inflation

Discover easy ways to save in your everyday spending.

Article published: January 08, 2024

By: Dale Hansen Director, Financial Planning

In this article:

  • It may seem challenging to save money amid today’s heightened inflation, but there are simple and easy steps to consider.
  • We explore strategies that include your subscriptions, insurance, utilities and credit cards.

 


As prices climbed over the last few years, I would get calls from clients telling me how frustrated they were about not being able to save money in their everyday spending. I would then tell them that there are, indeed, ways to save. It’s just that these ways are so simple, they’re overlooking them. With inflation still an issue, I’d like to share some of these tips by reviewing five ways that you may spend money.

1

Subscriptions

Subscriptions used to refer to magazines, but now they include streaming television services, satellite radio, pet care and other services. Even my local car wash offers a subscription service for unlimited washes every month.

Some services have been raising prices. That can really add up if you have more than just a few services. Look at how often you use each subscription service.

 

If you haven’t used the subscription service often enough or at all, those should be the first to go. In cases like the car wash, see what you would have paid per use without the subscription. 

2

Insurance

There can be many ways to save on insurance. It may involve common methods like bundling with one insurance carrier or adjusting deductibles.

Sometimes a basic review of spending on your auto coverage does the trick. Are you driving all of your cars? I was working with a client recently during their annual review, and we found a vehicle listed that the client didn’t even have anymore but was still paying insurance on it. If you’re not sure how to review what you’re spending on your insurance, ask your planner. They would be more than happy to help you review it – we do this all the time for our clients, and we can collaborate with insurance specialists at Edelman Financial Engines.

3

Utilities

Back in 2015, like most people, my spouse and I had a landline and cellphones. Every time the landline phone bill went up, I would remove a feature to help curb the increase.

Finally, I compared the annual cost of the landline phone to the annual cost of the cellphones. I was shocked to see how much we were paying for both.

 

To sum it up (literally), we were paying hundreds of dollars annually to receive telemarketing calls or calls from the nice, sweet lady at the Exchange Club to remind us to set out donated household items for pickup to sell them at the local thrift store. We valued having cellphones much greater than a landline phone that we hardly answered. That is when we gave up the landline.

I would encourage you to also review the features on your cellphone. Which ones do you need and use? Do you really need unlimited data, texts, hotspots, etc.? Most wireless bills show how much data you use a month. Did you even come close to using 5 gigabytes, or 10 GBs? See what the overages are on data and if moving to a cheaper plan makes sense. Of course, if you’re blowing through your data limits, then those overages can add up, so perhaps you may want to consider an unlimited plan.

4

Credit cards

Consider having your credit card setup on “auto pay.” This is a great feature to make sure you never miss a payment or incur a late fee.

Now, should you just set it up and forget about it? No! Review it regularly. So, if you haven’t been reviewing your credit card bills line-by-line regularly take the time to do so now. You might be surprised what you find on those statements every month. Maybe it’s that clothing or personal care service that bills you monthly because it’s “cheaper that way.”

If you are the type to rack up the points or rewards and never use them – now is the time to use them!


Did you know that many reward program points/miles are not considered property? I had an uncle pass away and when my aunt called the rewards credit card to remove his name and use the accrued rewards, she was denied the use of them. Many programs don’t consider the rewards property, in which case, you’re not legally entitled to have them transferred to a surviving spouse or beneficiary.

5

Conveniences

During Covid, many of us got used to having things delivered to our home or office and, in essence, we were buying someone else’s time for deliveries. And buying anything costs money. So now is the time to, well, look at time. Often, that convenience drastically increased the money you were spending for the actual meal or groceries. If you can get out and pick it up yourself, it will save you money. Maybe it’s waiting to get your favorite takeout meal until you’re in that neighborhood for another reason. Maybe it’s shopping for your own groceries, which would give you the chance to go to that farmers market that you always wanted to visit. Start using your time instead of paying for someone else’s. 

Next steps

To find more ways to help save money, talk with your planner, who can look across all your finances and help you find unnecessary expenses.

Neither Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. nor any of its advisors sell insurance products. Edelman Financial Engines affiliates may receive insurance-related compensation for the referral of insurance opportunities to third parties if individuals elect to purchase insurance through those third parties. You are encouraged to review this information with your insurance agent or broker to determine the best options for your particular circumstances.


Dale Hansen

Director, Financial Planning

With over 20 years of experience as a financial planner, I am endlessly dedicated to my clients and their financial future. I thrive on helping them save to reach their long-term investment and retirement goals. Away from work, I enjoy traveling with my wife and daughter and completing my list of seeing every Div. I-A college football stadium. My motto is “Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout.”



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