Tips for dealing with inflation and saving money

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(ABC4) – With inflation growing at a record-breaking pace during 2021, it wouldn’t hurt to follow some shopping tips geared towards keeping one’s wallet fuller — especially with the holidays approaching.

Analysts from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis say that consumers are now paying over 30% more for energy costs and an additional 4.8% for food when compared to last year.

With the possibility of this rising trend continuing into 2022, Mountain America Credit Union has some shopping tips that — if implemented — will help save you some money.

  • Set limits—If you’re trying to save money this holiday season, discuss setting limits on gifts with friends, family, and coworkers. You may find that other people would appreciate spending a little less. Put a dollar limit on gifts, do a gift exchange, contribute to a group gift, or in lieu of gifts, donate your time to charity. 
  • Price check before you buy—Found the perfect gift for your sister but it’s over your budgeted amount? Before you toss it in your cart anyway, price checks the item on your phone. Many stores will price-match if you find a better deal. 
  • Don’t procrastinate—When you wait until the last minute, it’s almost a given that two things will happen: (1) you will overspend, and (2) you will undoubtedly settle for gifts that aren’t ideal. And, let’s not forget about the added stress of trying to complete your whole list in a limited amount of time! 
  • Monitor your spending—Pay close attention to your statements and daily charges. Use a credit card that rewards you with cashback or points for merchandise to make your spending go further. 
  • Plan ahead for big-ticket items—If you want to do something big for someone special, keep this tip in mind for next year: automate! Save without thinking by setting up recurring transfers into a separate savings account. Done! 
  • Avoid spree shopping—When you walk into a store, you generally have an idea of what you need to purchase—especially when it comes to gift shopping. You may even have a list—bonus points for you! Researchers have found that it’s actually much easier to keep spending once you’ve started. There’s even a name for it—the shopping momentum effect. Keep this phenomenon at bay by sticking to your list. If you feel the temptation to impulse buy and you’re about to go hog wild in the store, set your items aside (or hand them to a salesperson with the promise to return) and walk outside. Take a few minutes, or longer if you need it, to clear your mind. Then go back and review your selections for a better chance of purchasing only what you need. 

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