Data Shows Consumers Will Take These Steps to Fight Inflation
Inflation is rampant. Here's how consumers are responding.
- A new report reveals that most Americans are worried about inflation.
- These are some of the steps consumers are taking to preserve their finances in the face of rising living costs, including delaying travel plans and buying less clothing.
If you're convinced the cost of living keeps rising month after month, well, you're not imagining things. The rate of inflation has surged this year, and in October, it reached 6.2%. Some experts predict rampant inflation could continue well into 2022.
Not shockingly, 88% of Americans say they're concerned about inflation, according to a new report by COUNTRY Financial. But the good news is that many people are taking steps to combat it. You may want to incorporate some of these strategies into your game plan if you've been having a hard time keeping up with your bills.
If you're able to cover your bills easily without risking debt or depleting your savings, then this recent bout of inflation is something you may be in a position to ride out. But otherwise, you may want to consider making some lifestyle changes to avoid a financial crunch.
In the aforementioned report, 48% of respondents say they plan to cut back restaurant and takeout meals to fight inflation. On top of that:
- 30% will keep using their current devices, like phones and laptops, instead of upgrading
- 29% will put themselves on a food budget
- 29% will buy less clothing
- 23% will put off home renovations
- 20% will cancel or delay plans to travel
- 13% will drive less frequently to make up for rising costs at the pump
Some of these tactics may be doable for you. If you're struggling with your bills right now but commonly order food from a local takeout place once a week, making those meals at home could save you a decent chunk of money each month. And if you're teetering on the edge of debt due to inflation, now's probably not the time you should be traveling -- unless, of course, there's a pressing need, like to see a family member who lives out of town.
A good idea is to take a look at your budget and see what living expenses you have the potential to cut back on. If your rent costs $900 a month, that's something you may not have wiggle room with. But if you generally spend $300 a month on groceries, spending more time researching sales could knock that bill down to $260.
Boosting your income could help
Of course, you may not have all that many expenses in your budget that are possible to slash. And you may not want to slash them if they're the little things that bring you joy, like the occasional pizza delivery or coffee from your favorite shop.
If that's the case, another way to combat inflation is to get yourself a side hustle. You can use that extra money to pay for essentials and pad your savings so you have more of a cushion during periods like this.
Best of all, when it comes to getting a side gig, your choices are virtually limitless. You could sell homemade crafts online, babysit, walk dogs, or shuttle passengers around town if those ideas appeal to you. Or, you could find a job like data entry that you can do from home at your own pace.
Inflation is making life difficult for a lot of people right now. It's good that consumers are taking steps to fight back, and if you're worried about landing in debt, it definitely pays to do the same.
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