Inflation Is Costing Consumers an Extra $445 a Month

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  • High levels of inflation are forcing consumers to spend more on everything from food to utilities to clothing.
  • If you can't cut back on spending, a second job could be your ticket to managing during these tricky times.

If your bills have gotten out of hand, you're not alone.

For all of 2022, consumers have been battling sky-high inflation. And while the Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to slow the pace of inflation down, so far, it hasn't succeeded. 

As such, consumers have been racking up massive credit card bills and raiding their savings just to make ends meet. And new data reveals just how much money inflation is costing the typical American.

A massive blow

In September, the average U.S. household was forced to spend an extra $445 due to inflation, according to data from Moody's Analytics. While gas prices have dropped quite a bit from their highs earlier on in the year, food costs in particular have continued to soar, putting consumers in a tough position as the holiday season approaches. 

Now, when it comes to battling inflation, you'll often hear advice like "It's time to cut back on spending." But the reality is that the aforementioned $445 extra a month isn't coming in the form of leisure purchases for the average consumer. Rather, that extra spend is tied to essentials that consumers can't reasonably slash. 

But while cutting back on spending may not be a viable course of action right now, that doesn't mean you're doomed to close out 2022 with a huge pile of credit card debt due to inflation. If you're willing to pick up a second job, it may be enough to get through these difficult times. 

It pays to boost your income

Many people don't have a spare $445 a month to allocate to basic expenses. If you're at the point where your regular paycheck can't cover all of your essential bills, then it may be time to look at getting a side hustle.

Right now's actually a good time to do that. A lot of businesses need extra help during the holiday shopping rush. If you're willing to give up some evenings and weekends, you might manage to boost your income enough to cover your extra $445 a month -- and avoid landing in debt due to inflation.

That said, the problem of inflation doesn't seem like it's about to go away anytime soon. And so if you're going to pick up a seasonal job, you may want to focus on landing one you can carry with you into the new year. Also, the harder you work at your side hustle, the more likely your employer will be to keep you on board once the holiday rush dissipates. 

If you don't want a side hustle that's reliant on the holidays, look for a gig that's in demand all the time. In this regard, you can consider options like babysitting services, cleaning houses, or driving for a ride-hailing service.

We could, unfortunately, be in for many more months of rampant inflation. If you're tired of seeing your bills -- and debt load -- go nowhere but up, a second job could make it possible to get through this extended rough patch and come out okay on the other side.

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