U.S. Consumers Are Giving Up These 5 Things Due to Inflation. Should You Do the Same?

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  • Rampant inflation is wreaking havoc on consumers' budgets.
  • It may be time to start putting off large purchases or cutting back on smaller ones.

It may be time to make some tough decisions.

It's hardly a secret that inflation has been battering consumers' finances since last summer. But at this point, a lot of people are desperate for relief -- and are being forced to make difficult spending choices as a result. Here are some items consumers are putting off or giving up, according to a recent HomeServe survey.

1. Furniture and household items

A good 52% of those surveyed said they're putting off furniture and other items needed for their households due to inflation. Now, the reality is that delaying a furniture purchase may be reasonable when it comes to an unfinished guest room. But if your kitchen table is splintering, that's the sort of purchase that's harder to keep postponing, so you may want to cut other expenses to make something like that possible.

2. Vacations

Meanwhile, 47% of respondents are holding off on taking vacations. Seeing as how travel isn't a necessity, that's a smart choice, because there's no sense in landing in credit card debt to visit an island when you can take a free staycation or travel locally instead. And to be clear, it does pay to take a break from the grind, even if all you do is explore your own city and binge-watch your favorite streaming series.

3. Vehicles

These days, new and used cars alike are very expensive. And so not surprisingly, 37% of respondents are putting off vehicle purchases. That's a smart bet if you don't need a car right now, because waiting for supply to catch up to demand could mean paying a lot less -- and taking out a much less expensive auto loan.

4. Pet groomings

There are certain pet care items you can't skimp on, like visits to the vet and medications. But if money is tight, you might consider grooming your pet yourself rather than outsourcing that task. In fact, 16% of respondents say they're willing to give up pet grooming services due to inflation.

5. Club memberships

You may be eager to join a local golf or pool club. But if money is in short supply, you may want to think twice. A good 18% of respondents say they're willing to give up such club memberships due to higher living costs.

What sacrifices should you make?

If you've reached the point where you can't cover all of your bills based on your paycheck, or can't take on expensive one-off purchases, then it may be time to sit down and make some tough choices. So think about your expenses and decide which might be easiest to give up or make adjustments to.

If you have vacation time coming up but little money to spend, see if you can visit an out-of-town friend rather than pay a lot of money to stay at a resort. That way, you'll at least have an opportunity to explore a new place. Similarly, if you have a functional car that's not the most comfortable, consider sticking with it for another year as long as it runs.

We could be in for many more months of rampant inflation, so adjusting your spending habits and expectations may be a necessary thing to do in the near term. But on the plus side, going that route could be your ticket to avoiding debt, and that's a very important thing at a time like this.

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