Tips to Manage Rising Costs | Ion Bank
A person pumping gas

In June 2022, the consumer price index increased 9.1 percent from the same time last year. The primary cost surges include gasoline, groceries, rent, energy use and medical care.

Rising costs have affected everyone in some capacity, leaving many to wonder what can be done to combat inflation. With about 60 percent of consumers living paycheck to paycheck, it’s crucial to keep these tips in mind to help manage your money during this stressful time. 

Consider a Balance Transfer

The Federal Trade Reserve has raised interest rates to try and curb demand, yet that also increases the cost of borrowing. If you’re one of the nearly 79 percent of Americans who have at least one credit card, the average APR on a new card is currently over 20 percent!

Consider switching to a 0 percent interest balance transfer card or ask your current credit card company for help. According to LendingTree, 70 percent of people who requested a reduction in the past year were successful, with an average decrease of 7 percentage points.

Set Bill Pay Reminders

Over the past 12 months, delinquent payments have been trending higher as the average credit card balance continues to increase. The simple, yet effective method of setting bill pay reminders can help you avoid pesky late fees. Set multiple reminders – when the bill is due, the date you schedule a payment and when the money is withdrawn from your account.

You can also set up automatic payments to at least the minimum balance due but it’s important to keep an eye on what’s coming out of your account.  

Stock Up During Sales

Despite surging food prices, particularly for meat, poultry, fish and eggs, it can be helpful to stock up on items when they go on sale. Shopping at a warehouse club like Costco can give you more product for less from reliable “generic” brands. Also look for deals in unexpected places, like convenience stores that may have expanded inventory during the pandemic.

Be Smart at the Pump

When it comes to gasoline, many people do not have a choice but to fill up multiple times a week to get to work and run errands. A gas station app can help you compare prices and see which locations offer fuel rewards. At the pump, see if your payment method makes a difference, as some gas stations offer a lower price for paying with cash.

To get more mileage out of a tank of gas:

  • Limit number of trips
  • Drive the speed limit  
  • Maintain an even pace
  • Keep tires inflated
  • Reduce idling time
  • Remove roof racks and trailer hitches to decrease wind drag

Negotiate Other Expenses

When it comes to items like TV, recurring subscriptions and even insurance, we often shop around for the best price initially but fail to continue this process throughout ownership. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask for a price reduction or look for cheaper alternatives.

Supplement Your Income

According to a recent Zapier survey, one in three Americans have a “side hustle”. If you’re looking for ways to make additional money beyond your day job, consider:

  • Selling unwanted items
  • Pet sitting or dog walking
  • Tutoring online
  • Becoming a rideshare driver
  • Selling handmade crafts
  • Freelance writing
  • Taking online surveys
  • Doing yardwork

In the face of rising costs, it’s more important than ever to save money when you can. To learn more about your savings account options, contact Ion Bank today.