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What’s Your Plan in the Face of Inflation and Shortages?

GreenPath Financial Wellness
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Paying more for food, gas, autos and a variety of other goods and services affects all of us, but with a little planning and intention, it is possible to prepare and manage household budgets to smooth out a potentially difficult ride.

1. Start with Priorities

One of the best ways to cope with inflation is to take the time to prioritize monthly spending. A spending plan helps to ensure that what you spend matches what you make as prices rise. For instance, if you set aside a specific dollar amount for monthly gas purchases, you can juggle other expenses as they come up by sticking to spending limits.
Knowing spending priorities can also help reduce the potential of adding to credit card balances.

Consumers Credit Union partners with GreenPath Financial Wellness to provide you with resources to help you navigate through all kinds of financial situations. So, to get started, check out GreenPath’s Aligning Priorities worksheet. With the input of counselors and educators, this specially designed guide aims to give you a greater sense of ease and control when making choices on how you will spend the money you have. Seven clear steps help you gain confidence over your money choices during a time of inflation or shortages.

2. Set and Stick to a Shopping List

Once you know what you have to spend and have set yourself a budget, take some time before each trip to the store to list out your purchases. Using a shopping list can be the most powerful way to manage finances, especially in the face of rising prices.

Take inventory of what you already have, specific to items low in inventory or high in prices, then make a list of what you need. If possible, plan out the meals you will prepare and check to see if you have all the necessary ingredients. Keep informed about what products are anticipated to rise in price over the upcoming weeks and months. Cross-reference your list with deals and sales.

3. Stay Flexible

Making your list sets you up to stick to it – but stay flexible. You might have to go to a few stores for the best sales, coupons and specials to see if you can win a few extra savings points, especially on products that are low in inventory. You may find out that by splitting your shopping list between several options gets you the best deals. Check dollar stores for deals on household items, and within reason, stock up on those items where possible. 

Bulk retailers or wholesale clubs, like Costco or Sam’s Club, might be a good way to stock up on quantity for a lower per-use cost.  Include any delivery or shipping costs when shopping online versus transportation or fuel costs if you’re shopping in person.

Be flexible when it comes to timing your purchases. Do you really need that item right now? Wait for something to go on sale to buy it. Also, if you can wait on a purchase, the price might drop.

Manage Through Life’s Ups and Downs

A time of inflation, as well as shortages for everyday items, can cause stress and worry.

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit. Did you know they offer financial counseling services? They’re a team of people from your community, committed to helping you ease financial stress and uncertainty through access to clear, useful information.