U.S. households spend $ 327 extra per month due to inflation

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Inflation has hit levels not seen in 40 years, and Americans’ wallets are feeling the strain.

Prices are rising for everything from energy to food to shelter, costing the average U.S. household an additional $ 327 a month, according to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics. That’s higher than last month’s estimate of $ 296 per share. month.

The latest figure is based on the 8.5% year-on-year rise in the consumer price index in March. The index measures a basket of goods and services.

Food increased 1% from last month and 8.8% over the last 12 months, while petrol increased 18.3% since February and 48% from last year.

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However, there is some good news, according to Moody’s Analytics senior research director Ryan Sweet, who conducted the analysis.

“Our forecast is that March was the peak for year-on-year inflation growth and that it will gradually decline,” he wrote.

Still, it is expected to take some time before inflation has cooled. With that in mind, here are things you can do now to try to mitigate the $ 327 monthly dent in your budget.

Make a weekly budget check

As prices rise so often, it’s a good idea to review and reevaluate your budget on a weekly basis, said money expert Sahirenys Pierce, founder of personal finance blog Poised Finance & Lifestyle.

“You want to be aware of where all your money is going and give yourself the opportunity to lower another area of ​​your budget to make the numbers work,” she said.

One way to lower your costs is to cut out things you do not need, such as subscription services. You can also try negotiating to lower bills like your cable bill or car insurance, suggests Misty Lynch, a certified financial planner at Walpole, Massachusetts-based Sound View Financial Advisors.

Save energy by unplugging appliances when not in use, or by using sockets with switches that allow you to completely turn off the connected products. By doing so, you can save 5% to 10% of your home energy consumption, according to the Department of Energy. Turning down the heat can also help save money.

2. Think ahead

To save on gas, you need to be strategic about the use of your car. If you have to run errands, do them on one trip and at a time when there is not much traffic, Lynch suggests.

When buying groceries, be armed with a meal plan for the week that is already in place.

“It helps people save money if they know what to eat and stick to it,” Lynch said.

Pierce likes apps like e.g. Flip to pop up ads in grocery stores. She makes a meal plan for the week that includes items that are for sale and prepares three of these meals on Sundays. Having a plan in place for the remaining days of the week helps her avoid picking up takeaway or fast food.

“This strategy has helped my family save hundreds of dollars during our debt-free journey, the pandemic and now in times of high inflation,” Pierce said.

Buy carefully

If you do not need a particular branded item, you may be able to save money at a discount grocery store. Buying bulk items in a department store, such as Costco or BJ’s, can help you avoid future price increases.

To compare-shop, look at the unit price of a product, which is essentially the price per. unit for a particular product. For example, canned goods can be priced per. ounces, and stationery can be priced by sheet or foot. So while a product may seem cheaper in the beginning, it may not be the best deal because it has fewer units than a more expensive item.

Use coupons in the store and online. You can get them as part of a retailer’s rewards program or credit card. Meanwhile, browser extensions like Rakuten and Honey automatically search for coupon codes and apply them at checkout when you shop online.

4. Do not accumulate credit card debt

It can be tempting to ride out the storm by accumulating credit card debt. Do not, said Dawit Kebede, senior economist at the Credit Union National Association.

Credit card interest rates are already high and have an average of 16.26%, according to CreditCards.com. They are expected to rise as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates this year to help curb inflation.

5. Do not stop saving up for retirement

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