These are some personal finance moves I have made to save money and combat higher inflation within the last 12 months. Some of these tips may not be for you but it is my hope you will find one or two of them helpful.
Open a High Yield Savings Account
With higher interest rates come better savings rates. Banks and credit unions are upping the payout on savings and if you have cash on hand and your bank is paying peanuts it is time to shop around.
For example, Capital One is offering 3.4% APY with no minimum account balance and no monthly fees. There are others offering 3–4% as well. Google ‘high-yield savings accounts.’
Hold Low-Interest Debt
Inflation persists. And normally I would advocate for getting out of debt as soon as possible but if you have low-interest debt it might be worth hanging on to.
A low-interest mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan is essentially losing value. The lender’s money is shrinking. You may be better off making regularly scheduled payments and using excess cash elsewhere.
Maximize CashBack Rewards
Many credit cards are offering 1–2% cashback which can add up to a decent amount of change when used for monthly expenses. Consider $1000 worth of monthly groceries. You could earn $10–20 per month in rewards. Simply pay the card in full each month to avoid paying interest.
I use cashback cards for most of my monthly expenses generating $40–50 per month in cashback which adds up to a decent chunk of change throughout the year. Plus, responsible card use can improve your credit score.
Save on Gasoline
Gasoline is still expensive and prices at the pump will likely remain high. Get a gas card from a conveniently located gas station that is offering discounts. These cards are usually easy to get even if you have poor to fair credit.
My current gas card saves me 15 cents per gallon adding up to $2–3 per tank of gas. It isn’t much but every little bit helps.
Shop in Bulk
I’ll admit it. I used to be lazy when it came to shopping in bulk but when inflation started going through the roof, I decided it would be wise to come up with a system to save money.
By using Notion I created a database that tracks the items I buy in bulk, where I buy them, quantity and price, along with discount codes and the last time I purchased them.
Shopping in bulk has saved me $100–200 each month and is relatively painless now that I’m keeping track of it in Notion.
Shop Your Cell Phone Carrier
I’ve used the same legacy cell phone carrier for 20 years. Recently I made the switch to Mint Mobile. My cell bill has gone from $50+ dollars per month down to less than $20.
In my experience, the service is just as good as my old carrier and I am able to save quite a bit of money. Almost $400 per year to be exact. Plus, after trying it for 3 months, I opted to pay for the service for 12 saving even more money and the hassle of paying a monthly cell phone bill. Win-win.
Bonus Tip — Shop Your Auto Insurance
In my experience, if you’ve been with the same insurance company for more than 2–3 years it would be wise to price it elsewhere.
Auto insurance is extremely competitive and insurers are always looking for new customers translating into savings for you. Shop your policy from time to time. Spending 10–20 minutes getting a few online quotes from different companies could save you a few hundred bucks for the same coverage.