Inflation is a fact of life. As much as we may want to, there's no way to avoid it. I'm sure we've all heard our grandparents talk about the time gas was 25 cents a gallon, and a loaf of bread cost a nickel. It sounds good to us now, but in reality they didn't have it any easier. When gas was 25 cents a gallon, the average salary was around $65 a week. The more you make, the more things cost.
But knowing that doesn't make it any easier to manage your money, does it? Here are some tips to make it a little easier.
Budget — The foundation for any successful financial management program. Create one. More importantly, stick to it. Don't let it be like that New Year's Resolution that you forgot about on the fifth of January. Good financial planning can be the difference between a stress-free life…and insolvency. Don't forget to set aside some money for savings, even if you can only manage a few dollars each month. It adds up. Resources to help you create a budget can be found at an office supply store, bookstore, or online.
Be Prepared — Make the Boy Scout motto your own. No, you can't foresee any particular emergency, but you're certain to experience them. Cars break down, appliances burn out, wind storms rip the shingles off your roof. Plan for it. Set aside a little bit each month and mark it "Miscellaneous Expenses."
Create a Monthly Payment for Non-Monthly Items — In every household, there are bills that come due once a year, or every quarter. These are usually things like automobile excise taxes, homeowner's insurance, quarterly electric bills, etc. Calculate how much the bill would be each month, and set that aside. For instance, if an annual insurance bill is $1500, divide it by 12, then set aside $125 a month. That way you won't be surprised when the bill is due and have to scrounge to make the payment.
You can't beat inflation, but you can be prepared for it by saving money and planning for even unforeseen expenses. To learn more about how to cut your costs and save your money