If you’re a parent, especially those with multiple children, you probably feel the effects of price increases – especially regarding groceries.
Regardless of if you’re a single mom, a couple living paycheck to paycheck, or just want to start putting money in your savings account again, here are some proven strategies for parents to save money during inflation.
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- Proven strategies to save money during inflation
- Create a budget and track expenses
- Stop overpaying for services
- Stop paying for subscriptions that you’re not using
- Lower your grocery bill
- Reduce your energy costs
- Take advantage of tax credits and deductions
- Make a debt payoff plan
- Utilize online tools and apps to save money
- Make and stick to a savings plan
Proven strategies to save money during inflation
Inflation puts a strain on the family budget, but savvy parents can use some strategies to save money during inflation. The most important thing is to create a budget and track monthly expenses.
This will help you identify areas where you can cut back on spending.
Here are some other strategies that can help you save money during inflation.
Create a budget and track expenses
Creating a budget and tracking your expenses is the first step to saving money during inflation. This will help you identify areas of your budget that you can reduce or eliminate.
You should also keep track of your expenses so that you can better analyze your spending habits. This is a great way to get a handle on your finances and ensure that you are not overspending – especially in the personal use category.
You can easily create a budget spreadsheet created in Microsoft Excel or by using a budgeting app like Mint that will help you track your expenses and create a budget.
Once you have created a household budget, it is important to stick to it. This is the only way to ensure that you are not overspending and that your total expenses are not exceeding your income statement. You should also review your budget sheet regularly to make sure that you are staying on track.
Printable Income Expense Worksheet
You probably already have a lot of apps on your phone, or maybe you don’t want to have to link all of your financial accounts and constantly adjust the categories.
I get it which is why I created this printable income expense worksheet that is super easy to use and takes less than 10 minutes to set up.
It’s similar to an excel spreadsheet, but you can access it from any device that has an internet connection and it automatically calculates the totals for you.
You can enter your income sources, expense data, bill payments, serious debt, and more. It makes it easy for you to gain control of your finances while seeing in real time what your actual income is and the total cost of the bills that you are paying each month.
Ideally, at the end of the month, you’ll review your expense inputs to check for red flags that could be eliminated altogether.
Stop overpaying for services
Another way to save money during inflation is to stop overpaying for services.
Make sure that you’re getting the best deals on things such as cable, internet, phone, and insurance.
If you’re not, contact the provider to try to negotiate a lower rate, and if that doesn’t work switch service providers altogether to get the best deal.
By doing this one step alone, you’ll find that you can free up some money.
There are services that you can pay for that will negotiate with different providers for you. However, you can cut out the middleman and do it yourself, but it will require you to invest a bit of your time.
Stop paying for subscriptions that you’re not using
It’s easy to forget about all of the subscriptions you have.
Maybe you signed up for a free product or streaming service trial and didn’t like it the first day but forgot to end the subscription.
The thing about subscriptions is they may seem affordable, but they quickly add up and can start draining your money.
When you start tracking your expenses with a budget worksheet you’ll be able to see exactly where your money is going and know which subscriptions you can cut immediately.
Lower your grocery bill
Grocery bills have drastically increased for most parents.
Personally, I know my grocery bill has increased more than 50% over the past year.
Thankfully, if you incorporate things such as meal planning, online grocery shopping, and couponing you can lower your grocery bill.
For those who do online grocery shopping, Ibotta is a great app to use. However, still, keep your grocery budget in mind when using Ibotta, and don’t simply purchase things just because you are getting a good deal. If you’re new to Ibotta you can use my code CLEFVWA to get a first-time user cash bonus.
Meal planning is my recommended way for people to lower their grocery bills when they need them immediately lowered so they can make it through the week with food.
Yes, meal planning can be time-consuming, BUT it forces you to take a look at what you already have in your house, and the majority of the time you’re able to incorporate those ingredients into meals while also lowering your grocery bill when you’re tight on cash. Furthermore, it cuts back on wasted food in general.
Reduce your energy costs
Energy costs always seem to be a major expense for parents. From using the AC during the summer months to running the heat during cold weather, it can seem impossible to be able to bring down energy bills.
The first thing to do is make sure you’re getting a good deal. For example, if available in your area you could look into budget billing for your electric bill. It will allow your bills to be predictable instead of having spikes at different times throughout the year.
Once that’s done, consider making some changes around your home. I recommend:
- Installing a smart thermostat (this may also qualify for a bill credit depending on the brand you go with).
- Taking shorter showers
- Cutting back on how frequently you do laundry
- Switching to LED lights
- Switching to energy-efficient appliances
- Using natural light when possible
Yes, some of these changes are going to cost upfront, but over time you’ll notice your energy bill go down, which will help you stash away savings quicker.
Take advantage of tax credits and deductions
Tax credits and deductions are there so you can save money on your tax bill. The more money you save on taxes, the more you have to spend on your children.
If you qualify for tax credits and deductions use them. Some of the most popular tax credits for parents include the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.
When filing your taxes ask your tax professional or personal finance advisor which additional tax credits and deductions you may qualify for to ensure that you’re not overpaying taxes.
Make a debt payoff plan
Once you’ve found ways to save some money on bills and stuff, it’s now time to move on to making a debt payoff plan. You could create a detailed report with all of your credit cards and interest rates or you can go with a simpler option such as using Google Sheets.
Debt can drain your finances quickly and interest rates can make it seem impossible to get out of debt.
While I know during times of inflation you’re probably wanted to see your savings visibly in your bank account, pulling yourself out of debt will help you notice that you have extra money available from your paychecks once debts are paid off. Plus, the boost to your credit score is good too!
If you use my Printable Income Expense Worksheet, you’ll be able to make a list of all of your debts so you can easily prioritize, which ones to tackle first. You may want to pay off the ones with the lowest balance in one lump payment or focus on paying more than the minimum payment on your highest-interest debts.
The choice is up to you.
Utilize online tools and apps to save money
Parenting is stressful, and getting out of debt is stressful, and so is saving money – especially during inflation.
Thankfully, there are online tools and apps that you can use to help you save money and keep your sanity.
Whether you go with the Printable Income and Expense Worksheet, Mint, Rakuten, Ibotta, or SavingsCalculator.org, it’s important to make sure that you’re using some online tools and apps to save money so it’s easier for you to manage and you’re able to commit to your new financial lifestyle even when you’re in a better financial situation.
Make and stick to a savings plan
One of the most important ways to stash away savings repeatedly is to make and stick to a savings plan.
After you’ve looked at your income and personal expenses you should have a great idea of how much money you have available each month.
Ideally, you’d put 50% of that money towards debt and the other 50% towards savings. However, in the beginning, you can put the majority towards debt and a smaller amount in your savings account to help yourself get out of debt quicker.
The important thing is to just make sure you are saving something each month – even if it’s only $10.
A great tool for helping you create a savings plan is SavingsCalculator.org.In addition to them having a calculator that helps you create your initial savings plan they also have calculators for college, retirement, and more.
Times of inflation can make things even more difficult for parents. However, these proven strategies will help you save money during inflation and stash away savings.
Just remember to analyze your income and expenses and go from there.
If you still find that you don’t have enough total income to put into savings or even meet basic needs, consider increasing your monthly income either by taking on more hours at work or doing some online gigs.
Those are some wonderful tips to keep in mind and thanks for sharing them with us. It’s hard for parents financially nowadays. It’s good to have the plan to try and lessen the expenses.
I wish I was better at saving money. I think it would be easier if I made more money!
I really need to create a budget and stick to it. I think with the way things are right now, this may be the hardest thing to do.
These are all great strategies. It is always good to have a budget and to make sure there aren’t extraneous expenses that we forget about.
We always try to stick to a budget! We also make sure to pay off credit cards the following month so we don’t worry about interest fees.