For the past year, rising inflation has caused high levels of anxiety among consumers. Now, many people are changing their lifestyles in hopes of keeping the damage to their finances at a minimum.
A recent survey of 2,000 adults by the Nationwide Retirement Institute revealed that many Americans are changing how they live day to day simply as a way to keep on top of inflation.
Following are some radical changes people have made as prices soar.
6. Reducing contributions to their 401(k)
Respondents making this change: 10%
This is a painful one. Just as racking up credit card debt can hamstring your ability to build a solid financial foundation, skipping 401(k) contributions puts your dreams of a robust retirement at risk.
If you are struggling to find funds to earmark for a 401(k), read Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s tips in “How Can I Find Money to Save for Retirement?.”
5. Moving in with family to save money
Respondents making this change: 14%
Sharing costs with family members can trim your expenses substantially.
Not surprisingly, the survey finds that the younger generations are pursuing this route in higher numbers, with Generation Z (30%) and millennials (21%) most likely to choose this option.
4. Looking for a better-paying job
Respondents making this change: 19%
The best way to soar above rising prices is to increase your income. Fortunately, now is a great time to look for a higher-paying job. Never before have there been so many open positions and so few workers to claim them.
Thinking of switching careers to something more lucrative? Check out “The 10 Best Jobs in America for 2022.”
3. Relying more on credit cards
Respondents making this change: 21%
This is the sad — but inevitable — price we pay for inflation. Carrying debt is a surefire way to destroy dreams of building wealth. Yet, when prices rise, millions of us have little choice other than to turn to the plastic in our wallets.
If you really must use a credit card, make sure it’s a good one. Stop by the Solutions Center and find a credit card with a great rate.
2. Driving less
Respondents making this change: 35%
Of all the climbing costs, perhaps none is so loathed as the rising cost of gasoline. Gas prices are now at all-time highs, causing more than one-third of survey respondents to admit they are keeping the jalopy parked in the garage more often.
For more on how to trim the price of filling up, read “7 Smart Ways to Save Money at the Gas Pump.”
1. Eating out less
Respondents making this change: 48%
You have to pity poor restaurateurs. For two years, they had to battle to keep their businesses afloat as COVID-19 left customers locked up at home.
Just as the coronavirus pandemic is subsiding, Americans have found a new reason to dine at home: rising prices.
Sick of preparing home-cooked meals? Check out “9 Ways to Save up to 50% on Your Next Restaurant Meal.”
Tips for fighting back against inflation
Walking into a store and discovering that prices have risen — again — can be discouraging. But although you cannot control the sticker price on your favorite items, there are ways to fight back against inflation.
For example, have you put off refinancing your mortgage? Rates are climbing, but it’s still possible that you can get a better deal on a home loan, particularly if you took out your mortgage a long time ago.
Saving a bundle on your monthly mortgage costs could put a lot more money in your pocket each month, easing the sting of rising prices. For more, check out “5 Surefire Ways to Beat Inflation.”
You’ll also find more advice for dealing with escalating prices in “12 Smart Ways to Fight Price Inflation.”
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