As prices are at an all-time high, here are some ways to cut costs

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The warning signs of a recession are flashing while families continue to adjust to rising inflation.

Inflation recently reached a new high, rising over eight-point-six percent from May of 2021 to 2022. It’s the highest combined 12-month increase in more than 40 years.

We found five ways families can prepare and immediately start saving money.

U.S. families are paying an average of $311 more per month for everyday essentials, according to the most recent report from Moody’s Analytics. While talks of a recession are stressful, it is important to try to stay calm and focus on what cuts you can control.

With growing grocery bills, sticker shock at the gas pump, and housing reaching unaffordable heights, it seems everyone is looking for ways to save every penny possible.

“A lot of this is supply and demand and right now. Labor is low in supply,” says Rick Franza, Augusta University, James M. Hall College of Business, dean.

Franza makes business his business. He says a recession is likely imminent.

“We could literally be in one already. By definition, though a recession is two straight quarters where the gross domestic product goes is negative,” says Franza. “So, it’s really basically the health of the economy. Is the economy growing? If the economy is not growing, it’s contracting. That is going to happen two quarters in a row. A recession is happening.”

Franza says everyone needs to start with a budget. If you don’t have one, make one. Resources are at our fingertips with apps on your smartphone like Mint, Goodbudget, You Need A Budget (YNAB), and others.

“The first thing is cut. What do you cut? What services are less essential,” he asked.

One quick money-saving tool is to start hitting Unsubscribe. You can unsubscribe from streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Disney, Peacock, HBO Max, and Apple TV. Do you really need them all?

Also, that monthly clothing box or food box, do you really need those? To save, start shopping to dress and cook yourself.

Experts say 40 percent of all food waste comes from residential kitchens, cut back there by buying more frozen foods including frozen fruits and vegetables so they last longer. Diversify where you shop, clip coupons and pay attention to store sales and consider cash back apps when eating out.

Downloading a fuel-saving app, like Gas Buddy, can help you make sure you’re saving cash on gas. Fuel up at the stores where you grocery shop and earn discounts, like Costco and Kroger.

If you’re currently in a lease, auto experts say the best financial decision is to buy your car at the end. That’s because vehicles have gone up sharply in price. According to Forbes, used cars are priced 30 percent higher than before the pandemic.

For those who leased before COVID, you have a contract that locks you into a buyout price on your car, that will be cheaper than today’s price tag.

Forbes even says some folks who leased but don’t want their car anymore can buy it and turn around and sell it at today’s market value and walk away with some cash.

Not often when leasing leaves you coming out ahead financially, but take it where you can get it right now, right?

If you can find the time, some people are turning to side hustles to make extra cash on top of their day jobs.

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