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Most of us have been shocked by the rising prices that seem to increase even by the day.  Slight concern has moved to worry and, in some cases, panic!

Even though there are some things that cannot be changed in life, we do have the ability to make some small changes in our lifestyle that will help with the finances.

Today I will highlight three separate topics to consider:

  1. Income - You don’t necessarily need to change jobs to have access to more money. Perhaps you can add on a part-time job or turn a hobby into another source of cash.  Could you make crafts or baked items to sell?   Perhaps there are things that you don’t need that could be sold.  Like the skis in storage that you thought you would use “one day” but haven’t touched for years.  Services are always a good way to help others and earn cash.  Maybe cutting grass, shoveling snow or delivering newspapers will not only help your pocketbook but also provide exercise that will improve your health.
  1. Non-discretionary items – These are expenses that you usually think you cannot change but perhaps haven’t considered asking for options. Calling your phone service provider and asking for a discount is a good example.  (It is wise to search competitors first so that you can show that you are knowledgeable about other plans and companies).  For years, my daughter and her husband would cancel their television package during the summer as they were outdoors for several months rather than indoors.  In the late fall, when they would sign up again, they often got promotional rates or gifts.  Win/win!
  1. Discretionary – These are the expenses that you choose to buy with money that isn’t designated for necessities. Food costs can often be lowered if you buy in bulk (but only if what you buy is something that you will eat – otherwise a bargain is just a way to tie up needed funds).  Eating at home is also a great way to lower expenditures and packing leftovers for lunches the following day helps save even more.  Many people are now in the harvesting and canning mode, preparing for savings during the winter.  Also, because the price of gas has escalated, try riding a bike or walking

One of the best tips that I can give is to always distinguish between “need” and “want”.  Most advertising and promotional sales try to entice us into buying things that we don’t need.  Stick to buying what you really need and avoid “shopping” with impulse tendencies.

If we all purchased only the things that we need, our houses would be significantly smaller, and we wouldn’t need them to hold so much!

Instead of complaining about inflation, take your time and energy to focus on how you can make different choices.  I have enjoyed watching episodes of “Under the Median” on YouTube as this couple paid off their house in five years and really knows how to save money!

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