SAN ANTONIO — Many of us have more money going out than coming in as inflation spikes. Inflation driving you crazy, yet? Inflation proof your budget with these insider tips:
#1: Put the brakes on auto insurance premium increases.
“Drivers are likely to see their rates go up this year, but they’re not by any means resigned to it,” said Sarah Foster, an analyst with Bankrate.com. “A lot of it comes down to just shopping around and making sure that you have the most competitive rate on the market.”
You can switch providers at any time. Try TheZebra.com to compare rates. Plus, ask if you qualify for any discounts.
"A lot of people are not really on the road as much as they used to be,” Foster said. “Lots of insurance companies offer what’s called low mileage discounts."
Rent has gone through the roof.
#2: Spilt the cost, if possible.
“Consider getting a roommate or get a couple of roommates,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart shopping expert. “This really can help shave the cost of your rent, but also those monthly bills you’re paying because you would split the costs.”
Or, ask your landlord for a discount if you can pre-pay several months of rent.
“Ask for a lower rate because the landlord may be more willing to give you a discount if they secure your payment in advance,” Woroch said.”
Loans for cars and homes will get more expensive as interest rates rise.
#3: Shop around for the lowest rate.
“You want to shop around for interest rates just like you shop around for the best price on TVs. A lot of people just go to one lender and just assume that the rates are going to be the same across each company or provider,” Woroch said. “The reality is they can vary by as much as one percentage point and on a 30-year mortgage loan that could amount to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.”
Manage major medical bills.
#4: Find out if you can avoid the hospital.
“If you have a procedure that doesn’t require an overnight stay, ask your provider, are there any outpatient centers that you can go to?” Woroch said. “Sometimes I’ve had luck working with my provider to find the center that has the cheapest options for me.”
Make prescriptions less pricy. Ask your doctor to give you free samples to offset the total cost plus ask your doctor to prescribe the generic rather than a brand name drug to save even more.
Look spiffy despite the price spikes.
#5: Buy clothes second-hand.
You will likely still find brand new items for less with this trick:
“I love looking at what they have for new with tags because there are plenty of people out there who buy things, don’t wear them and then sell them and you can get new with tags at a discount,” Woroch said.
Boost your budget by finding multiple ways to save.
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