Finance hacks to defeat inflation


No doubt the word inflation has crossed your news feed multiple times in recent weeks. It’s easy to get caught up in a doom scroll and imagine moving to the middle of nowhere to live off the land. For some, that’s a viable notion. The rest of us will need to find a way to combat inflation somehow. Here’s a few easy ways to ease the stranglehold inflation seems to have on our finances.

Cut down on debt

While you can’t magically get rid of your debt, there are measures you can take to pay less interest on it. If you have several sources of debt, consider consolidating into one lower interest product. The typical interest rate on Canadian credit cards is a whopping 19%, and that’s a fair chunk of change compared to line of credit rates - these tend to be lower than your average credit card.  If you have equity in your home, consider tapping into it with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Talk to a mortgage broker to see if a HELOC is right for you.

Shop around

Thanks to the world wide web, we have more ways than ever to find a deal. Take advantage of apps and browser extensions like Drop, Rakuten, Honey, or Camelizer to find the best pricing for what you need. Still feeling spread a bit thin? If you’re like us, you’ve probably been participating in some sort of points-based rewards program since you started swiping. Why not take this opportunity to spend some points instead of your precious cash?

Gear down

Since gas prices are skyrocketing, it might be time to rethink how frequently you get behind the wheel. If you’ve transitioned to working from home full-time, or your office has gone hybrid, do you still need access to a vehicle as much as you once did? If you can’t part with your vehicle altogether, we’re willing to bet your insurance is a large percentage of your travel budget. Now might be the time to contact your insurance company or an insurance broker and see if you can negotiate a lower monthly rate. Additionally, an app like GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas near you for even more savings.

Make some mortgage moves

Let’s face it - the largest budget line for most of us is living expenses. If you’re paying a mortgage, you may be eligible to pay less. Inflation can have an effect on mortgage rates, so if you’re able to refinance your mortgage, now might be the time. Variable rate holders will be more likely to feel this shift, but if you’re a fixed rate holder, it makes sense to check in and see if you can renew at a lower rate. Head to our Mortgage Marketplace to learn more.

Audit your spending

Okay, this one might sound obvious, (but we’re gonna say it anyway). When inflation is pushing prices of everyday goods up, start thinking of where you might be able to cut back. Look through three months of your bank statements to get a realistic idea of where your money is going. Next, think about where you can cut back, or maybe cut out. Now that Euphoria is over, could you pause one or two (or three) of the streaming services you aren’t using to binge your new show? Maybe you’re still paying a membership fee for a gym you haven’t visited since 2019. Think about where your hard-earned dollars are going and if those expenses really continue to improve your life. If not, time to kick ‘em to the curb.

Pay yourself first

While you’re thinking about your spending, take some time to think about where your money lives before you spend it. In times of high inflation, any of your funds that are not accumulating interest are actually losing money, and no one wants that. Instead of leaving unused funds in a chequing account that earns zero interest, consider taking advantage of a high-interest savings account with no monthly fees. This strategy will allow your money to work for you, offsetting potential losses.

Bust those bills

The reality of bills may be inescapable, but what if you could pay less for your essentials? Yes, really! Most of us don’t think of bills as a negotiable cost, but you might be surprised. With a little tenacity (and a lot of diplomacy) you might be able to lower your monthly bills. Check out how this money expert saved over $1200 in two years by negotiating her bills.

Bonus

If you’re finding yourself with some extra cash and want to protect yourself against the effects of inflation, now might be a good time to start investing, or further diversify your portfolio. Keep reading to find the best investment for you.

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