Is inflation eating away at your savings?

Recent reports suggest Americans are spending $5,000 more this year due to rising fuel, grocery and housing costs. Based on the average American salary, many see a nearly 10% drop in purchasing power this year.

When times get tough, it’s a good idea to be proactive and look for ways to maximize your money. Here are 6 ways to help navigate through higher costs:

Call your suppliers or chat with them online. Your utility company, bank, cell phone, and ISP will never contact you to offer you reduced service charges. It’s up to you to help yourself. Take a few minutes to request a cost reduction. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Review your credit card debt. Even as interest rates increase, you may find competing credit card companies offering zero or reduced interest for credit card balance transfers. Ideally, you should be paying your credit card bill every month, but a recent report from shows Connecticut residents maintain a balance of $6,237. A good number of cardholders only make minimum payments. For those who don’t pay off their balance every month, be aware that your balance can double in three or four years if you pay interest above 20%!

Lose your cable provider. Pew Research found last year that more than half of all Americans have canceled their cable and satellite TV providers since 2015 to save on their monthly bills. Most young people I talk to use a few streaming services like Disney+ or Netflix. This is a great time to check your TV usage, cost, and alternatives if you’re looking to save some money.

Go on the offensive. Now is not a good time to be content with the returns from your checking and savings accounts. Some banks barely pay interest on their accounts. Take a few minutes to research higher rates from online banks and credit unions. You’ll be amazed at the difference a little research can make to your wallet.

Ask your loved ones for unusual objects. We all have relatives and friends who have accumulated unused items in triplicate. Few people need four hammers and three sledgehammers in their garage. I got into the habit of calling close relatives before going to the local Home Depot or Lowes. They are happy to clean out their garages and I can’t believe how much I save by “shopping” with them.

Think about what is really important. Will Rogers once said “too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like” . Take a day or two before making purchases over $500. It’s a great way to eliminate purchases you might regret later.

Eric Tashlein is a Certified Financial Planning Professional, Founder, Financial Advisor and Coach of Connecticut Capital Management Group, LLC, 2 Schooner Lane, Suite 1-12, Milford. He can be reached at 203-877-1520 or via Connecticut Capital Management Group, LLC “CCMG” is a registered investment adviser. The information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy described here. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. “CCMG” may discuss and display charts, graphs, formulas and stock picks that are not intended for use alone in determining which securities to buy or sell, or when to buy or sell them. These charts and graphs provide limited information and should not be relied on alone to make investment decisions. “CCMG” and Connecticut Benefits Group, LLC are not affiliated.

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