How to Stretch Your Dollar When Inflation is High

Personal savings
Written By:
Anthony Johnson, SVP, Community Banking Division Manager
Person paying with phone for food outside

Periodically, the economy will experience high inflation, and while there’s uncertainty in such climates, markets will eventually calm down. Rising prices put a strain on household budgets, and it can be stressful. But there are ways you can make your money go farther and be in the strongest financial position possible.

Develop a budget

Higher prices mean you may need to be more strategic about spending to stretch your income. Successful money management starts with a budget. Develop one to identify where your money is going. What do you spend money on that you don’t need? Where have you been overspending? A budget helps you focus your spending on essential costs like housing, food, transportation, medical bills and other necessary expenses.

Take advantage of your bank’s financial management tools. Our Personal Financial Management (PFM) can help you get started and offers ways to track your spending and manage your budget within our Online and Mobile Banking tools. 

Cut down on everyday spending 

Like most people, you still have to make ordinary purchases. To save money, consider buying fewer products or switching to a less expensive substitute. Look for better deals on what you need and try reducing items you already pay for. Here are some ideas to lower daily costs:

  • Learn to cook—Skip the takeout and opt for a home cooked meal instead. Grocery stores often produce meals that are thriftier than most restaurant fare.
  • Avoid luxury expenses—While it may be tempting to invest in fun activities or events, try opting for inexpensive alternatives like a game night with family and friends instead of going to a concert or show. Remember, it’s only temporary; the economy is cyclical and inflationary periods pass.
  • Conserve on gas—Small changes in your driving can reduce gas costs significantly. Think about carpooling, consolidating trips and driving the speed limit. Your car will run more efficiently when your tires are properly inflated and reducing your acceleration and easing on the brakes also helps you save.
  • Lower your energy bill—Remember to turn off lights when leaving a room and unplug electronics when not in use. Keeping your thermostat at a steady temperature rather than adjusting it frequently can also help lower your heating bill.
  • Cancel unnecessary subscriptions or fees—These can add up and you may be throwing money away on subscription or streaming services each month. There are personal finance apps available that can help track down what subscriptions you’re using and help you cancel them.


Don’t let inflation stop you from investing 

A period of high inflation may seem like the wrong time to invest, but it’s important to continue making regular contributions—no matter what’s happening in the economy. Investing helps you maintain and build your wealth over time. If you’re facing budget constraints, consider reducing your contributions for a short time until you can build them up again.

Your banker can be a helpful resource as you advance your financial goals. To speak with a finance professional, consider using our Banner Investment Services. Our Banner Investment team members can help protect your earnings and provide comprehensive investment strategies. 

Discover what works for you

While no one can predict what economic events will unfold, the above suggestions can help you financially prepare for what’s around the corner. Whatever money tactics align with your lifestyle, start putting them to use today to stay ahead—in any economy.