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The summer of 2022 is shaping up to be one of the toughest ever for individuals and families who like to keep a close eye on their money. As inflation reaches new highs each week and interest rates show no signs of slowing down, it's apparent that stagflation has set in, and a recession is right around the corner. Whether markets reach their bottom by the end of August is anyone's guess, but that hasn't stopped frugal adults from taking proactive measures to shore up their financial health. Many working adults have decided to revamp their monthly budgets as a protective measure. Other worthwhile tactics include getting serious about utility bills by moving the thermostat up one or two degrees during the hot weather.
For those who regularly take vacations during the warm months, the economy is having a direct effect on their behavior. That's why so many families, young couples, and single adults are choosing to stay close to home. Taking two or three long weekends within driving distance can reduce vacation budgets but still give travelers the chance to get away from their daily routines and relax. Among the most popular tactics for surviving an inflationary summer, the following have gained plenty of ardent followers.
Slash Monthly Expenses
Monthly spending is usually the first target for people who need some fiscal relief, and 2022 is the ideal time to look for places to chop deadweight from budgets. This is particularly true for those who make payments on one or more education loans. To slash expense levels, many of them opt for refinancing. That way, they replace multiple balances with one new agreement. Frequently, the new loan comes with much more advantageous terms, conditions, repayment periods, and rates. There's perhaps no faster or more potent tactic for lowering monthly expenses at a time when every dollar saved represents a solid accomplishment.
Consider Daytrip Vacations
Daytrip vacations save money and won't drain your built-up time off from work. Instead of taking two full weeks and traveling to a distant location, plan two or three short trips to nearby towns you can reach by car in a few hours. Even a three-day jaunt can be a decent substitute for a long journey. Plus, even with gasoline prices at record levels, it's possible to save big on transportation expenses.
Make Timely Retirement Contributions
It's important for consumers to continue to make regular, if smaller, contributions to retirement accounts. Even in lean years, it's imperative to prioritize a few expenses, and retirement savings is one of the most critical of all. If possible, attempt to donate the maximum to IRAs. If that's not possible due to current economic circumstances, consider cutting amounts by 25% or so. That way, you can get some financial relief without significantly cutting into the most important long-term asset on your books.
Get a Head Start on Christmas Shopping
Take a long view of the 2022 family budget and see how much you can save by doing all your Christmas shopping early. Not only can you beat the march of inflation by making purchases in July instead of December, but you'll beat the rush and won't even have to drive if you do all the shopping online.