Everyone across the nation is dealing with inflation and Idaho is no different. Between high gas prices, expensive groceries, and shortages driving costs up even more, everyone is feeling the strain of inflation.
With costs going up, but many jobs not giving sufficient cost of living raises, many Idaho residents across the state, from Caldwell to Boise to Twin Falls and even further, are struggling to now make ends meet. Couple that with other financial struggles like higher interest rates and a record high housing market, and it might seem impossible to survive this period of inflation in Idaho. But with some advice and help from your local credit union, you can survive till the inflation ends or the market adapts to it.
Pay off Debts Quickly, You’ll Need the Extra Cash
If you have extra debts floating around, it might seem counter productive to pay them off now, but it’s a smart move. We don’t know how bad this inflation will get and the monthly money you’re putting towards debts might be needed for necessities in the future.
Larger debts like a mortgage or an auto loan might not be feasible to pay off quickly, but if you have some credit card debt or a small loan you’re paying off, focus on eliminating them now. This might drain your savings or require you to adjust your budget, but getting rid of that monthly payment could be huge down the road.
With the extra money that normal goes towards those monthly debts, you can instead pay for groceries, housing, or gas.
If you aren’t able to pay off your debts, look into consolidating them. Rather than paying a minimum balance to several debts every month, you only have to pay one to a single place. Pioneer can help consolidate your debts using a Signature Loan or other personal loan to keep your debt payments in check and free up more monthly cash for the necessities.
Save Money on Gas Wherever Possible
A major cost for everyone right now is gas, and Idahoans have it rough. Not only do many of us drive large trucks or SUVs with large gas tanks, but we also regularly have long commutes for work. Couple that with a limited public transportation system in the Boise metro area and non-existent public transportation in our smaller communities in Idaho, and everyone is paying high prices for gas.
Anytime you head to the pump, you should try and save yourself some money. Take advantage of reward programs, credit cards, anything to save a few cents on the gallon. Many gas stations offer points programs that you can utilize to save money for regularly filling up your car. Some credit cards offer cash back when used to purchase gas, or extra points at the pump. Other cards let you earn points with every purchase, like Pioneer’s VISA credit card, which you can redeem for other rewards.
Another method is to try and reduce driving as much as possible. If it’s possible to do your job from home rather than driving to the office, try and do so. If your employer doesn’t offer work from home, inquire about it and bring up the cost of gas and driving to the office. Another solution is to find a carpool to work and split gas costs with another person.
Look at Your Budget and Cut Costs
When money gets tight, you need to examine your budget and find areas to cut costs. The first priority should be what you need to stay alive and keep your job, and then after that, any debts you have. From there, you need to evaluate anywhere else your money is going.
Try to cut costs and save money anywhere you can. This could include stopping unnecessary shopping, switching brands on necessities, and spending some weekends at home rather than going out.
If you need help with your budget, either building it for the first time or you just want an expert to look it over, Pioneer members get free access to financial counseling through GreenPath Financial Wellness. GreenPath has budgeting experts who can set you up with a budget and help analyze your spending habits to save you money.
Learn more about GreenPath