Here are 5 easy ways to beat inflation and save money in 2023

man hands wallet money

As you’re aware, most of the world’s nations have gone through a period of absolutely enormous inflation over the past few years. Although it’s possible that you’ve been fortunate enough to get a raise or land a higher-paying job during that period, prices for everyday necessities have risen so much that you’re probably left feeling as though you don’t have as much money as you did before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the world. 

While we all hope that prices will eventually start to even out, the best thing that you can do in the meantime is control your spending as much as you possibly can – and this article is going to help you do that. If you look closely at your monthly expenditures, you’ll probably find that you spend a significant amount of money on things that you can either substitute with cheaper alternatives or eliminate entirely. Here are just a few possibilities.

Cut back on your vices or switch to less expensive alternatives

When you’re looking for ways to save money, you should always start by looking at how much you spend on things that you don’t actually need. Those things include vices such as tobacco and alcohol, and they also include items that you buy purely for pleasure such as junk foods and microtransactions in mobile games. Here are a few suggestions that can help you save money on these types of purchases.

  • If you’re a smoker, switch from tobacco products to vapes. Australia has the highest cigarette prices in the world, and there is no reason why any Australian should still be smoking in 2023 when a dramatically cheaper alternative like vaping is available.
  • If you love sweets, switch to an alternative that’ll make you feel full more quickly. For example, chocolate sweetened with monk fruit extract is sugar free and loaded with soluble fibre. It won’t impact your blood sugar, and you’ll feel completely satisfied after just a few pieces.
  • If you can’t stop buying loot boxes in video games, play games that don’t have predatory financial models. Free-to-play titles might dominate the gaming scene today, but there are still plenty of games that you can buy and own outright.

Cancel services and subscriptions you don’t need

When you check your monthly credit card statements, do you see services and subscriptions that you’re paying for each month but rarely use? If so, now is the time to go through those recurring expenses and cancel the redundant ones. Here are two examples that you’re likely to find.

  • With multiple streaming TV providers now producing their own exclusive content, there’s a good chance that you’re paying for multiple services simultaneously to ensure that you won’t miss any of your favourite shows. In addition, you might also be paying for a traditional cable or satellite TV service. On top of those things, you’re probably paying for Amazon Prime as well because just about everyone buys from Amazon these days. You can’t watch cable TV and streaming TV at the same time – and if you’re paying for multiple streaming services, there’s a good chance that you don’t really make full use of all of them. Cancel the services that you don’t need.
  • Do you own your mobile phone outright? If you do, you don’t have to stick with your current carrier. You also don’t have to continue paying an exorbitant monthly fee for unlimited data if you’re not a heavy phone user. Switching to a “roll your own” carrier allows you to select your own phone plan and pay only for the data that you actually use. It can dramatically reduce your phone bill.

Stop paying for overpriced delivery services

Local food delivery services are lots of fun – it’s incredibly convenient to have the ability to order food from any local restaurant and pick it up at your door. The problem with food delivery services, though, is that they’re extremely expensive. Delivery services typically charge restaurants to appear on their platforms, and the restaurants make up for those fees by charging higher prices on those platforms. In addition, a delivery platform will often require you to pay a service fee – and you’ll have to tip the driver as well. Everybody occasionally feels too tired to cook their own food and would rather have someone else do the work. When you’re in the mood for take-out food, though, you’ll save a lot of money if you pick it up yourself instead of using a delivery service.

Brew your own coffee

Are you such a big coffee drinker that you have a standing order at your local coffee shop? If you can’t resist the temptation to buy a tasty latte every morning on your way to work, you’re spending much more on your caffeine habit than you really need to – and you’re not really getting a better product.

If you buy your coffee from a chain because you think it tastes better than what you can brew at home, then it’s time to invest in some new brewing equipment. Pod-based coffee makers produce a notoriously insipid brew, and old-fashioned drip coffee makers aren’t much better. If you don’t want to invest a lot of money, the pour-over method produces a great cup of coffee and doesn’t cost much at all. You can brew your coffee directly into a thermos and bring the thermos to work. Alternatively, you can buy a high-end coffee maker that grinds and brews your beans automatically. If you’re currently paying for expensive chain coffee every day, a good coffee maker will cost less in the long run. It can actually pay for itself in just a month or two.

Pay down your debts

The final way to improve your financial situation during a period of high inflation is by putting away as much money as you can and allowing that money to grow into a nest egg for the future. Many people approach investing the wrong way, though, by buying stocks and other assets while they carry revolving debt. That’s a bad idea even during bull markets, but it’s especially bad in a bear market because there’s virtually no chance of any stock appreciating in value at a faster rate than a balance on a high-interest credit card.

If you have a retirement account, you should never stop contributing to it because the tax benefits for doing so are significant. Don’t invest from an account that isn’t tax advantaged, though, until your high-interest debts are paid. Focus all of your energy on paying off high-interest debts as quickly as possible, and you’ll come out of the current high-inflation environment on much sounder financial footing.