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Five Ways to Budget During Inflation

Jan 27, 2023

A person typing on their calculator at a table and determining how to budget their finances

For some of us, just hearing the word “budgeting” can be overwhelming! And the idea of trying to create a budget during an inflationary period can become even more stressful. But there’s no need to fret! Acima is here to help. With these five simple steps, you can assess your current budget plan (if you have one), then keep working toward your financial goals — inflation or not. 

1. Review Your Spending 

Costs are definitely rising, and it can be hard to tell where your finances are getting hit the hardest. So, before making any changes, do a thorough examination on the various areas of your budget, and try to look for patterns and unexpected increases. This will help you identify where specific changes are needed. While some expenses may be out of your control, reviewing the details can help you prioritize the areas you need to focus on. And there are plenty of costs you can control, including entertainment costs, retail shopping and even some food costs (consider eating out less or shopping at a less-expensive grocery store). Costs that are more out of your control can include gas, insurance costs and rent. 

2. Adjust Your Budget 

After doing an inventory of where your money is going, it’s time to make adjustments in your budget. What are some expenses you can cut down on, in order to reach your financial goals? Some examples of helpful adjustments can include only buying clothes if it’s a necessity, limiting yourself to a single streaming service, or signing up for a library card for access to other movies and books (rather than purchasing books or going out to a movie theater). Some of these adjustments may not seem like they’re making a huge difference in your life — or in your budget — but over time, they can take some of the stress off of your shoulders and help you save for future goals. 

3. Find New Ways to Save 

Once you know where your finances are getting hit the hardest and you make some obvious adjustments, now you can look for some more creative ways to save. Remember, just because you’re cutting your budget doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to shop for the things you need. Finding creative ways to save can help lower the costs of more commonplace expenses, like at-home meals, electricity and laundry detergent. Look for coupons for the groceries you purchase most frequently, or try lowering utility bills by only running appliances like dishwashers or laundry machines when they’re full. Also, consider purchasing and preparing whole foods (such as pork chops, vegetables or turkey breasts) rather than buying ready-to-eat meals. 

4. Zero-Based Budget 

A “zero-based” budgeting system means that all of your funds have a place. In other words, it means that when you subtract all of your expenses (including needs, wants, bills, etc.) from your income, the result equals zero. This type of plan gives every dollar a place to exist. It will also help you track where your money is going and how much you’re spending. Zero-based budgeting can help you stay organized, and it provides a good opportunity to adjust your financial goals as you go. 

5. Find Flexibility 

Even when you are trying to cut back, there will still be expenses that you need to make — and often unexpected ones. Think a sick pet, a broken car transmission or washing machine, a need for a new mattress, bald tires, etc. Finding flexible payment options for these kinds of issues can allow you to get the items you need while still keeping your budget in check. 

How Can Acima Leasing Help? 

Ultimately, budgeting simply means putting a plan in place to manage your finances. But, as we mentioned, sometimes plans change, and many times, they are out of our control. However, assessing the details of your budget can help get you on track as the economic climate continues to change.

Acima Leasing’s lease-to-own solutions* provide a flexible opportunity that allow you to get the stuff you need, without using cash or credit.* Our easy lease renewal payment options* include two simple paths to ownership. You can complete your lease renewal payment schedule or choose to purchase the item early, at a discount. If you’re feeling pressed for time but you don’t want to blow up your budget or utilize your credit, consider Acima Leasing. And if you’re ready to start shopping, find a retailer near you!