Inflation and Me

Richard Connor

INFLATION IS HURTING all of us—but in different ways. Even as the Federal Reserve tries to tame the inflation beast, it’s also prudent to look at our own spending and see if there are ways we can help ourselves.

What are some of the things my wife and I are doing? We had a recent discussion about the issue and came up with a list of modest changes we plan to make:

  • We’ll drive less. Most anything in our town is a modest walk or easy bicycle ride away. Parking in the summer can be a challenge in our seaside town, so biking or walking also means less aggravation.
  • We’ll try to cook more. We like going to restaurants, but prices have gone way up. In our area, there are a number of BYOB restaurants. This is a great way to save money. Another idea: Go out to breakfast or lunch. Those meals are usually less expensive.
  • We can share dishes. Many restaurants serve large portions, more than we want or need to eat. We frequently bring home leftovers. Instead, we’re planning to share an appetizer or salad and then split an entrée.
  • We’ll look for sales and bargains, especially in the grocery store. In addition, we plan to be more conscientious about not wasting food. We’re lucky to have a number of excellent farmer’s markets near us. Our town’s Wednesday market has great local produce, and it’s easy to get there by bike.
  • We’ll be more aware of our spending. While I don’t consider us spendthrifts, we also don’t agonize over spending. But perhaps we should: We’re recent retirees, the financial markets have suffered steep losses and we’ve spent a significant sum on home improvements in the past 18 months. The good news: We’re close to the end of our home improvement projects and this “above budget” spending should be sharply reduced.

Admittedly, most of these changes will have a modest impact on our day-to-day spending. One item in our budget that we plan to increase significantly in the next five to 10 years: travel. There are many places left on our bucket list, and fewer years left to see them. We’re starting to discuss where—and how—we want to travel, while we still have our health. This is money I look forward to spending.

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