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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Nate Allen
Nate Allen
4 months ago

With the strengthening dollar (for instance the much ballyhooed 1:1 parity with the euro recently), traveling might actually be cheaper now, at least to some international destinations. Perhaps not the flight itself, but the meals and accommodations on the other end might be.

R Quinn
R Quinn
4 months ago

We are in a very similar position although several years ahead of you. We traveled a couple of times a year until 2021 We just wrote a check for $25,000 almost the last payment closing out the kitchen and two bath remodeling projects and we are booked on a cruise in September to start traveling.

But doing it while you can health wise is a real thing. We are at the point where travel is a chore. My wife struggles with back and leg pain and stairs are nearly impossible.

Don’t put it off if that’s your goal. We still have a few bucket list items that I hope we can make in the next couple of years.

We set aside a set amount each month in a travel fund so we always know what we have. I also save miles and credits on credit cards so when we do travel we can upgrade to 1st class. Two years ago that was great flying from NJ to Argentina.

Just enjoy above everything.

4 months ago
Reply to  R Quinn

Again, if travel is your goal and you are still in good health, go ahead now and don’t fret about the expense. When your health is marginal, it costs very little to sit in a recliner watching TV or reading while you pay off your travel bills from those great trips.

4 months ago

Great list of money saving tips Richard that apply to most of us. One thing I’d add to the “drive less” option is consolidating trips. With a little thought and planning this can reduce overall mileage even if one doesn’t actually go to any less places.

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