We’re excited to be doing another blog post! Given the recent rise in prices, especially on household essentials like food and gasoline, we’ve partnered with a financial advisor to help provide some color on ways single parent households can deal with inflation.
To start off, what exactly is inflation?
Inflation is generally defined as the gradual increase in prices of goods and services. Simplified, it means that the same amount of money today will not be able to buy as much as it could in the past. In 2021 and 2022, Americans saw a significant increase inflation relative to the rates they’ve been used to in the past with the growth in prices of goods and services peaking in the summer of 2022 at 9% year-over-year. Although inflation started to slow down in mid-2022, it continues to eat into the purchasing power of many Americans, especially single parents.
How does inflation impact me?
Unfortunately, you’ll probably see the impact of inflation everywhere you go. From the price you pay for groceries to the amount it costs to fill up your car – inflation has impacted nearly everything a family purchases. You’ll even sometimes seem what is known as “shrinkflation” where packaging sizes decrease but the cost remains the same – meaning that same container of detergent will run out quicker than usual.
What can I do to save money at the grocery store?
Try your best to shop with a budget in mind and strategically. You can do more couponing to save money, look to buy branded items that go on sale, or buy private label products that are often cheaper. Unfortunately though you may need to make some decisions on more discretionary areas to cut back on – if you have to do this try to make a list of all of your monthly purchases and go one by one to track down all areas of savings.
My gas and utilities prices have been on the rise, but what can I do to combat that?
For gas, plan ahead so you can avoid extra trips out of the house and look into carpooling with family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors. For your utilities, try to cut back where you can, make sure you unplug electronics and turn off lights when you aren’t using them. Potentially look into programs that help families pay for utility bills, certain states offer assistance programs.
We’d like to give a special thanks to the financial advisor for partnering with us on answering these questions. We’ll continue to do more posts geared around answering the personal finance questions of single parents, especially with the increase in economic uncertainty. In the meantime, if you know any single parents who have any personal finance questions or are interested in receiving personal finance coaching, please have them shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Same goes to any financial advisors who may be interested in partnering with us.