personal finance

Taking Stock of Spending Could Help You Could Fight Inflation

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After weeks of stories about inflation, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do. The good news is there is.

"What you need to do when you're looking at prices rising is really take stock of where you are right now," CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson said.

By "taking stock," Epperson means taking a little time to examine exactly where you're spending your money.

It turns out most of us don't track it as closely as we should, and a lot of us have not asked ourselves, do I really need that app I've subscribed to? How many streaming services am I paying for?

"At the beginning of the pandemic," the financial wellness educator said, "one of the things that I did, and I do it somewhat regularly, is I went through my credit card bills to see what I was really spending my money on, and I found apps and other services that I'm no longer using.

"And when I got rid of them I was able to cut down my expenses. At least from that particular card by about $25 and then even $50 when I look back at it again. So there are ways to cut costs, and one of them is to just get rid of some of those recurring expenses,” Epperson said.

That just might be the wiggle room you need.

Spending 15 to 30 minutes a week right now to go through credit card and bank statements will help you find expenses you can cut.

If that's not enough to keep your budget out of the red, this is the best time in a long time to find a side job, Epperson said.

Employers are advertising flexible schedules, name your own payday and higher starting wages.

The extra income will not only boost your bottom line, the correspondent and author said, but it could also boost your mental health knowing you're taking action to get your finances back on track.

For budgeting tools and a guide to financial literacy, you can click here.

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