Skip to Main Content

How to budget expenses during high inflation periods

Illustration depicting man lifting off the ground via attached dollar sign balloons
Austin Courrege/Bankrate
Bankrate Logo

Branded content disclaimer

Visible paid for the creation and placement of the content on this page. It does not necessarily reflect the editorial views of Bankrate or any of its affiliated entities. Read more about .

You already know that inflation is at a 40-year high, and you may already be experiencing the effects of inflation on many of your monthly expenses. A recent Bankrate poll indicates that three out of four Americans are experiencing financial stress due to high inflation. It’s difficult to determine when inflation will hit its peak — or how long it might take for prices to start dropping again.

Whether you’re at the grocery store or the gas pump, everything costs more now — so how can you budget expenses during high inflation periods?

We’ve got four strategies to help you combat inflation, starting with tips to help you save on monthly interest charges and ending with ways to save on phone plans. In between, we’ll look at high inflation investments, savings accounts and how to budget in the face of rising consumer spending costs.

We’ll also look at Visible, an American all-digital wireless carrier that offers a radically simple, fundamentally accessible phone plan. With Visible, you can get unlimited talk, text, data and hotspot for as low as $25 per month — and you can use the money you save to build your emergency fund, pay off your debt, invest in the market or cover the increased costs of daily living.

Impact of inflation on monthly expenses

If inflation has increased your monthly expenses, you’re not alone. In 2021, prices rose higher than anticipated — and experts are predicting another year of decades-high inflation.

To assess how much inflation has impacted your bottom line, try comparing the amount of money you currently spend on groceries, gas, restaurants, clothing and entertainment to the amount of money these consumer spending items cost two years ago.

Chances are, you’re putting a lot more of your income towards your necessary expenses — which means it’s time to ask yourself where you can cut back. Otherwise, you could end this year putting more money towards everyday purchases and less money towards saving, investing, debt repayment or long-term financial goals.

Ways to combat inflation

There are two ways to combat the rising costs associated with high inflation. You could earn more money, either by getting a new job or picking up a side hustle. You could also learn how to use your money more effectively — whether you’re saving more, cutting back on monthly expenses or consolidating your debts.

Want to know more? We’ve got four inflation-busting tips to help you get started:

Consolidate debts

One of the best ways to save money during inflation is by cutting unnecessary expenses — and by consolidating your credit card debt onto a balance transfer credit card, you could cut out those pesky interest charges that take a bite out of your budget. The best balance transfer credit cards offer at least a year of 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers, giving you time to pay down your debt without having to pay interest on your transferred balance.

A good balance transfer credit card helps you not only save money during high inflation but also allows you to pay off old debts and improve your credit score. That’s a win-win.

Invest smartly

By investing your money in the stock market, you give yourself the opportunity to take advantage of corporate and business growth — and if you invest in companies that are likely to grow even during periods of high inflation, you could end up reaping a portion of the returns.

A balanced investment portfolio includes not only stocks with high growth potential but also more stable investments such as government bonds. That way, if you invest in a company that fails to deliver, your money still has the potential to increase in value thanks to your less-risky investments.

Need investing help? Use our guide to the 11 best investments in 2022 to make smart investing decisions.

Focus on savings

In addition to a smart investing strategy, you also need a smart savings strategy. Start by building an emergency fund that can cover three to six months’ worth of expenses, just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need extra cash fast.

From there, ask yourself what extra costs you might need to cover in the next year — a new car, for example, or a new laptop — and start setting money aside now. The more money you save today, the more likely you’ll be able to make smart spending decisions without having to compromise on quality or go into debt.

Get the most out of your savings by opening a high-interest savings account. We’ve got a guide to the best savings accounts of 2022 to help you get started.

Save on telecom

Another good way to combat inflation is by looking for ways to save on recurring monthly expenses — and if you want ways to save on phone plans, Visible is ready to help.

Visible offers multiple ways to save on essential telecom expenses. With Visible, you have the opportunity to stay connected with the people closest to you — not to mention bosses, coworkers and new friends — without getting stuck with a high monthly phone bill. Plus, you can keep your current phone number.

Visible’s radical new service is designed to be simple and accessible. You’ll get unlimited text, talk, data and hotspot powered by the Verizon network — and if you get your friends and family onboard, the savings increase for everybody.

All Visible plans start at $25 per month for the first month. If you want to continue paying that low monthly phone plan rate, you can join up with friends and family under Visible’s Party Pay plan. With Party Pay, each person gets a single phone line with unlimited text, talk, data and hotspot. If you have two members in your party, each of you pays $40 per month. Three members each pay $30 per month. Once you get four or more Party Pay members on board, all of you only pay $25 per month — allowing you to save on telecom expenses without having to share phone lines, billing accounts or data.

Want even more ways to save? Visible is offering new customers a $50 virtual gift card when you bring your phone to Visible and make three monthly payments. If you’d prefer to buy an eligible Visible device, you could earn a virtual gift card worth as much as $200 after purchasing the new device and making three monthly payments. Terms apply, and these offers may be updated in the future — so check Visible’s latest deals to learn more.

The bottom line

Though inflation is making consumer spending more expensive, you can mitigate its effects by budgeting, saving, consolidating debt, as well as knowing where to cut back on monthly expenses. By using Visible’s unique wireless service to save on phone plans, you can stay connected with the people you love without paying more than you can afford. Visible’s multiple ways to save give you multiple opportunities to balance your budget as we undergo high inflation.

Written by
Nicole Dieker
Personal Finance Contributor
Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012—and a personal finance enthusiast since 2004, when she graduated from college and, looking for financial guidance, found a battered copy of Your Money or Your Life at the public library. In addition to writing for Bankrate, her work has appeared on CreditCards.com, Vox, Lifehacker, Popular Science, The Penny Hoarder, The Simple Dollar and NBC News. Dieker spent five years as writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money. Dieker also teaches writing, freelancing and publishing classes and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor.
Edited by
Editor, Branded Content