Inflation Is Forcing Workers to Get Creative With Raising Their Incomes

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 24, 2024 at 5:0PM UTC

A staggering 95.7% of Americans say they’re worried about rising prices and are trying to do something about it, regardless of their income, according to a recent FinMasters survey

This is far from the first time inflation has caused alarm, but the latest rising prices are taking their toll, particularly when it comes to essential goods like food staples, utilities, housing, and baby formula. 

But while inflation is concerning, it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your life. Try these seven strategies for saving and bringing in extra funds.

1. Cut back on extraneous expenses.

It’s not the most fun strategy, but it could prove useful in helping you save. Try to cut back on dining and drinking out. Consider taking public transportation over driving to cut back on gas expenses. Think about whether you really need to buy that cute dress. When you take a hard look at your spending habits and look for areas to cut back on, you could very well find that there are plenty of extraneous purchases you don’t really need.

2. Invest strategically.

Investments are an excellent source of passive income. During uncertain economic times, like now, when a recession is potentially on the horizon, you’ll need to be more strategic about when and how you invest your money.

For example, NerdWallet recommends focusing your investments on resilient industries, particularly ones that offer staples, because the demand doesn’t wain even when people are dealing with an uncertain economy. Healthcare, food and beverage and household goods are some examples.

3. Establish a strong emergency fund.

Make sure you have a backup source of funds that will help you get through at least 12 months. This is best practice for any given time, but it’s especially important when you dealing with economic uncertainty. Put your emergency fund in a savings account — this is not money you should be investing; it’s meant to be a resource you can rely on and tap into only in case of emergency, such as if you lose your job or a disaster causes damage to your home.

4. Buy products in bulk.

Anything you can buy in bulk, do it. This will allow you to save a chunk of change, and you know these are products you’ll need to use. Examples include toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, canned goods, detergent, shampoo, diapers, coffee, pet supplies and cleaning items.

5. Get a side hustle.

If you have the time and the energy, picking up a side hustle can be a great way to augment your income. This will give you an extra layer of support during economic uncertainty. You might, for example, look into driving for Uber or Lyft if you have your own car, babysitting, picking up gigs on TaskRabbit, pet-sitting via Rover or similar apps or picking up a bartending shift.

6. Sell goods you no longer want or use.

Have clothes, books or nicknacks lying around that you’re no longer using? If they’re in good shape, you can easily sell them and make a few bucks at the same time. There are plenty of only marketplaces dedicated to selling and buying second-hand items, such as eBay, Poshmark and sections of Amazon. You can also try in-person vehicles, such as second-hand bookstores, thrift stores and even a good old-fashioned yard sale.

7. Upskill.

While this strategically won’t make you money instantaneously, it can go a long way in improving your market value, thus increasing your earning potential. Look for opportunities to take courses, gain certifications and otherwise improve your skills. This will help you revamp your resume and make you a more desirable professional — and could allow you to earn more in the long run.

This is a challenging time economically, to be sure, and unfortunately, there’s no quick fix when it comes to saving money and ensuring you’re bringing in more than you’re spending. But strategic planning and actions will prove critical in helping you weather the storm.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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