Tips for dealing with inflation.

If you feel like you've been paying more for things lately, you’re not alone. Compared to last year, Albertans paid 7.1% more for essentials like gas, groceries, and utilities*. The skyrocketing cost of living and increasing rates are causing over 40% of Albertans to lose sleep over money, and 1 in 4 Canadians have said that rising interest rates could force them to sell their homes.

With so much uncertainty, where do we go from here? At connectFirst, we're here to guide you with helpful advice to keep your finances on track, even when things feel out of control.

Here are a few helpful tips:​

1. Make a budget and stick to it.

Focus on your most essential expenses like housing, food, and utilities and think about cutting back on discretionary spending, like dining out or entertainment. Make sure money doesn't slip through your fingers for things that aren't a priority in your life.

2. Look at ways you can reduce your monthly expenses.

For example, negotiate lower rates with your cellphone or internet provider in exchange for longer-term contracts, or cancel subscriptions for non-essential items like streaming services. You can also lower your monthly spending by shopping sales and going for store brands instead of name brands.

3. Build an emergency fund.

As a rule of thumb, set aside 3-6 months' worth of income in an emergency fund for unforeseen situations like job loss or surprise expenses. It's often best to keep your emergency fund in a high-interest savings account so you can access your money easily while still getting a decent return.

4. Get the most out of savings.

If there's one good thing about rising interest rates, GICs are now paying some of the highest returns we've seen in over a decade. So, if you have cash you don't plan to use in the next 1-5 years, consider locking it in a GIC to protect you from losing your buying power.

5. Lastly, if you've got a mortgage or loan coming up for renewal, talk to us about renewing early.

With borrowing rates on an upward trend, you might be able to protect yourself from future rate increases by locking in today's lower rates.


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