The economy is on the rebound after a sharp pandemic-induced dive last year.
But amid the recovery, inflation is on the rise too: In April, it accelerated at a pace not seen in more than 12 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What does that mean for you? Prices for everything from gas to groceries have skyrocketed, making it even more important to save on your everyday piurchases to stretch your pennies.
7 ways to inflation-proof your life with savvy shopping
Here are seven savvy ways to keep your personal inflation rate in check.
Control your home renos' hidden costsRoman Zaiets / Shutterstock
At the start of the pandemic, with everyone stuck at home and left with tons of disposable income they’d typically use for travel or dining out, home renovation activity surged.
And based on the results of a study from the Farnsworth Group and the Home Improvement Research Institute, that activity hasn’t slowed yet.
However, home renovations may increase the value of your home, which can lead to a more expensive homeowners insurance premium.
If you went ahead and did renos over the last year and you’re paying for it now, it may be time to shop around for a better rate to potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars a month.
Deal with debtPormezz / Shutterstock
While credit card balances decreased in the early days of the pandemic, according to stats from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, joblessness remains at a record high of 14.7% and nearly half of the states are planning to end federal unemployment benefits shortly.
If you’ve been relying on that money to help stay on top of your credit cards, you may need another solution.
A debt consolidation loan with lower interest could help you get rid of your debt sooner and save you a ton in expensive interest.
Stick closer to home — for nowPhotographee.eu / Shutterstock
Did you have a trip on the books that was cancelled because of the pandemic? Like many Americans who’ve now received their COVID vaccine, you may be thinking about cashing in your vouchers.
Sadly, this is one expense you may want to book immediately or put off for a bit. As of April 1, prices on domestic flights were up 9% and 17% for international travel, according to a report from research firm Bernstein. And prices are expected to continue to tick upwards.
The cost for a hotel stay is also going up. Between mid-March and the end of April, Koddi, a travel booking technology company, noted an appreciable increase in the average hotel price. Compared to just a few weeks earlier, they were 11% more expensive, Koddi’s senior director of client services, Deep Kohli, told CNBC.
So maybe you’re thinking you’ll just book a road trip? Gas prices are way up, too.
Instead, think about sprucing up your home or backyard to find your own luxury escape right at home.
Don’t let the dealership take you for a rideProstock-studio / Shutterstock
Not only is the price of gas going up, but so is everything else relating to your car.
The car-shopping experts at Edmunds say the percentage of consumers overpaying for a new car climbed to 12.7% in April, setting the record for the highest level since 2002.
And if that weren't enough, used car prices increased by an eye-popping 10% in a single month, between March and April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Overall prices are up 20% over last year.
If your circumstances require you to buy a car, whether new or used, in this red hot market, it's vital that you keep your overall automotive costs down by getting the best possible rate on your insurance policy.
Using free online tools, you can easily compare multiple auto insurance offers — it only takes a few minutes and it could save you up to $1,100 a year.
Ditch the fees, invest for freeNicoElNino / Shutterstock
There are few better ways to grow your money than by investing it.
But with most platforms, you’ll face pesky investment fees taking a big bite out of your profits — generally somewhere between 1% to 2.5% — which can add up to a huge chunk of change over the years.
If you want to hold onto more of your hard-earned cash, you should to consider an investment app that features no commissions, which allows you to invest for free.
Slash the cost of your mortgage4 PM production / Shutterstock
Mortgage rates have been yo-yoing over the last several months as the economy continues to recover from COVID, with January recording the lowest levels on record, after which they’ve been steadily climbing.
They’re still currently at historically low levels, but experts predict rates will rise to 4% this year — making now the time to make a move if you’ve been mulling a refinance.
An estimated 14.1 million Americans have the opportunity to refi and save an average $287 a month, according to recent research from the mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight.
Take a healthy bite out of health premiumsRawpixel.com / Shutterstock
On average, health insurance for a healthy 40-year-old across the country will cost you $5,940 over a year, based on analysis from ValuePenguin.
With new opportunities to save through tax credits on your premiums this year, most Americans will see a noticeable drop in their health insurance costs for 2021.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best possible price on your premiums. The only way to know for sure is to shop around and compare offers.