STRETCHING YOUR DOLLAR: Financial expert provides money-saving tips
With prices rising for homes, food and gas, it becomes vitally important to make your dollar stretch as far as it can go.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — If it feels like you’ve got less money in your pocket, even though you may have gotten a raise recently, you’re not imagining it.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that real compensation, which takes both raises and inflation into account, fell by 3.7 percent for all workers.
With prices rising for homes, food and gas, it becomes vitally important to make your dollar stretch as far as it can go. In March, inflation grew to 8.5 percent, the highest it has been in four decades.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, last year’s food prices rose 3.5 percent from 2020.
That number is now expected to climb with projections for beef, pork, poultry and fish each now forecasted to climb over 10 percent throughout next year.
“So, you need to earn 8 percent more just to stay even,” said Rick Kahler, the founder of Kahler Financial Group.
So what’s the first step in offsetting this?
Kahler says that it has to start with talking to your employer about a raise, and if you’re discouraged about your chances, Kahler says you have a logical argument for the pay increases.
“It’s a pretty solid case,” Kahler said. “It has nothing to do with your performance. It has everything to do with the economy and keeping even with your salary.”
Whether you receive that raise or not, the next step is deciding what you can do without. Kahler suggests comparison shopping and considering a switch to store-brand items.
However, he also says there’s one thing that separates those who build their wealth.
“Of all of my clients, the one common denominator with those who accumulate wealth isn’t what they invest in, isn’t how much they make in what career they’re in, it’s frugality,” Kahler said. “The ability to be frugal.”
Another thing Kahler recommends is having an emergency for when the unexpected happens.