It's been decades since we've seen inflation like we're experiencing right now. Prices are soaring - from gas to food to rent. So stretching your dollar is more important than ever. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Credit cards are convenient, but if you don't pay off your balance, you'll fall deeper into debt as interest rates rise.
"Even if you try using it for $5, you'll get hit with such an interest rate it's not worth it." said Daniel Celaya.
Financial advisor Brian Levy says you'll save yourself a lot of money if you pay off your debt. That might sound overwhelming, but Levy says the key is to simply get started and build momentum. He says there are two popular ways to tackle it.
"One is the snowball effect, where you pay the smallest balance first to build the momentum. The other is the avalanche effect, which I subscribe to, which is you pay off the highest interest rates first, and then obviously start tackling the lower rates." said Levy.
Levy says you can also save a chunk of money by canceling subscriptions, like streaming services or workout videos. Levy says we're often paying for things we signed up for but don't use.
"I find myself looking at subscriptions and saying, 'Are we even using this?'" said Levy. "And when you look at it over the course of a year, that really adds up." Tom Bito agrees, but says he can't cancel his Netflix.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
"Netflix is pretty essential for us," he said. "But HBO Max maybe." And we're all trying to save money when shopping. So the personal finance experts at NerdWallet suggest two apps that will help. The Flipp app tells you where to find deals on grocery items.
"You actually type in your zip code and it lets you know which stores have which deals available," said NerdWallet's Kimberly Palmer. "And in some cases, it really changes where you decide to shop because you can see there's better deals at a grocery store you hadn't been considering." And if you're shopping for other products, like electronics, NerdWallet says to download the Shop Savvy app. You can scan a product's barcode and it'll tell you where to find the best deal.
"It might let you know that down the street there's a better deal, so it can actually change where you make your purchase," said Palmer.
And finally, if you're fortunate enough to have a little extra cash at the end of the month, Levy says to consider beefing up your 401k.
"Think about it, you're getting stocks at a discount compared to two months ago. So if you're a believer that over the next five or ten years that things are going to be better than today, then you're buying it at a cheaper price," said Levy.