Don't Give In to Inflation

The word "inflation" has always made me think of the '70s. I was too young to know what was going on then, but I heard and read later that it was pretty bad. Lines at gas stations. Out of control costs for household basics and a terribly shaky job market. Wait, which decade am I talking about here?

The Fed is addressing the "I" word these days even though one of the traditional measurements of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, as a whole has only gone up 3% from last year, but we're feeling a number a lot higher than that. Peel back Index layers and there's what we're all feeling in the gut of our wallets: Transportation costs up 18% and food and beverages up 15%. That's more like it.

So while economists and policymakers and the Fed chat, we need to deal with inflation pulling right up to our door.

Write to me: Tell me what you're doing to fit in these crazy mark-ups and any 'reveals' you've found when you tally up your receipts—who's got $40 a month in bank fees? What'd you do about it and that 'found' money the next month?

Carmen: Important, especially if you live in a rural area several miles or more from town. I used to not think twice about going to town for the slightest reason. That has changed with the soaring cost of fuel. Now I limit my driving as much as possible. I make a list of items i might need for several days. This saves gas to an from town. Seems simple enough, takes a little discipline and saves money decreasing fuel intake. --Brad, KY

Posted on: 12 Jun 2008 8:28 P.M.

It's all about efficiency. Use your credit card as often as possible and rack up them points (let your money rest in a high interest savings account.) Then at the end of the month pay the whole bill off (yes, the whole thing. If you have to carry debt for more than a month it should NEVER be on your credit card. Get a line of credit or something similar with a lower interest rate.) This cycle will help to improve your credit, giving you access to more money in the case of an emergency and better interest rates in the meantime. Plus, I just cashed in my credit card points to help with a down payment on a compact car that will be more efficient. --Jason, Manitoba, Canada

Posted on: 12 Jun 2008 2:53 P.M.

We purchased a nice espresso maker ($400), but at $5 per coffee 4 times a week times 2 people, that maker paid for itself in a couple months and the coffees are made just the way we like them. --The Sjodens, WA

Posted on: 12 Jun 2008 2:52 P.M.

We look for 2 for the price of one at the grocery store, and when we go to purchase something we ask ourselves: Do I really need it or can I live without it? Usually we can live without it. --Jim, FL

Posted on: 12 Jun 2008 2:07 P.M.

What me and the wife do to save money is cut out unnecessary things like the following:
2)Cell phones. We use internet IM as our phone instead, and it's free, saving us hundreds a month. --Frank, GA

Posted on: 12 Jun 2008 12:16 P.M.