5 Ways Americans Are Fighting Off Rising Living Costs

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Man shopping at grocery store.
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As prices rise throughout the country, Americans are fighting back by changing their behavior in five key ways, according to a recent survey of around 3,400 adults by BMO Harris Bank.

The survey found that almost 60% of respondents have seen their finances deteriorate due to inflation, and of those, nearly one-quarter say the impact has been major. In fact, 36% of Americans have reduced savings because of inflation, and 21% have curbed retirement savings.

Perhaps most devastating of all, 1 in 4 say they will need to delay retirement as a result of rising prices.

For now, however, Americans are simply worried about keeping their heads above water day-to-day. The survey found 80% of respondents plan to change spending patterns to offset inflation’s impact. Following is a list of the ways they already are trying to do so.

1. Dining out less or reducing spending at restaurants

Man shocked by restaurant bill
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Americans making this change: 46%

After more than a year of avoiding restaurants as COVID-19 was running rampant, many Americans rushed back to their favorite eateries to break bread with friends and loved ones once the threat of COVID-19 coronavirus subsided a bit.

But the return to restaurants didn’t last long, as inflation quickly killed that enthusiasm. Now, nearly half of Americans say they are cutting back on their restaurant spending.

2. Changing how they shop for groceries

Upset shopper at a grocery store
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Americans making this change: 42%

It seems like prices at the supermarket rise with each new week. Now, even those who traditionally do not clip coupons are looking for any way to save as grocery costs jump.

For tips on trimming the tab at your local grocer, check out “12 Hacks to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half.”

3. Driving less

Upset man at the gas pump
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Americans making this change: 31%

So far in 2022, we’ve seen the national average gas price reach multiple new highs, including surpassing the $5 mark.

While gas prices have fallen considerably since then, many Americans are still driving less when they can. However, if keeping the car parked is not an option for you, check out “8 Bad Driving Habits That Cost You at the Gas Pump.”

4. Spending less on vacations

Upset traveler
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Americans making this change: 23%

Travel is another activity that Americans desperately missed during the height of the pandemic. But inflation is causing many to put travel plans on hold for a least a little while longer.

Still hoping to get away this summer? Check out the deals from Money Talks News partner ShermansTravel.

5. Canceling subscriptions

Older man cutting the cord and cancelling cable TV
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Americans making this change: 22%

When money gets tight, the little luxuries are the first to go. Nearly 1 in 4 survey respondents say they are eliminating subscriptions to the gym, cable TV or other services simply to make ends meet.

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