Share your inflation-busting hacks and help others stay afloat

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Daniel NewellThe West Australian
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For nearly a decade, Your Money has been sharing hints and tips on how to improve readers’ financial wellbeing. Now we want to hear from you.
Camera IconFor nearly a decade, Your Money has been sharing hints and tips on how to improve readers’ financial wellbeing. Now we want to hear from you. Credit: Craig Dingle/Craig - stock.adobe.com

That sucking sound you hear echoing around the suburbs as you step out the front door each morning is the sharp intake of breath as West Aussies tighten their belts and brace for another day in the inflation capital of Australia.

There are few households in WA that haven’t felt the pinch of rising living costs, with the latest figures showing inflation in Perth grew a wallet-shrivelling 7.9 per cent in the year to the end of March.

Petrol and food prices are sky-high and every mortgage holder is staring down the barrel of multiple rate hikes that will further strain their budgets.

Back in the 1980s and 90s I remember Mum and Dad declaring every few years at the dinner table: “This family is now on an economy drive”.

I didn’t appreciate the full weight of those words until I saw the pantry had become a sea of Black & Gold and noticed school holiday trips were fewer and far between.

Now a parent myself trying to juggle a household budget groaning under the weight of bigger bills, on top of school fees and rising daycare costs, I can concede — even with the taste of cut-price cornflakes still lingering on the taste buds — they handled the financial blows pretty well. Thanks folks.

While a new round of belt-tightening may be stemming the bleed from your budget it inevitably leaves little room for life’s big financial surprises. Take the double whammy that hit our household last week. In the space of 14 hours both our dryer and hot water system bit the bullet.

Like many families grounded during the pandemic, we’d built up a decent buffer in our mortgage redraw account. But we’ve been looking to move closer to work and school, and were not keen to dip in to pay out repair bills that would stretch into the thousands.

Clearly, hot water was the priority. But how to pay for it without wiping out the savings?

The solution? We converted a big chunk of all those unused points through our credit card rewards program for Bunnings vouchers to buy a new hot water system and just pay for the install. A $2600 cash crisis was now a more manageable $500 inconvenience.

We were lucky not to have to raid our cash reserves. Not everyone is in the same boat. But it did get us thinking about the ways people approach solving their own financial headaches.

For nearly a decade, Your Money has been sharing hints and tips on how to improve readers’ financial wellbeing.

With inflation only expected to rise for the rest of 2022 and wages stuck in the muck, we want to hear how your family is managing soaring costs.

Your advice might just help someone else loosen their belt, if only just a notch.

Email us at yourmoney@wanews.com.au, or comment below.

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