skip to main content
Search Search Investors Icon Investors Careers phone 1-800-318-8997

4 Tips for Budgeting in Times of Inflation

a calculator that spells “inflation” on it sits on top of a pile of money

Tips For Budgeting in Times of Inflation

As inflation rises in the United States, it’s hitting every part of our expenses, from everyday household goods and groceries to recurring bills. For an individual or a family in Kansas, it can be difficult to make ends meet as our budgets are stretched tighter and tighter.

While it can be discouraging and stressful to coordinate your finances, it’s not impossible. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips for budgeting during times of inflation.

1. Review Your Spending

While we notice inflation hitting our pockets, we might not always know where it’s hitting. If you haven’t already, create a budget to track your spending. Notice where your budget is hardest to control, categorize essentials and nonessentials, and identify areas of overspending. Both our online banking and mobile banking platforms have spending trackers to give you a clearer picture of where your money goes.

Then, evaluate your financial goals and how your budget is aligning with them. If you had planned to make a large purchase soon, look at how you can time that purchase with your other bills and expenses.

2. Find Ways to Save

Now that you’re more familiar with your exact spending, identify areas where you could potentially be savvier with your budget. Some examples would be:

  • Opt for the cheaper version of a product
  • Combine trips and reduce your travel
  • Monitor your utilities to prevent frivolous usage
  • Look at getting cheaper options at restaurants or coffee shops
  • Switch to less expensive packages for recurring bills

3. Cut Non-Essential Expenses

We can get used to certain accommodations, but there may be times when we need to think more intentionally about what matters in our budget.

Weigh the importance of various recreational, entertainment, and dining purchases in your day-to-day life. You can still enjoy non-essential spending, but prioritize what you’re spending money on. For example, while you may decide to cut your regular weekly lunches out, you could still keep your favorite streaming services.

4. Increase Your Income

Maybe easier said than done, but a good side hustle can help significantly to maintain your standard of living in times of inflation. This could mean picking up some extra hours at work, freelancing with some of your professional skills, or other local opportunities.

Depending on your location, you may be able to find places to watch someone’s dog or home on their vacation, make food deliveries in your free time, or a myriad of other possibilities.

Shore up Your Budget with Help from Landmark National Bank

Budgeting finances during times of inflation can feel like an uphill battle. Whether interest rates go up or down, trust your finances with Landmark National Bank — backed by Bauer Financial’s highest 5-Star rating for financial strength and stability.

With our dedicated and friendly team, we provide high-quality banking services throughout Kansas for both personal and business use. Learn more about our services and find a Landmark National Bank branch location near you today!

Frequently Asked Questions about Recessions

a man sits at his computer with his head in his hands while viewing his stock market investments

Frequently Asked Questions About Recessions

Right now, you might be hearing a lot of news about a potential recession, but what does that mean to Kansas individuals and families? As you financially plan for yourself and your family, we’ve compiled this blog to help you understand what a recession is and how it might impact your finances.

What’s a recession?

The term “recession” refers to a time of significant economic decline that can last several months or years. Officially, a recession is declared if there are two consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product (GDP). The National Bureau of Economic Research is generally considered the authority on determining when a period of recession starts and ends.

What causes a recession?

Many things can cause a period of recession. However, a recession is considered to be a natural and healthy part of our economy’s rhythm; there will always be times of growth and contraction.

The following factors have previously led to an economic recession:

  • A sudden economic shock, like a pandemic or social crisis
  • Excessive debt by a significant amount of individuals or businesses
  • Asset bubbles by an inflation of the stock market
  • Rapid inflation
  • Rapid deflation
  • Technological change

What happens in a recession?

First, the economy slows down. This means businesses are producing less, consumers are buying less, and there may be a need for fewer employees. This can lead to layoffs and budget cuts. Second, interest rates rise and the stock market declines.

How does a recession affect me?

A period of recession can affect every person differently, largely depending on their financial and work standing before the period. Everyone will see an increase in general expenses, meaning budgets might need to be tighter. You may personally experience job loss or a pay cut. Additionally, any investments will go through a period of decline.

For those applying for loans, lenders are more likely to hold higher standards for applicants, and interest rates will be higher.

How can I be prepared for a recession?

While financial situations will look very different person-to-person, you should consider reviewing the following to prepare for a time of recession:

  • Review your financial plan: Take a look at your short-term and long-term goals, as well as your investments and retirement accounts.
  • Review your budget: Check in on where your money is going regularly and what purchases are essential and nonessential.
  • Fund your emergency savings: As a rule of thumb, it’s good to have at least three months’ worth of bills in your savings in the event of a layoff.
  • Pay down debt: Focus on paying off high-interest debt and improving your credit score.
  • Update your resume, network, and earn additional income
: Your professional network will become your greatest in the event of a layoff. Side gigs and freelance work are also helpful in creating multiple lines of revenue and security.

To prepare even further, read more about these recession preparation steps in-depth to get your budget and finances in shape.

Secure Your Financial Future with Landmark National Bank

As your work to prepare yourself financially, partner with a financial service that with banking solutions you can depend on. Recognized by Bauer Financial with their highest 5-Star rating for financial strength and stability, we’ll be there for you in all financial seasons. Find a Landmark National Bank branch location near you in Kansas today!

How to Prepare for a Recession

a man sits on his couch doing calculations on his smartphone and computer

Things to Prepare For in A Recession

With high gas prices and rising inflation and interest rates, fear of an upcoming recession is not uncommon for people across the United States. While a recession has not yet been confirmed, it’s important to understand what a recession is and how you can prepare for it financially. Our goal at Landmark National Bank is to provide our customers with financial and budgeting tips that will help make you feel at ease during a time of uncertainty. Here’s how to prepare financially for a recession and how we can help.

What is a recession?

A recession happens when there is a two-quarter decline in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The GDP is the value of the goods and services the country produces, and when this number drops, consumers experience a rise in costs of gas, inflation, and unemployment rates. A recession causes the economy to struggle because many people lose work due to companies making fewer sales. Many people experience financial hardships while in a recession, battling the high costs of everyday items and less income coming into their households.

Don’t get a recession confused with a depression, though. A depression is much worse than a recession with longer lasting effects.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Recession

Preparing your finances for a recession doesn’t need to be drastic. Taking small steps can make a big impact, and it all starts with reconsidering your budget, building an emergency fund, taking care of debt, updating your resume, and making smart decisions about your retirement funds.

1. Reconsider Your Budget

With higher costs of gas, groceries, and other essential items, creating a new budget and sticking to it is vital to prepare for a recession. Start by taking a look at all of your current expenses and determine things that may not be a necessity that you can cut back on. For instance, consider eating out less or getting rid of subscription services you don’t use as often.

If you are married or in a dual-income household, look at what things may look like if one of you loses your job and how you would handle your finances with one income. Reduce your expenses as much as possible, so you can use the extra money to build an emergency fund.

2. Build an Emergency Fund

a jar of cash labeled “emergency savings” sits on a shelf next to books

In the event of a recession, many employers can’t afford to keep paying all of their staff. This usually leads to mass job cuts and layoffs, which leaves many without a consistent income to rely on. To prepare for a potential layoff or reduced salary, it’s important to build an emergency fund that can help keep you afloat. Any money you’re saving from the reduced-spending budget you created can go directly into your savings account to be used as emergency funds. Because a recession can last anywhere from six to 18 months, we suggest you aim to have at least six months’ worth of funds set aside.

Don’t have a savings account to build your emergency fund in? Landmark National Bank offers a few different personal savings accounts that can help you reach your emergency fund goals. Learn more about our personal savings account options and open an account today.

3. Take Care of Debt

When a recession hits, it is common for banks to raise interest rates on consumer credit. That’s why it’s important to take care of your debt beforehand, so you aren’t stuck paying higher rates. Your mortgage rate and your auto loan rate are likely locked in, but you should monitor your credit card and other personal loan rates for a change. Continue to make your payments as you normally would. Although this shouldn’t be a top priority, pay off small debts if you have the opportunity. You can also reach out to your credit issuer to explore opportunities to reduce your interest rate. Getting your debt into a stable position before a recession will help relieve some financial stress.

4. Update Your Resume

a group of professionals are standing in groups speaking with each other at a networking event

As mentioned, layoffs and job cuts aren’t unheard of during a recession. While this may be the worst-case scenario, it’s always good to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared. Even if you’ve been at your job for a while, a recession can cause employers to make tough and unpredictable decisions that may leave you without a job. Stay prepared by updating your resume and staying connected to your professional network so you’re ready to land a new job sooner rather than later.

5. Be Smart About Your Retirement Funds

Lower incomes and higher expenses during a recession are sure to put a strain on your 401(k) and retirement funds. While it may be difficult to see the value during a recession, try to continue to contribute to your retirement funds. It has been proven that consistent investing pays off throughout time. It may be tempting to cash out your retirement funds, but if you can, try not to. This short-term decision can become very costly in the long run, and you might regret it. Overall, don’t panic when it comes to your retirement funds. Keep contributing to your accounts for as long as possible.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with Landmark National Bank

A potential recession is stressful to think about. When you need help budgeting and saving in preparation, count on our experts at Landmark National Bank. With branches located throughout Kansas, we’re here to provide you with the financial advice you need to be successful. Find a Landmark National Bank branch near you and learn more about our budgeting and savings tips today!