Cross Country Checkup·Sunday on Checkup

How are you beating the high cost of living?

Inflation hit a 31-year high in April and prices of key goods are still rising. What are you doing to beat it?

What's your inflation hack? Call us: 1-888-416-8333

Vegetables are displayed for sale at a grocery store in Aylmer, Que., on May 26, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Inflation hit a 31-year high in April and prices of key goods are still rising. That has many Canadians looking for new ways to trim their budgets.

Personal finance educator Kelley Keehn says inflation has wallets feeling tighter — and it's impacting people from across the financial spectrum.

"If you are sitting in a position where you're still recovering from the pandemic, all of this is hitting you really hard," said Keehn, author of Talk Money to Me.

"If you're a retiree, [you're] worrying about how to survive inflation on a fixed budget."

On Thursday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced $8.9 billion in measures aimed to address affordability. They include boosts to the Canada Workers Benefit and Old Age Security, as well as a one-time Housing Affordability Payment of $500 for low-income Canadians.

But Keehn says there are many ways people can find a bit of extra wiggle room in their finances, from asking for a discount on your internet or cell phone to asking for a raise.

"If there was ever a time to have a conversation with your employer about higher wages, more perks, [now] definitely would be the time," she said.

How are you beating the high cost of living? What are your inflation hacks? Cross Country Checkup host Ian Hanomansing will take your calls today on CBC Radio One and CBC News Network. Keehn is on hand to answer your questions.

Keehn adds that many Canadians have already trimmed budgets as much as they could during the pandemic. Taking on a "side hustle" — extra work or projects outside of your job — can be a helpful approach for those people.

"If you can have that conversation with yourself and your family, of ways that you can find more money ... while you look at your expenses, that is, I think, a lot more empowering than just cut, cut, cut," she said. 

The money hacks she says to avoid? Those that offer a small return on the investment of your time, like driving out of your way to save a few cents on gasoline.

"When you're looking at these hacks, you want to put it in perspective," said Keehn.


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