INDIANAPOLIS — Soaring inflation means your money doesn't go as far as it used to.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the last 12 months, the consumer price index jumped 8.6%.
Here is an example of how individual categories might affect your budget.
The data show that gas is 48.7% more expensive this year than the same time last year.
If it cost you $60 to fill your tank in May 2021, that same tank is now $90.
As for food, it's up 10.1%. This is the first increase of 10% or more since the period ending March 1981 according to BLS.
That means if you spent $150 a week on food last year, it's now around $165.
If you go out to eat every Friday, dining out is up 11.9% year over year.
Your $100 dinner check is now $112, plus a 20% tip.
Tips to save
In this example budget, those three categories alone could be costing you $60 a week — or $230 a month more — than last year.
To save on gas, ask to work from home, carpool, and plan trips ahead of time.
Calculate what saves you more money — paying cash or using your credit card rewards.
There are also cash back apps like GetUpside that can save you on gas.
As for groceries, download the store apps and plan your meals around sales, not what you feel like eating.
There are also cash back apps like Ibotta that supplement store coupons and credit card rewards.
The nonprofit Dotted Line Divas also offers a coupon class once a month in Indianapolis.
If you like to dine out, reduce how often you go out, or go on weeknights that offer specials.
Wholesale clubs also set restaurant gift cards at a discount, often times $100 for $80.