BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – It’s been over two years since the start of the pandemic, and the U.S. government continues to fight persistently high inflation.

Recent statistics reveal the nation’s annual inflation rate has increased from 3.2 percent in 2011 to 8.3 percent in 2022.

Locals in Baton Rouge are not immune to the rising costs of groceries, medicine, healthcare, and other goods.

One long-time Baton Rouge resident who battles several severe medical conditions told BRProud, “Along the lines of having chronic illness, sometimes I have to choose between getting the amount of food that I need and buying supplements that help me minimize my pain and that help me to stay functional.”

This struggle to choose between purchasing medicine and food is not a rare situation for residents in the capital area.

According to one statistic, the city’s poverty rate is 24.4 percent, which means approximately 52,214 of the more than 222,000 people in Baton Rouge are living below the poverty line.

Considering the severity of inflation’s impact on capital area residents, some may wonder if there are any basic financial tips that can help.

Five suggestions sourced from recent articles in Forbes, Nerdwallet, and similar magazines are found below.

1/ Ask your employer for a cost-of-living raise

For those who are employed and in good standing with their supervisors, it may be helpful to request a cost-of-living (COL) pay increase.

Companies that have the ability to do so are likely to grant the request to hard-working employees who they want to keep on board.

On this note, Career Coach, Ashley Stahl advises, “And yet, a COL raise is not an entitlement; it still needs to be earned. Employees need to show value to the company, without being afraid to ask for more money based on cost-of-living.”

2/ Study your spending habits, and cut out nonessentials

Some financial experts suggest taking a good look at your monthly spending habits to see where you can cut back.

This isn’t fun, but it’s a great temporary solution to a temporary problem.

Nerdwallet suggests starting “by determining if there are things you can temporarily do without so to ensure essential needs are covered, like housing, groceries, transportation and utilities. For many, this reassessment may result in pressing pause on non-essential expenses like dining out, subscription services or gym memberships.”

3/ Look for coupons, freebies, and bargains

It’s surprising how many discounts and even freebies you can find on food and clothing when you’re willing to do a bit of bargain hunting.

Fortunately, the bargain hunting lifestyle no longer involves nesting on your living room floor amid an overabundance of coupon advertisements with a pair of scissors.

In this regard, Money Under 30 suggests looking into online bargain websites like Groupon,, eBates, and Frugaa’s.   

4/ Don’t forget about Real Estate

Experts say real estate is typically an excellent investment during periods of inflation.

According to Investor Junkie, “Real estate is actually the ultimate hard asset and often sees its greatest price appreciation during periods of high inflation. This is especially true because, as rents rise, people become increasingly interested in owning as a way of getting the tax benefits that help offset the general level of inflation.”

The article advises looking into real estate crowdfunding sites that allow investors to put their money into income-generating real estate. The article also notes that some investments only require $10 to start.

5/ Keep some cash in a high-yield savings account, money market account, or CD

For the past two years, the pandemic has played a major role in steering the nation’s economy along a virtual roller coaster.

Considering the unpredictable nature of the economy in recent years, a financial expert quoted in a recent CNBC article suggests  always keeping some cash in a high-yield savings accountmoney market account or CD.

The article recommends single-income households set aside six to nine months of savings while two-income households put aside at least six months of cash.

It also suggests maintaining short-term CDs until the nation has a better understanding of what longer-term inflation looks like.

In addition to the five suggestions above, experts say another way to navigate this period of inflation is to find ways to increase your monthly income. A number of people in Baton Rouge are applying this advice by taking on part-time work with companies like Uber, GrubHub, and DoorDash.

Others are venturing into the entrepreneurial arena by turning hobbies such as writing, jewelry-making, and other forms of art into profitable side hustles.

There are numerous ways to navigate the effects of inflation, and hopefully, some of the suggestions above will be helpful in this regard.