JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the stock market continues to struggle, inflation hits a 40-year high and gas prices hover around $5 a gallon, life seems expensive.

Jacksonville residents like Ryan Eisenhower tell us they are already trying to cut costs to save money.

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“I just try to cut corners. Save money on gas, but don’t buy so many things. Anything we can do to save money.

Action News Jax asked economist Don Wiggins: “What can people do to control their checkbook?

“Treat your savings as your first expense,” Wiggins replied.

Wiggins says you should always withdraw money for retirement first – and live on the rest.

“The best advice I would give is, ‘set aside your money first that you were going to retire on, then adjust your lifestyle accordingly,’” Wiggins said.

Looking ahead is key, but in the meantime, cash can be tight. He says that controlling public services is a powerful tool.

Energy.gov suggests a few tips for saving energy:

  • Control the thermostat and keep it high during the summer months.
  • Clean the vents.
  • Move fans away.

“Everyone is facing the same situation here and you certainly don’t want to dip into your savings,” says Wiggins.

He says you should also reduce your driving, if possible. Drivers like Forrest Andrews say they’ve tried so hard to quit driving.

“Not that far, but I had to cut a lot of activities that I have. For example, if it involves going to the beach, it’s just taken out.

Other ways to save instantly:

  • Eat at home or bring food from home to work.
  • Cut costly bad habits like smoking or occasional drinking.
  • Stay close to home instead of taking an entire vacation.
  • Take another look at all your subscriptions: do you need all the streaming services?

“Huge difference at the end of the week. Saves a lot of money. Keep more money in the checkbook.

Another great way to track your personal expenses is to annualize your costs. If you grab a coffee on the way to work, you could be spending $1,500 or more each year. Compare that to a cup of coffee at home, where you’d spend around $150 a year.

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