Decoding the Basics: Understanding How to Fight Inflation
Supply chain disruptions and lingering shortages helped to cause the fastest rise in inflation since 1982. You are probably thinking about How To Fight Inflation to keep your head above water and the quality of your life intact.
My first how-to-fight inflation tip is this:
Change your spending habits now.
That dollar of yours does not go as far as it did yesterday, and it does not look like things will change any time soon.
So before you max out those credit cards, thinking that you will be better prepared to pay them off next month, stop it!
Why Your Dollar Buys Less: The Nuts and Bolts of Inflation
This will not be an economics course, but you should know why that dollar is buying less today than yesterday. And believe me, the reasons are many.
So, to put it simply, inflation is an economic term for a repeated rise of prices over time. Not to get too technical, inflation is not about a price increase but a decrease in the dollar’s buying power.
A dollar in 1967 bought you a movie ticket, while the same dollar in 2019 bought you less than 10% of that reserved seat today. And in 2022, that gallon of gas I bought last week for $3 is now almost $4.
In a week’s time!
To me and you, the reasons are irrelevant, and we can’t do much of anything to stop it. We must learn how to fight inflation down here in the trenches by starting with how we spend our money.
Or better yet, how to stop spending that money.
The inflation-bettering stuff we hope will be fought by smarter people than you or me. We hope.
According to some economists, we can expect this surge of inflation to last at least through the next decade. Some financial gurus have warned us about this economic downturn for some time now, so you and I shouldn’t be surprised.
Smart Strategies: A Game Plan on How to Fight Inflation
Don’t fall into the trap of spending more than you make. The average American family currently puts about 10% of their weekly expenses on their credit cards because 100% of their income is insufficient.
There are some tough choices to make.
You must get 100% of that paycheck to cover no more than 100% of your expenses. Make those tough choices now, and you may put some of that money into the savings account.
And you will be winning that inflation fight.
Downsize Your Drive: How Smaller Cars Fight Inflation
According to AAA, the average annual cost to own a small sedan is just over $7,000. This includes maintenance, insurance, licensing, and fuel costs, not to mention any car payments you may owe.
And this is hardly the time to go car shopping, but do the math. If you are driving a gas guzzler and or a high-end vehicle that costs a fortune in maintenance and insurance, it might be time to swallow your pride and downsize.
You could possibly save yourself hundreds of dollars a month.
It might not be how you or other people think today, but you can save a lot of money buying a car based on what you need rather than what you want. I’ve never owned the cars I wanted, but that cheap little car that gets me to and from is just as fine.
And to tell you the truth, I don’t care what others think.
Ring in the Savings: How a Smarter Phone Plan Fights Inflation
My wife and I needed to replace our aging phones, and rather than look at the overpriced ones with all their advertising, we looked at the items on sale. We not only found very good phones, but we also found some very good phone plans due to the providers’ promotions.
We not only got free phones by trading in our outdated ones, but we also saved money on a new plan. We are saving enough to offset those added prices at the gas pump.
What are you shelling out every month for your plan? $100 or more? How about for services you no longer need or never even used?
Think about trading in that old phone for a newer, more efficient one and get on board with a more inexpensive plan.
One more thing. Still have a landline? Why?
That’s an easy how-to-fight inflation tip so that you may put your savings into something else.
Slash and Burn: Ditching Subscriptions to Beat Inflation
Get rid of them. Are you reading all those magazines and newspapers being delivered to you?
Are you enjoying those monthly deductions from your checking account? Or are you happy about those added charges to the credit card? Nothing like paying interest on things no longer used.
I have been a loyal subscriber to the local newspaper for over 25 years. I had this habit of expecting it delivered seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Then things changed.
Delivery was getting sporadic, delivery was nonexistent during holiday times, and my subscription rate doubled over the course of several years.
And I found myself getting most of my news off the internet.
Newspaper canceled. Savings? $56 a month.$672 a year.
After that, I looked at other subscriptions I no longer took advantage of, such as magazines I rarely if ever, and internet subscriptions that were forgotten about. More cancellations. A lot more money was saved.
Let’s finally talk about television. Basic cable never seems to be enough these days. How many apps have you downloaded for your entertainment? Are you using them all?
When it comes to those apps, pick one or two that you really use and dump the rest. An internet connection will give you many free options to go to for your entertainment.
Take a hard look at what you are shelling out on these unused or rarely used vices and put those savings into your fight against inflation war chest.
Size Matters: How Living Space Choices Affect Inflation
Many of us fall into a common trap: the bigger, the better. And when it comes to housing, that can become a major cash drain. You need to find something within your means before you find your only option is moving back in with your parents or pitching a tent.
I understand that now isn’t a good time to be looking for a house to buy, but if you’re renting, you might want to consider a move, especially if you are in a large rent, expensive home.
I watched my son’s rent more than doubled in the last year, so he and his family made the move. It’s not easy, but it was much better than moving under my roof.
The Vice Grip: How Cutting Out Bad Habits Can Beat Inflation
And maybe live a little longer with fewer medical bills.
I was online the other day, standing behind a person purchasing two packs of cigarettes. $15.
15 Freaking dollars!
How long were they going to last?
I never smoked. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to break that expensive and unhealthy habit.
But you have to look into it.
When it comes to drinking, I am guilty. I enjoy beer, wine, and mixed drinks. They all can be a drain on the weekly paycheck. But if you are truly interested in fighting inflation, cutting back on this pleasure will help you save lots over a month.
I’m not saying you must go cold turkey altogether; slow it down when you’re away from home and in a restaurant. Buy beer and wine when it is on sale or ‘bo-go’ and keep it at home to enjoy. Then you can drink before, during, or after dinner.
And you will not be a DWI statistic.
I make it a habit of cutting out alcohol completely for several days at a time, especially during weeks when money is tight because of an unexpected expense that might come up.
From Farm to Fork: Eating Smart in Inflationary Times
Food costs right now are off the charts. As careful as my wife and I are regarding food shopping, I can not believe the amount I have to shell out at the register every week.
And that’s even with supermarkets facing supply shortages and bare shelves.
When it comes to fighting inflation, eating out habits at the local bar or restaurant is something that, unfortunately, will have to be cut back on. I love sitting at a local bar and having lunch and a beer or two during the week. But I cut it back. It adds up.
My home insurance and gas in the car are just a little more important.
During the week, meals are cooked with the thought of leftovers. You save big time if you can get another meal out of one already cooked.
Try buying in quantity. A large package of chicken from Walmart or Costco can be divided up and frozen for several meals at a big cost saving. The same goes for large cuts of meat and fish. They can be cut up, divided, repackaged, and frozen for future meals.
A trip to the local farm stand can save you lots of money by buying large quantities and learning how to do some canning to preserve your fruits and vegetables.
Home is Where the Savings Are: Hobbies That Help You Fight Inflation
We all like to get out once in a while. Lots of us need some escape before we explode. We have become addicted to entertainment to the point that it has become a major expense for many of us.
But you have bigger bills to pay.
Get a hobby. Stay home a little more.
Hobbies can also relieve boredom and stress. And may also help you save a lot of cash for other must-have expenses.
Watt’s the Deal: 9 Energy-Saving Tips to Counter Inflation
1-You waste time and energy in front of the fridge. People spend about 10 hours a year staring at that open fridge.
2-You, buy incandescent bulbs. LEDs can save you up to $135 per year.
3-You fall asleep with the television on. That costs you about $55 a year or a nice lunch with wine today.
4-I keep my charged laptop and cell phone plugged in. Guilty. It will not go past 100%, but it’s still drawing power while plugged in.
5-I don’t program my programmable thermostat. Guilty again. Who has time to learn how to do that? But wasting energy and costing me about $180 a year. A couple of dinners. With wine.
6-You bake on summer afternoons. I BBQ. You make your AC waste energy to keep your home cool.
7-You and my wife leave fans on in empty rooms. Fans cool people, not rooms.
8-Did you forget to change out the air filters? Your AC will waste energy by working harder to keep you cool. And think of the dust inhaled and energy wasted.
9-You and my kids leave the lights on when they exit a room, wasting energy when you could just turn them off. How hard is that?
Your Financial Lifeboat: Beating Inflation with Smarts and Grit
Listen, I get it—this whole inflation thing can feel like a financial monster lurking in the shadows.
But guess what?
You’ve got the tools to fight back. Your first step is simple: Build an emergency fund right now.
Not next week.
Hey, consider this your personal pep talk: You’ve got this! The roadmap you just read isn’t only about beating inflation and owning your financial future. Feel that?
It’s confidence, friend.
So what are you waiting for?
Get started on that emergency fund, and let’s make your money work for you, not against you. Take action today!