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You might have heard that inflation is hitting the country, and it’s not a subtle change. Prices have skyrocketed to the highest they’ve ever been in decades. That means the stuff you buy everyday, from toilet paper to diesel fuel, will cost a lot more than you’re expecting.
In general, inflation is a financial term for when prices begin to rise over time. In some cases, it can be about the price hike of something specific, like school tuition or fuel. However, the biggest concern hitting us now is that prices everywhere are growing. The commodities you live with, from electricity to water bills, are going to cost more and more as time goes on. While inflation doesn’t last forever, there’s no exact date or time for when it’ll stop.
What makes inflation so dangerous is that it can feel like a sudden change. Imagine you go to buy groceries and spend an average of $200 for the month. Whether you buy snacks or toothbrushes, you get used to saving up that kind of budget. In other words, it almost becomes second nature for you to save $200 or so just for groceries.
However, imagine adding a few cents or even a dollar to every single thing that you buy. Before you know it, you might have to pay double or triple your regular budget to make due. That’s what happens when you encounter a price increase due to inflation.
There are a few reasons why inflation is happening today. One explanation is that resources aren’t as readily available as they used to be. With the pandemic being a recent problem, it’s been a slow adjustment to come back to daily life. Because of that, people are buying or using up more items than they would’ve during quarantine. The more people buy, the more precious these items become.
Since inflation grows all kinds of prices in the market, you’ll need to keep an eye on which ones matter the most. Here are nine different things that’ll cost more in the immediate future.
You might not live with the same exact diet that everyone else has. You might be a hardcore vegetarian who likes fresh and ready produce. You could also be a meat lover who enjoys stocking up and keeping your steaks ready. Regardless, the price of food is going to jump higher and higher. If you’re not careful, your grocery bill could feel like it costs an arm and a leg.
Oil is the lifeline of your car, your generator, and your train or bus ride. It keeps the world moving and is one of the reasons why you have electricity today. Unfortunately, oil isn’t endless like oxygen or water. A finite source, it’s getting tougher and tougher to find oil reserves to keep the entire world running. Though there are companies making alternate fuels or engine types, oil is still one of the most important things in daily life.
So, as the world struggles to find more and more oil sources, it’ll be demanding more cash for your gas charges. Remember, the less available something is, the more expensive it becomes. That’s why you’ll notice that your electricity, thermostat, and other bills will suffer a price increase due to inflation. Don’t be surprised if you spend $50 and get less in your tank than you’re used to.
Inflation also hits the housing market hard, and that can spell problems for you and your landlord. With the costs of amenities, like water and electricity, going up, your rent will also build upward to meet the standard.
On the hand, real estate will definitely go higher. In other words, if you’re looking for a house or apartment, you might have to scrounge up a lot more cash to get what you want. That’s why many people might not opt to buy a house right away. With housing facing a price increase due to inflation, you might prefer renting an apartment over buying your own home.
On the other hand, if you have a house, then you could use it to your advantage. If you want to make the most of inflation, consider looking into real estate and seeing if you can make a profit by selling your house when the time is right.
Just like the previous example, stocks and bonds are also a double-edged sword when it comes to inflation. Under the right circumstances, you can leverage your investments to sell them off and make some money. However, that’s only if the stock market is on your side. If your prices are falling hard or you’re looking to enter the trade, be ready to stock up on cash before you get some stocks.
Car enthusiasts might have a heart attack with this, but cars of all types are also facing a price increase due to inflation. The growing demand for hybrid or electric vehicles, along with the cost of fuel and manufacturing jumping up, is what’s adding zeroes to the price tag. If you need to buy a car, make sure it fits all your needs, from fuel efficiency to longevity. In addition, always check the annual percentage rate (APR), which is the interest rate for your car.
Since the invention of phones, especially the iPhone, people want to buy the latest toys and gadgets around. Unfortunately, the cost of building microchips and hardware has grown. Part of this is because of the power of the dollar getting weaker, and also because there are shortages of the necessary materials to build these gadgets. Since it’s going to take more time and materials to build a computer nowadays, expect a price increase due to inflation.
Whether you buy at IKEA or at a local craftsman’s store, furniture is going to get pricier as time goes on. It’s likely that people are looking to renovate their house, both for comfort and for an eventual sale in real estate. If you’re looking for furniture, one step you can do is to look at used or secondhand options. Contrary to popular belief, these things can cost less and look more valuable than a high-priced mahogany table.
Internet needs electricity to function, and it’s become so integral to people’s lives that the mere idea of being offline for an hour can seem frightening. Because of this, you might have to cough up more cash to fit your data and internet plan. Be sure to check your plan first and see if it fits your needs. Otherwise, you might discover too late that you’re not using as much WiFi as expected.
Now that you know the different prices that can hike up alongside the inflation rate, it’s time for you to learn how to control it. With the right attitude and planning, you can prepare your wallet to bear the worst of inflation. Here are some useful tips on how you can cope with inflation right now!
Funny enough, making more money can be the solution to the rising cost of living. It may sound odd and tedious, but there are ways you can earn extra cash without exhausting yourself. First of all, you can look for extra tasks or odd jobs around the office. These can get you some extra pay, perhaps even overtime. That said, remember to pace yourself carefully. If you plan to work longer than usual, make sure you only do so on occasion. While overtime may sound good, doing it for too long can drain you of both energy and focus.
Another solution is to look for side hustles or smaller-time job opportunities. For example, you can make baked goods, like cookies and brownies, to sell to your colleagues. It’s a good way to make quick cash and make the most of your hobbies. Other options include freelance editing, photography, and painting. While you might need to get used to the price increase due to inflation, you can use these hobbies to give you enough budget to get by.
If you look at how inflation works, there are two main problems to consider. Either the money is growing weaker or the costs are growing stronger. In both cases, cutting down on your expenses is as effective as having all the money you need to spend.
To do this, it’s recommended that you examine your life and all the available subscriptions you have. Look at your current plans, like loan terms and WiFi packages. See if they offer the right amount of service for your needs. For example, a sole homeowner may like the idea of having unlimited WiFi access, but it’s not necessarily the best. After all, they might be spending several more dollars for data that they’d ultimately stop using.
Another way to cut down on your costs is to look for alternative products or solutions. As tempting as it is to be brand loyal, not every good purchase needs to be from a famous name. You might think that getting new sneakers means spending cash for Adidas or Nike, but you don’t have to go that far. Consider exploring lesser-known brands or second-hand options. They can still give you what you need and spare some change for your other expenses.
While inflation can be a tough time to go through, it can also be the push you need to start investing. Starting now can give you a chance to catch up and explore the necessary stock options you need to make some money. For instance, you can use this time to discover the difference between a regular loan plan and a bond investment.
Aside from the standard stocks and shares, you can also look to your existing stuff as your investment. For example, homeowners can use the price increase due to inflation as a reason to renovate and remodel their houses. Though it might cost a bit, it can also elevate the property’s price tag and make a future sale all the more valuable. The same can be said for cars, rental properties, and even secondhand items.
One thing to note here is that investments need the right kind of money. You might be tempted to go all out and bank your savings on these options. However, that’s just like throwing all your eggs in one basket; one wrong move, and you could lose it all. Instead, play it smart by setting aside the cash that you’re willing to lose. Once you consider how much money can be gained or lost, you can safely examine your investments while keeping your daily life affordable.
Lastly, given how essential groceries and gas are now, as well as their rising prices, it always pays to shop with care. When you go to buy your food or gas up your car, start it off right by limiting yourself to a budget. Be sure to focus only on how much you need; for instance, try to calculate how much time you’ll be traveling and use that as a guide for how much gas you should have.
Remember that when you’re shopping, you should always practice saying no. Sometimes, you might be tempted to buy a delicious snack or go sightseeing at a favorite place. However, ask yourself if you have enough money to spare for such a thing. If you realize how much you stand to lose, you’ll find it easier to say no. By the time it becomes a habit, you’ll find yourself walking away with your money tucked safely in your pocket.
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