Preparing For Higher Prices
How To Alleviate Budget Stress
Inflation seems to be the keyword buzzing about the airwaves. With our economy still struggling to find its footing post-COVID, war looming from our television sets, and continued supply-chain issues, prices are rising. You may have noticed produce, meat and packaged goods getting more expensive. Gas prices are a hot topic as they exceed $4 a gallon. The Federal Reserve has announced an interest rate hike for the first time since 2018. As is expected, mortgage interest rates have also increased. It looks like the immediate future will see further increases to the cost of living across the country.
To prepare for these higher prices, we thought to offer some ideas on how to keep yourself and your loved ones comfortable even as prices rise.
Planning out your week, month, and year can be highly effective at saving money or lowering costs. Meal planning helps reduce the number of nights you order take-out or head to the restaurant. If you’re hosting a party or event, keeping your eye out for deals, discounts, and clearance items for the event can help cut costs dramatically. Traveling can often be the first go when prices start to rise and our bank account looks low. Booking a trip a year, or more, in advance may help you find some affordable options. Then again, there’s always stepping into our beautiful wide-open spaces here in Colorado. Camping, hiking, and road trips are a great, inexpensive vacation.
Reactionary spending is the most expensive, especially when inflation hits. Do a quick overview of your major assets and make a list of things that need attention. When was the last time the car had a tune-up? How old are your furnace and water heater? Have you had a check-up recently? Once you have your list, you’ll know how to prepare financially if things come up. Then the likelihood of having to spend money in an emergency lowers.
Think about the things you use or do most often. Are there ways to reduce your reliance on these? If the price of gas is affecting you the most, are there ways you can use your car less? Maybe instead of meeting friends out for dinner, invite them over for a potluck style affair. Also pay attention to how you use water and electricity in your house. Doing larger loads in the dishwasher or laundry machine, taking shorter showers, turning off lights except for the ones you are using, and watching less television are all small ways to lower your bills.
When the economy looks unstable it’s good to move your finances into a more secure arrangement. This means balancing your tangible and intangible assets while maintaining a stable financial position in cash. This could mean acquiring new property and using it as passive income through rentals or buying into precious metals or stocks. Then, when finances are tight you can turn to your assets and transition them into cash. In the interim the hope is these assets continue to grow in value as inflation reduces the purchasing power of cash.
Grow & Learn
One of the best ways to save money is to grow your own food. It’s quite a project, but the rewards are fulfilling. Experiment with growing both inside and outside, and if you’re feeling adventurous build a greenhouse for potential growth year round. The vast amount of sunshine Colorado receives helps grow almost anything, as long as you keep them sufficiently watered. With a focus on growing your own food you may find a stronger drive to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle in general.
Keep researching other ways to save money, and learn and grow. You may find new habits to incorporate into your routine that end up saving you time and money, even as costs continue to rise.
What are some tactics, plans, or strategies do you use to prepare you for higher prices, inflation, and supply shortages?