🕹You Can’t Control Inflation But Here’s What You Can Do To Stop It From Controlling You!

Inflation is here and it’s loud. It’s yelling at the top of its lungs like a toddler who’s just lost their favourite teddy. And nothing, (not even a new teddy) can stop this one. In the US, inflation is raging at 7.9% while here in the UK it’s 5.5%. Whichever way you look at it, these figures are pretty darn scary. In 10 years (thanks to inflation), your money will have halved in value. Nice one. But beneath these figures, some things are going up way more than others. Take oil (it’s gone way past $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014) that’s needed for literally everything from (the most basic) producing electricity to powering our cars and heating our homes. And with this war in the East, well, the price of oil has been going up. And up. And this will only make us feel the pinch even more. As if we aren’t feeling it enough! Psst: Read here about the sneaky ways in which businesses are charging you more without you even noticing.

But where on earth has all this inflation come from? And wasn’t it meant to be transitory? Well, it’s in part caused by supply-chain issues thanks to the pandemic. For months, factories were shut and turning the lights back on is not as easy as abc. But I reckon all this money-printing played a part, too. See, back in ’08 when we experienced the ugly Global Financial Crisis, most of the money that was printed pretty much stayed within the walls of the banking system. But now it’s leaked into every nook and cranny. After all, this was a health crisis not a financial crisis. And economies needed to be propped up to prevent them from diving into a depression (which we all wanted to avoid!) but this meant that there’s now much more money out there chasing fewer and fewer things. And, voilà, here comes inflation. Head here for ways you can protect your money from it.

And just when we thought (more like convinced ourselves) that this inflation thing might be cooling off, Russia invades Ukraine which sends the price of raw materials shooting for the sky. But this is all beyond us. The geopolitics, the politics and the economics are literally not in our hands, much as we’d like to have our say we have no say in the matter. We have no say whether we should (or shouldn’t) sanction Russia and just how hard. We’ve gotta roll with the powers that be. But while we clearly can’t control this raging (inflation) beast, there are plenty things we can do to stop it from controlling us! 

Less Is More 

Photo by Amy Shalom on Unsplash

The first thing to do is to put that credit card away. Spending less is the surest way to beat this inflation thing. You most probably have all that you need and trust me, another woolly cardi just isn’t worth it! We live in a day and age where the consumer rules. Everything is made for us. From the way we shop (1hr hour delivery & buy now, pay later) to the way we cook (or don’t – hello Deliveroo!), we have all these things that make our lives infinitely easier. But someone’s paying for it. And it isn’t those corps; it’s us! We’re paying for it. With our time, with our money and with our health. Easy choices now mean hard stuff to come later. 

Before you want to buy something, ask yourself whether you can do without it and whether your bank account can, too. I bet it’ll be screaming at you “YOU DON’T NEED THAT!”. We all need to treat ourselves, to unwind and relax. Granted. But surely one single streaming subscription should suffice? Do we really need Netflix and Sky and Disney+ and HBO max?! The price of everything is going up. From clothes to coffee (read here what’s going on with that and how to rein in your bucks) all that shopping till you drop will most likely leave you broke or if not broke, worse off, with a double helping of buyer’s remorse. Been there, done that. 

Plus, always having the attitude of wanting more and more never stops. You’ll never be happy like that. We trick ourselves into thinking that purchases will make us feel good but trust me, the glitter wears off. Sooner than you think. That’s why, when I want to have a real splurge I like to do it with tech because that way I get maximum use plus loads of enjoyment from it! Every time I write, I enjoy my (I know, very overpriced) Macintosh. Speaking of which, my friend has had hers for, I think, what has been 7 years. She’s just gone and had some parts fixed. That’s how I plan to do it. 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Things like cooking at home instead of ordering takeouts can really help take some of the sting out of inflation. Leave the Deliveroo’s for when you’re in need of a treat or for those out-of-the-blue emergencies like having a power cut. But cutting back on your subscriptions (all those pesky direct debits) can really help. Do you really need Netflix, Disney+, Sky and Prime? Surely one will do! You’ll be amazed at how much you can save. My only subscriptions are for this site I’m writing on plus the WSJ. I know, I’m a Brit but I’m totally grooving with the WSJ. So yeah, I’ll happily be that Brit who absorbs American news/culture and whatnot. Call me a fan! 

Best To Budget

But with our week-to-week and month-to-month purchases, it’s best to stick to a budget. This is zero glam but the best. When you go grocery shopping, set yourself an allowance and if you can’t help yourself, withdraw some cash (yes, back to the old days!) so that you aren’t tempted to whip out your credit card to fund some impulse purchase like a £12 box of truffles. Though we’ve all been indulging a whole lot more since the pandemic and it’s totally okay. Just make sure it’s within your means and that your bank account can handle it! 

But it’s not just about buying less and reining in our spending it’s also about looking after what we have and making good use of them (like my friend’s well-used Mac). I say this as I look down at my over-worn slippers (featuring some bald spots where the fluff used to be) and realised that this actually feels nice. It feels nice knowing my money for them didn’t go down the drain. It was, as they say, money well spent. We need to get into the habit of using our stuff till they die on us. Though we should really be doing all we can to resuscitate them. You’ll feel loads better cause when you look after your things, they’ll look after you!

This inflation thing might be sticking around for some time so build these habits before these nasty price hikes get the better of us. Make your money super-stretchy. Stick to a budget and if you’re reading this now, you most likely already have everything you need. 

Needs versus wants, guys. It makes all the difference. 

Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment