Inflation is whizzing outa control much like in the movies where that fast car just won’t slow down since the drivers’ breaks are ‘mysteriously’ not working. Our driver is the Fed, the car our lovely economy and the breaks are interest rates. But things have gone totally haywire. Our breaks clearly aren’t stopping this car meanwhile its accelerator is being pressed. And hard. Thanks to the lovely combo of low supply leading to high inflation and high demand meaning we get even more of this high inflation stuff. Nice one!
Speaking of cars – not owning one these past few years has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Though not that I could’ve even if I wanted to since I don’t have my full drivers license yet! But still, I’m happy. For starters: fuel is sizzling. I drove, sorry – I was driven by my dear friend aka my personal uber driver and we went past Shell, googling our eyes at the 199p p/litre sign (basically two quid a litre) illuminated in bright red. Hard to miss that number, anyway.
To drive or not to drive?
For people who rely on their car for their line of work (like uber drivers, event planners, at-home stylists, nail artists and so on) have no choice but to fill up their tank with this stupidly pricey fuel unless of course they have an electric/hybrid but those are pricier than your gas-guzzling auto. So it’s another cost to factor in. Or they could travel back in time to when the price of a barrel of oil went negative! Suppliers paid you to take their oil off their hands. Wild times.
Well anyway, driving is one of those things that you’ve just gotta get done. Or so at least I’m told! It’s a basic life skill, apparently. I started learning how to drive a while back but covid kinda derailed it and since I have an extra-long summer to myself since graduating uni, I figured I should probably hit the road sometime soon. So I rang up an instructor who I’ve heard is better (and more reliable than the last one) and his price had gone up by 15% since we last spoke – which btw was two years ago. Madness. He tells me this price hike is down to petrol prices and him passing on these costs, quite directly, to us! I have no choice but to pay the higher price though I’m trying to negotiate a deal of sorts since my sibling wants to drive too!
If you do own a car and are kinda freaked out by these price hikes, why not try walking/cycling for short trips. This’ll not only save you money in petrol but it’s also loads healthier – for you and our dear planet who, during covid, enjoyed some respite from our polluting poison. The less you use your car, the better off you’ll be. On the days you do use your car, you could consider renting out your driveway! This is a handy way of earning a couple bob or two and in London, you could earn as much £2,254 per year. All from renting out a space you aren’t using.
Whatever you do, be smart and be flexible. Many of us don’t actually need cars, they’ve just become so ingrained into our lifestyles that we trick ourselves into thinking that they’re necessities. But for most people, they’re not. So don’t go upgrading your lifestyle before you can afford to. And even if you can afford it, there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be spending it anyway. Read here why it pays to live like you’re fake poor now and get to live real rich later.
Higher food prices feeds into spicy inflation
Okay, the spiel about cars and food is over! Moving onto another, actual necessity – food. Here in the UK, food prices are expected to rise by 15% – the effects of inflation which stand at a 13-year high now mean that we’re having to pay £380 more each year for our groceries. Not pretty.
Supply chains are clearly (still) in tatters. One only needs to look at what was recently going on or rather not going on in the baby formula market to know that things aren’t exactly A-okay. So much so that Nestle (aka Oreo owner) had to go and flow extra baby formula to the US.
Though Britain takes the prize. We’ve somehow managed to score the highest inflation of all the G7 economies (not that it’s a competition, obvs). Lucky me, huh! But chances are that wherever in the world you are right now, you’re seeing prices for almost everything go up.
Haircuts: are their prices still cutting it?!
When it comes to inflation, apart from those pricey driving lessons, haircuts have gone up too. Their price hikes have been so big that even if I couldn’t remember how much they cost pre-covid life, I know it sounds more expensive. I’m curious what your thoughts on returning to the hair salon post-covid and whether you go as often as you used to?
Ever since covid came along, my brother became my new barber. I paid him, obvs! But way less than I used to pay my hairdresser, Becky. My bro was a pro. Or at least he became one! We got into a real groove saving ~£200 each year. But there’s something about the feeling of leaving the salon with glossy hair. Never mind that it goes back to normal after the very next wash! It’s a good feeling and with my hair as thick as it is, I’ve gotta get some of the weight taken out every now and then.
So, when restrictions were lifted, I eagerly rang my hairdresser. The price for a wash, cut and blow dry had risen by a whopper 20%. But having not had a proper cut (sorry, bro!) in two-ish years, this new-and-improved price felt totally justified. Let me tell you this though: the place used to be buzzing before the pandemic. So much so that I could hardly hear myself think. But now it’s empty. I literally had the salon to myself. Along with a groovy 60yo who was getting her hair dyed a cool shade of auburn.
Why am I rambling on about this? Well, inflation is projected to hit 11% on my little island and I can totally see how. The price of basics from fuel to fuel is going up as well as the price of extras, like my haircuts.
Act now, while you still can
All this means that we’re gonna have less disposable income to spend on other things and we’re going to have to start cutting back on certain other (non-essential) things. Either way, no one really knows how long this is all gonna last, and while the Fed is hoping and praying (crossing all ten fingers and toes) for a soft-ish landing since a purely soft landing ain’t happening, you’ve gotta be proactive.
Don’t wait around for anyone. Start making and implementing the tough choices now to ensure you don’t need to do it when you’re forced. Read here why it’s easier to do things when you can, not when you have to.
You want to be sure that you’re still saving and investing for your future. But that won’t happen if you’re spending willy-nilly or if you have no idea where your money’s going on. If you can do without something, ditch it.
On that note, I will not be ditching my driving lessons!
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.