Rising inflation with no real end in sight is dominating the headlines and conversation these days, and rightfully so.
Think about it. If the value of the dollar inflates by 5 percent, whatever money you have just lost five percent of its value.
Or think about it like this. Let’s say you’ve saved up $10,000. 5 percent inflation is like the bank coming in and taking $500 out of it.
And as that inflation persists, more and more keeps getting taken out. All that money you worked for, just evaporating, for nothing.
Well, what are you supposed to do?
People will tell you that you need to get out of cash and invest in assets that retain or grow their value. There are a lot of choices and a lot of experts to tell you why each one is best.
Whether it’s real estate, stocks, bitcoin, the classic gold or silver, or something else.
All of those are potentially great ideas if you’re interested and have the cash to deploy, but we’re not going to talk about those here today.
We’re going to look at some very basic, inflation-busting ideas that anybody can employ right now, virtually regardless of how much money you have, and help keep the effects of inflation at bay as much as possible.
You do not need a lot of investable cash to do something to help protect yourself against the ravages of inflation.
Inflation at the grocery store
You know you’ve seen the effects of inflation at the grocery store. Items going up in price by 50 cents here, a dollar there, and not stopping. Your grocery bill is going up and it’s like a major tax increase hitting you every week, or it’s like a pay decrease hitting your paycheck every week.
Your old grocery bill of $200 is now $225. $225 will shortly be $250. You could say a little bit here and a little bit there really adds up, but the problem is that little bit is becoming a bigger and bigger bit all the time. The money you earned buys less and less of what it used to. Because of inflation, you are now working for less, which makes it all the more important to keep those expenses down.
So, besides investing in assets, let’s start with some of the little things you can do to keep those grocery bills down in particular.
Inflation provides yet another reason to stock up
We’ve been talking about the need to stock up on this site for a variety of reasons lately and inflation is just one more.
When the prices of food start going up by five or ten percent (check your grocery bill – they have, they have been for a while, and even the government says it will keep rising for a long while) you’re getting the same products but are losing lots and lots of money.
It’s like an investment gone horribly, horribly wrong.
If someone told you that your savings or investments would lose five or ten percent year-over-year, or even more frequently than that, you might be devastated.
Yet you also might be allowing that to happen to you at the grocery store right now.
So stock up.
The prices you see today will likely be higher “tomorrow”. Inflation is going up and there is no real plan to stop it any time soon.
If you do not stock up on some items now, you are going to lose money on them in the future.
So take a look at your grocery list. What non perishable items do you buy? Figure out what those are and buy more of them now before the prices go up again.
If you know you are going to need those items in, say, six months from now, buy them now.
In six months, they could be five or ten percent more. If you buy them now, you are saving five or ten percent.
It’s the equivalent of investing money in something that will return five or ten percent to you in six months. Most anybody would be thrilled with that investment.
Today, you could make that investment at the grocery store and this is something I have done
Stock up on everyday clothing
There is very little that’s interesting about socks and underwear.
Except one thing.
With the exception maybe of how they are packaged, in effect they never change.
The socks you wear today are strikingly similar to the socks you wore yesterday, 10 years ago, 20 years ago.
With the exception of specialty socks or certain styles that were not available, your grandparents could have handed down boxes of unopened packs of socks bought when they were children and they would be just the same as the ones you buy today.
Even if you don’t need any socks or underwear right now, in a year you will.
And in two years, three years, four years…
You get the point.
You can buy a whole bunch now and stash them away until you need them later.
You know you will.
And in a year, two years, three years, who knows how much they will have risen in price.
But they will have, that much we know for sure.
And given the inflationary environment we are in, it will likely be a by a lot.
So why wait? They’re not going to be any different. It’s not like some new sock technology is coming out and you’re going to be upset that you missed out. The only thing you’ll be missing out on is the money you would have saved.
So buy more now.
And think about anything else that fits that bill.
Underwear, t-shirts, maybe an extra pair of slippers, whatever works for you.
These items may not seem like much, but when you start adding them up, you could be writing future you a pretty decent sized check.
I don’t know about you, but if someone handed me a check for $100 or $200 today, free and clear, for doing nothing, I would probably be pretty happy about that.
By making these kinds of choices, you are doing that for yourself.
Take a look at the rest of your needs
These ideas are just a start. Your needs are unique and there may be some more ideas that suit you that you can employ to save yourself more money in the future.
Speaking of suits, maybe you’ll need one of those, perhaps for job interviews, weddings, whatever. Getting one now could save you quite a lot on just a single purchase.
Or electronics. For instance, my laptop is starting to slow down. I am going to have to replace it likely within the next year or so. Who knows what the prices will be when that time comes? A $500 laptop today could be $550, $600, who knows how much in the next year or so. So I bought one now and will start using it once I need it.
I just wrote another check to future me and I know he is grateful.
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Shameless plug aside, I hope these ideas are helpful. They are just a start when it comes to combating inflation, but they are available to all of us and are virtually guaranteed to save future you some money.
I’m not even a big shopper and these ideas have saved me likely hundreds of dollars in expenses over the course of the next year already.
What are you doing to save money in this inflationary environment? Please share your ideas in the comments below!
*As always, this article is not meant to give financial advice. Past results are not a guarantee of future returns. Everyone must do their own due diligence and determine the money managing and wealth building strategies that work best for them. Information provided here is meant to provoke thoughts, not provide recommendations. This is not personal legal or investment advice and may not be appropriate for all readers. If personal advice is needed, readers should seek the services of a qualified legal, investment or tax professional.
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