Inflation in the United States rose to 8.2% in September 2022, according to the OECD, the highest it’s been in 40 years. While that may seem alarming, there are ways to beat inflation.
Get Smart about Money
The first step to beating something is to understand it. If you want to get ahead of inflation woes, now is the time to level up your financial education. Sign up for a class, read your bank’s blog or start listening to a reputable financial advice podcast to educate yourself about financial matters.
Many of the financial fears surrounding inflation come from a feeling of helplessness in the face of unknown economic change. If you know more about what inflation means, how it happens and how it can affect you, figuring out a way to beat it will be empowering, not intimidating.
Inflation may wreak havoc on your personal finances. As the cost of living goes up, your spending can quickly get out of control and it’s easy to make mistakes by just trying to hang on to your usual lifestyle. Part of getting smart about money in times of inflation includes taking the time to think about your money and where it goes. Create a budget and be more conscious of your spending and saving, so you can see where inflation is pinching you hardest and figure out ways to relieve the financial pressure.
Invest in the future
Markets dip in times of inflation, which means that even if you can’t invest as much as you would in times of plenty, the money you may put into the market will pay off big when things recover.
If the market values are down, that means low prices on stocks and bonds, so you may want to buy some if you can to cash in later. Diversify your investments and think long term. A little bit now may turn into a lot later.
Get on Top of Debt
Inflation means interest rates usually rise. This means that it’s more expensive to borrow money, and your loans and credit cards with variable interest rates will get more expensive.
If you have any variable interest rate loans or cards, it’s a good idea to either try to pay them off or consolidate them into fixed-rate loans to keep rising interest rates from costing you a bundle.
Cut Costs Where You Can
If you find yourself spending more than you want to due to a higher cost of living, look at where you can comfortably cut costs.
This doesn’t mean you have to travel back to the 90s and start clipping coupons (unless you want to). It does mean your favorite shops may have apps that show you where you can save while you’re shopping. Some of them even pay out points on purchases, then let you redeem those points for store credits or cash later.
If you’re nervous about sharing data with local stores and their corporate umbrellas, look to your bank instead. Many banks have rewards-based accounts that point you towards good shopping deals and offer cash back on some purchases. Keep an eye out for places that offer creative ways to save on your everyday purchases.
Get a Side Hustle
When costs rise, often the easiest solution is to find a way to make your income rise along with them. If you want to beat inflation, look into getting a side hustle.
A side hustle is a way of making income outside of your regular job. It may be something as simple as joining the gig economy — food delivery, ride sharing or helping people move could net you hundreds of extra dollars a month.
Side hustles may also be an expansion of your regular work. Freelancing is a great way to capitalize on your existing network to find extra opportunities to earn.
Increase Your Salary
This might seem easier said than done. But you’ve seen the headlines: “Quiet quitting” is all the rage and a lot of workplaces are finding themselves with a lot to do and not enough employee power to do it. Why not capitalize on the market and put in for the next available promotion?
If promotions aren’t on the horizon at your current place of employment, it’s a good time to think about moving to where you feel most valued. If you think you could make more money at a different company, reach out to your network and look into options for making a move.
Get a High-Yield Savings Account
In times of financial downturn, it’s more important than ever to make your money work for you, even if it’s sitting in a savings account as a cushion for a rainy day. Your savings may protect your financial future and security, but they may also earn you more money.
Putting your savings into a high-yield savings account means that your safety net also becomes a source of income. High-yield accounts earn more interest than regular savings accounts, so your money will grow and provide even more of the security you need.
As interest rates go up on loans and credit cards, the interest you may earn in a high-yield savings account also goes up. This is a great time to open an account and take advantage of rising rates.
Quontic Bank cannot and does not guarantee the information applicability or accuracy regarding your individual circumstances. This is not financial advice, nor should it constitute or be construed as instruction for any individual reader, or group of readers, to act or make a decision in any financial capacity. Seeking independent, professional consultation from a qualified and licensed expert is always the optimum avenue in making financial decisions. Information is accurate as of December 12, 2022 & is subject to change without notice.