"Oh my god, the price increased again?" This is one statement that we often find saying a lot these days and with how the future looks, there is hardly going to be a moment of relief. With world events changing rapidly, it is no secret that the prices of goods are going up and Millenials are finding it harder to keep up with the inflation. This is probably the second recession we are expiring in two decades and along with being highly damaging to the economy, affording a lifestyle that you were previously used to is getting more and more difficult.
Some people base their entire shopping trips around the time when there are heavy discounts on big stores but even then, we hear complaints of the price slashes not being enough. Honestly, the trend suggests that we 100% need to change our lifestyle and make it so that it becomes easy to face the challenges of the current and future inflation. The only consolation during this time is that all of us are in the same boat and so while living paycheck to paycheck is not ideal, it is at least keeping us afloat. In 2022, after the threat of pandemic significantly lowered, 72% of Americans voiced their concerns over the inflation and said that it is worrying them more than usual. The research was carried out by Ziff Media Group Q1 2022 Trends Survey in January 2022.
What to Do During Inflation?
So, what’s the solution? How to fight inflation and what to do during inflation? How can we make sure that we don’t only save enough money and survive during these tough times but also get to maintain a healthy lifestyle? As more and more students are graduating and entering the workforce, it is important to come up with a set of plans that will help them build their life better. The Commerce Department released data in November of 2021 that suggested that there has been a 5.7% increase in the Consumer Price Index in the last 12 years which is unlike most trends observed in the previous 39 years.
While the problem does look bad, there is nothing you can't fix with some healthy habits. We understand that capitalism has told you that if you don't buy a cup of coffee every day from Starbucks or take your lunch to work instead of stopping at Applebee’s, you’d be able to afford a house. These observations are a gross underestimate of the working and living conditions most Millenials experience. However, that doesn't mean that you can't save money and be in a better position at the end of the month with a few introductions to habits in your lifestyle.
What to Expect from 2022?
Before we give you tips on those changes that will drastically improve your life, let’s look at the sectors that are experiencing inflation and what is the prediction of the trend of inflation during 2022. If you have been keeping up with the news, the world is quite literally on fire. In the east, you have the Ukraine-Russia war which is directly affecting every country due to globalization. In the West, we have a proper crisis situation as far as healthcare is concerned and despite the change in government to Democratic, the reforms that people were looking forward to haven’t really changed. There is great instability in the prices and every day, the dollar market fluctuates internationally.
The problem is that many governments are blaming inflation on the pandemic when trends show that while it may have been a motivating factor, we were heading towards a crisis anyway. While billions were being invested into Tesla's program of space launch, the homelessness and crises were increasing in the United States. The demand for goods among the citizens is decreasing and due to inflation, the imports of the US products and services are also on the decline due to inflation, serving as a domino effect. So, if you were wondering why is inflation so high right now, it is because both demand and supply are out of sync and the pandemic made sure we saw the gaps in the disparity. An expert on the situation, Yoni Mazor who is the CEO of GETIDA said that most of the factors that pushed inflation to increase in 2021 will continue in 2022. The simple translation of that is, “get ready folks, things are going to get worse”. This is quite a worrying thought and many people are already looking for places to invest money in. But, it is not like we haven’t seen such a situation before? Of course, the challenges will be massive and therefore, it is necessary to start making changes to your lifestyle as soon as possible.
Sectors Affected the Most
Of course, the rise in inflation doesn't mean that you will see empty markets and a lack of will of people to shop for things. You have to survive and in order to do that, you need to shop. If any of the following things are on your to-buy list this year, do evaluate your options and continue reading to find out how you can afford them and how to fight inflation when it keeps increasing periodically?
The world without electronics doesn’t exist anymore. Even in the most developing areas today, you will find signals and the internet which is a great thing for globalization. The world is more connected now than ever. But, that also means you are highly dependent on the electronics around you. Whenever there is a sale on Best Buy or Amazon, the one thing that people seek out the most is electronic items, and rightfully so. Not only do they make lives easier but you are guaranteed consistent results with them. But, the prices of microchips are going up and that is one of the most vital things needed in the development of electronics.
The problem here is slightly opposite to what we see in the other sectors. As far as electronics are concerned, the demand for them hasn't lowered. In fact, now more than ever, people are looking for these items but since the prices of microchips are continuously increasing, suppliers are unable to meet the demands. The few that are working to make sure their customers are satisfied to have raised the prices and people are forced to buy those, putting the other suppliers out of business.
This is the first thing an average worker thinks of investing in when it comes to making their lives easy. The USA produces some of the cheapest cars in the world and that is because the manufacturing cost is lowered due to the factories being available in the country itself. However, inflation has affected this sector as well and Mazor suggests that the increase in prices of automobiles is "dramatic". With the development of new technology for electronic cars, the cost of affording a car has become unreachable and that is also because of the price hike in microchips. The problem is that not only can you not afford to buy a new car with the minimum wage staying the same, but the prices of old cars have also shown an upward trend.
The only time we saw the decline in prices of petrol was when during the pandemic, it dropped to almost a single figure. Everyone celebrated the decrease until the dramatic increase came to startle us all. This is what happens in unstable economies: the prices increase and decrease dramatically and whenever there's a downward trend, it is just a spring effect because they shoot up dramatically. Even if you somehow manage to get a car during the inflation, the cost of keeping up with the daily prices of gasoline is unrealistically high. One would consider using public transport instead. The current war between Russia and Ukraine has added more to the inflation since Ukraine is one of the biggest exporters of gasoline in the world.
Planning to renovate your house sounded like a great dream up until a few years ago and people would go for many kinds of changes in their house within a short time. But, that isn’t the case now. When you think about furnishing and changing the look, you have to consider the cost. COVID-19 locked us all in the houses which meant that we were now spending more and more time with the choices we had made in the house and not many people were pleased with it. They began to order new types of work tables, chairs, and also baby furniture since daycare was out of the question. This led to a price surge in the economy and producers found it difficult to keep up with the demand. Mazor says that when you order furniture in 2022, you will find that the waiting time has almost doubled in all major companies and that is because the producers only make furniture that is absolutely needed.
Tips for Fighting Inflation
We know we have painted a very gory image of the situation and it might be freaking you out. However, as we said earlier, "every tunnel has a light at the end". Waiting for relief right now is wishful thinking so all you can do is be extremely prepared for what's to come next and bring healthy changes in your lifestyle. Buying gifts, treating yourself, and thinking about your home are all activities that you can't stop. What you can do is a plan for them ahead. Here are some tips that will help you strategize your shopping habits:
1. Let Go of Some Purchases
The urge to shop is never-ending and if you are anything like us, you can never satisfy the itch of buying everything you see online. Honestly, the amount of time some of us spend on Amazon just browsing through different items without any intention of buying is insane. But the problem arises when you actually end up filling the list and clicking on the purchase, knowing it would put a dent in your savings. It does feel nice temporarily but in the long run, you are left with no money at the end of the month. This is why it is important to let some things go. Make a list of items that you absolutely need and the ones that you are buying just because your heart is telling you to or your friends have them. Have patience, learn the art of rationalizing with yourself, and eventually, you will get better at it.
2. Make Use of Promo Codes and Coupons
This is one of the best ways of saving money. We know that not all brands and stores are quite enthusiastic about people shopping for lower prices. But, the only good thing about more brands coming to the market is the competitiveness it has increased. This means that stores, despite being reluctant, are forced to give out coupons and discounts to the customers just because the other is doing it. It's not like it doesn't benefit the stores at all. In fact, sales during these times almost double which is great for business. During Black Friday and Christmas, there is a massive profit for many businesses, and retail flourishes in the season. Always be on the lookout for coupons( Like Amazon Coupon Code, or Papa Johns Promo Code) and use them strategically for your purchases. Yes, the price may not be ideal but it would still be lower than the original and it is all about saving a few bucks during inflation.
3. Sign Up for Reward Programs
We know that you too roll your eyes when you look at the reward programs given out by many stores and brands. They look too good to be true and ask for lots of commitment to the store. We understand the situation but looking at the current inflation, you should save money whenever and however you can. Sign up for the reward programs that promise cashback after some quantity of shopping. For instance, Target has one of the biggest reward programs so you get 1% back on all your purchase by using the Circle scheme. The greatest thing is how minimal effort it requires. You just have to scan the code at the checkout and your number is fed into the system. When you go back to shop the next time, you can easily claim those points back.
It is more like securing your future purchases but in times like these, you have to make do with everything.
4. Cash Backs are Important
Reward programs and cashback are usually tied together but some stores are quite particular with the latter. Now there are some brands that don't give out coupons at all. It has nothing to do with their policy, they just don't and even the customers don't stop shopping in those stores. But, how does that happen? It is because they ask for your loyalty in return. When you buy something from them, you give them a sort of guarantee that you will be coming back and that means that on your visit, you will earn some percentage of your money back and will be able to utilize it. It is amazing because you can use that cash on anything.
5. Follow the Social Media Pages
Now we know that browsing through pamphlets is a thing of the past but that doesn't mean you can't be a little old school to prepare for the future. In fact, you don't have to go through any papers at all. Things have now become digital and that means that most of the sites are always posting online to keep their customers up to date and we suggest that you make use of that. There are some special days when they are offering stellar price slashes which you can access on that day only. Of course, there are weekly and monthly discounts too but those are slightly lower than the ones that are valid for just a few hours. So, it is your time to shine and shop to your heart’s content.
So, these are some of the tips that can keep you afloat during the tough times. The pandemic as well as other factors have weighed in to make inflation almost impossible to bear but with the right set of habits, you can make do with anything.
Frequently Asked Questions
Try to shop with discounts and coupons and be on the lookout for price slashes.
Make lists and buy what’s absolutely necessary instead of clicking on the first item.
They give out coupons and discounts and special offers as well.
Yes, by using the correct channels of reward programs and signing up for newsletters.
You get a percentage of money back with the apps of the store.