Many people don’t realize it, but inflation is a real and serious problem. Inflation is defined as “a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time” (Investopedia). And while a small amount of inflation is actually good for the economy, too much inflation can be very harmful.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect yourself against inflation. By following these tips, you can make sure that your savings will go further and that you will be able to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Save Your Money
The first and most obvious way to protect yourself against inflation is to save your money.
Go out of your way at this time to spend less, by purchasing second-hand, bartering or even borrowing what you need. Scrutinize every spending decision and make sure it’s absolutely necessary.
If you have extra money at the end of each month, put it into a savings account or invest it in something that will appreciate in value over time, such as property or stocks.
The more money you have saved, the less susceptible you will be to the effects of inflation.
Diversify Your Investments
When it comes to protecting your finances against inflation, diversification is key.
By investing in a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets, you’ll be better able to weather any ups and downs in the market.
For example, if the stock market takes a hit due to inflation, bonds may still hold their value or even increase in value. This diversification will help to ensure that you don’t lose everything if there is an unexpected surge in inflation.
Trim Your Household Expenses
According to the Consumer Price Index, the food index has increased 13.5% over the last 12 months (other categories of food have increased 16.7%), the index for electricity rose 15.8% (the highest 12-month increase since August 1981) and various fuel indexes rose as much as 68.8%!
I don’t have to tell you how much more difficult it is now to pay for the basics! However, the smart consumer must adjust to this “new normal” until things change.
Rethinking the way you buy groceries can help you to buy smarter, not just cheaper.
Shave down your energy bills with these tips:
Do a “line item” audit of your budget and trim where you can, everyone has an excess in their budgets.
Invest in Hard Assets
Another way to protect yourself against inflation is to invest in hard assets which tend to retain their value or even increase in value as inflation increases.
For example, if the cost of living goes up by 3% due to inflation, gold may go up by 4%. This means that your investment will actually grow despite the rise in inflation. Consequently, investing in hard assets can help you keep up with the rising cost of living without having to make major lifestyle changes.
As any savvy investor knows, hard assets are a great way to fight inflation. By definition, hard assets are those that retain their value over time, even as the cost of living rises. This is in contrast to “soft” assets like cash or stocks, which can be quickly devalued by inflation. Hard assets can take many forms, but some of the most popular include precious metals, real estate, and collectibles. While there will always be some risk involved in investing, hard assets offer a level of stability that can help to protect your wealth in times of inflation. So if you’re looking for a way to safeguard your finances, buying hard assets is a smart choice.
Invest in Gold and Silver
Another way to protect yourself against inflation is to invest in gold and silver.
Many people view precious metals as a hedge against inflation. When the cost of living rises and the purchasing power of paper currency falls, precious metals tend to hold their value or increase in value. For this reason, some people believe that buying precious metals is a good way to protect their wealth from inflation.
Precious metals can be bought in various forms, such as coins, bars, or jewelry. They can also be purchased through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds that invest in precious metals. Some people choose to hold precious metals in physical form, while others prefer to invest indirectly through ETFs or mutual funds.
Whichever way you choose to invest in precious metals, it’s important to do your research and consult with a financial advisor to get the best advice for your unique situation.
Buy Real Estate
Real estate is another excellent investment to consider if you want to protect yourself against inflation. Like gold and silver, real estate typically increases in value as the cost of living goes up.
Since land is a finite resource, there will only be so much real estate available for sale at any given time. This makes real estate one of the most limited—and therefore valuable—assets around. If you buy property now, it’s likely that it will be worth more in the future when inflation really takes hold.
Make Sure You Have Insurance
Another important way to protect yourself against inflation is to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on your home, car, life, and health.
As the cost of living goes up, so does the cost of replacing or repairing your possessions. Having insurance will help make sure that you are protected financially in case something unexpected happens down the road.
It can take time to fully fund an emergency fund, but it’s worth the time to do it!
In an emergency, having money set aside for such things can be a true lifesaver!
Begin by saving one month’s living expenses, then progress to 3 months and then 6 months’ living expenses. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, just keep plugging away and save!
Avoid Debt like the Plague
Last but not least, one of the best ways to protect yourself against inflation is to stay out of debt.
When prices go up, your debt payments will become more expensive—and this can quickly lead to financial difficulties if you’re not careful.
So instead of borrowing money from lenders, try to live within your means and save up for big purchases ahead of time. This way, even if prices do go up, you won’t have anything holding you back from being able to afford what you need or want in life.
Conclusion: Inflation can be a major problem if left unchecked—but there are things that you can do to protect yourself against its effects! By following these tips, you can make sure that your savings go further and that you are able to keep up with the rising cost of living.