Normally when you see a constant general increase in the prices of goods and services, more likely it is a sign that inflation is taking place. Therefore, I can safely say that inflation is here. Fuel prices are at an all-high rate for as high as $7.30 per gallon. The price of groceries has increased significantly and in some cases the price has doubled. The minimum price for renting a one-bedroom apartment is now around $1,000. Interest rate has now increased and so your loan payments have increased. However, the one thing that has not increased is your income. I don’t know how some people are making it given that everything around them is increasing except their income. These price increases are enough to drive you to depression and even bankruptcy, but I want to encourage you today from a different angle. Don’t panic. Let us cope with this inflation. I know things are rough now, but these times will not remain forever even though it may be for a while before we get out of it. Here are few tips on coping with inflation.
I know no one wants to revert to how they used to live but sometimes though to beat this inflation, we got to go back living like the good old times. One of those good old times was just one vehicle per family. (The truth be told, most of us did not have any vehicle but I know we all need at least one vehicle now) Many of us in our household have at least three vehicles, the wife has a vehicle, the husband has a vehicle, and the child has a vehicle. It may be tough doing this but let us try and use one vehicle. Drop your husband, wife, or children off to work and park the rest of the vehicles at home rather than spending money on fuel and repairs and maintenance.
Compare and check the prices
Check the prices before you pay for something. You may reach to a gas pump and discovered the price is $7.30. Trust me, don’t commit, go to the next gas station and you will find a price that is lower for the same grade of gas. When you go out to eat, check the prices before you place your order. My wife told me the other day, she went to get oatmeal from an establishment, and she was used to paying a certain price but this time when she went there, the cashier advised her what her total would be and so she did not proceed with the order. Sometimes you may take things for granted and assume the prices are the same as last time especially if their prices are not displayed. However, the best thing to do is to know the prices.
Purchase in bulk and in advance
With the prices increasing literally every day, maybe we should consider purchasing items in bulk and keeping them in a secure and safe place. However, you will have to control and discipline yourself so that you do not consume all at once. Another alternative is to join with your coworkers or family members in purchasing in bulk.
Ask for an increase in compensation
I know many people are asking for an increase in the minimum wages. I am not sure how many people are getting paid at minimum wages. Personally, I think that number is lot lower than we think. However, I think we should simply ask our employers for an increase and justify to them why you should get an increase. You would never know unless you ask and if you don’t ask you may not get it. If you a great employee, that employer will not want to lose you because chances are you may seek alternative employment to cope with this cost of living.
Look for additional income
If you are unable to get an increase in compensation, you should look for another job that pays more. Alternatively, start a business that can provide you with extra income.
Ask for a reduced interest rate
I know that the interest rate has increased but still ask the bank for a reduction in your rate. You may just end up getting a better rate. In addition, make extra payments because with the increased interest rate, you may not notice much difference in your principal even though your bank payments have increased.
Lobby the Government
Lobby the Government to implement a universal basic income and a temporary price control on certain items. You have the power to demand. Stop being too quiet.
Utilize the Consumer Protection Ordinance.
Set an example and file complaints against some of these retailers in accordance with the Consumer Protection Ordinance.
There are some things in life we cannot change or control. We may not be able to control inflation, but we can control our actions. Whatever you do, don’t panic, and don’t worry over your reduced disposable income. There are always ways and means to beat something. Remember “tough times don’t last, tough people do.” Worrying and panicking will not solve the inflation problems. It will only add more problems to your life.