Your life is affected by high inflation in SO many ways…
And you’ve got to find ways to weather this inflation storm with least damage.
In this article I share actionable steps 3 – 5 that you can take to outsmart inflation.
3. Be a Smart Shopper
The other day I stopped at a high-end designer brand concession store… This is the store that accepts used items – bags, shoes, pieces of closings – that have brand names like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Ferragamo…
People spent thousands of dollars on these brand names’ items… and then they brought them to this consignment store (some items are brand new) to get a fraction of the price they paid…
So, my invitation to you today, if you want to outsmart inflation, is to be a smart shopper:
a. Choose WHAT you buy: Instead of paying a lot of money for buying what you’re accustomed to, look for ways to switch to more cost-effective alternatives – whether it is your groceries, car insurance, your clothes, or trips.
Go with quality products and services but not necessarily with high-end and pricy choices, because most of the time, the difference is in the marketing and branding! You don’t need to show off brand designers’ labels to feel good about yourself and your life, right?
b. Choose WHERE you buy: Change where you shop to save extra cash – try some lower-cost grocery chains where you can purchase high-quality food for more affordable prices. For example, you can switch from shopping at Whole Foods to Trader Joe for your groceries.
c. Choose what to STOP buying: Review your memberships and subscriptions – gym, cable, health or investment letters… Do you really need $200/month gym membership or $50/month will be good too? Do you need to pay for cable services over $150/month instead of streaming the programs and movies you like for less than half that price?
You got an idea, right? When you’re feeling the pressures of inflation, it can be smart to find cost-effective alternative of getting the things you need.
4. Adjust Your Spending According to Your Values and Priorities
I invite you to take some time to
a. get clear about your priorities right now (your financial priorities change because YOU change!)
b. review your current cash flow
c. pay attention to your spending habits ( some may be unhealthy for your wallet!)
For example, I am up for a new car (I drive 2006 BMW model). After reviewing current prices for new and used cars, I decided to delay my decision to buy a new car. The same with the laptop and other gadgets!
It seems like there’s always a new upgrade coming out for every gadget we own. But if you’re feeling pressured by inflation, choose to resist the urge to upgrade your devices right now.
Consider holding off on spending money on some new devices, unless your current ones are essential for your work and are currently not functional.
Remember that any discretionary spending can be postponed or changed.
You can save some extra cash by simply postponing your purchase now.
Postponing your purchase doesn’t mean you can never have what you want! It means slowing down the rate at which you get yourself new devices.
Find areas where you can swap high-end items for cost-effective alternatives, so that you can still enjoy the things you like.
And this approach applies to things besides gadgets – cars, furniture, appliances, trips, clothes, etc.
Hopefully, the high inflation and supply chain problems we’re seeing now will not last forever.
So, now is a great time to write down your values and priorities to ensure that your spending habits are aligned with what’s most important to you.
You’ve got to be clear about your priorities and adjust your spending habits!
Remember: Intentional spending is the key to financial success.
5. Have Savvy Money Management Strategies
If you follow me and watch my show, you know that I believe wholeheartedly in the power of intentional spending – aligning your money choices with your values and priorities.
In one of the precious episodes of my weekly More Money with Millen show, I talked about creating a money map – allocating your money across 4 accounts – lifestyle, long-terms savings, short-term savings and investment accounts!
In addition to the 4 accounts in your Money Map, you can also take advantage of a Health Spending Account (HSA) account that allows you to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare and dental costs with pre-tax money.
Once you decide what percentage of your income goes to what account, the next step is automate your money flow and your bills’ payment.
By automating your money flow according to your money map (that you design yourself and can recalibrate based on changes in your income and financial priorities), you remove the need to rely on your willpower.
Plus, when you enroll in automatic bills’ payment, you don’t have to worry about paying late fees because you forgot to make a payment.
One more suggestion: If you were saving up for a big purchase or investment but skyrocketing prices left you feeling like your goal is now out of reach, consider extending your timeline for this goal.
In other words, you may save smaller amount every month over a longer period of time, if that’s what it takes.
Do NOT cancel your goals or get discouraged – look for solutions or create solutions!
To your Health, Wealth and Freedom!