I’ve complained about it long enough. I’m not sure why I continue to act surprised (and offended, even) at the gas pump and the grocery store. I recently realized it’s time I come to terms with this out-of-control economy and buckle up for the long haul. Thankfully, there are a few things I can control, and I’m choosing to focus on those as I enter the fall. Here are my tips. They aren’t earth shattering, but they are fundamentally important as we move forward together in facing our inflation fears.
Inflation isn’t just an American problem. Our world is facing the worst global food crisis since WWII, and a large part of the problem is how the price of goods and gas has soared over the past year. When times get tough, the most vulnerable in our world are hit the hardest. Inflation mercilessly shoves people in poverty even further down into a trap that is almost impossible to escape. My perspective is challenged when I remember that there are people in the world earning less than $1.90 a day. I can still feel worry for my own situation. But when I step back, my inflation worry is turned inside out, and I grow more empathetic to those around me.
Keep perspective and persevere. Many of us in the U.S. can weather this storm, but there are others hanging on for dear life, waiting for the Lord’s provision one meal at a time. If you have the financial margin, this is a critical time to fight hunger and give hope! Respond to the Global Food Crisis and provide for urgent needs as well as sustainable solutions.
I know it seems basic but, in this fast-paced world, we have to discipline ourselves to slow down and plan ahead. This practice allows us to maximize our hard-earned dollars, be strategic about our spending and avoid inflation fears by preparing for life’s expected (and sometimes unexpected) events.
Plan ahead with a budget. If you have one, you can skip this paragraph. But if you don’t, it’s never been more important to get real about your finances. Make sure you decide on your non-negotiable budget items first — things like bills, food and housing costs. Make sure your values are represented on your list of essentials too. Some people include giving to their local church in this category. For many Compassion sponsors, maintaining their sponsorship is a non-negotiable line item. Work in non essential spending categories and savings next. Our family loves the 50/30/20 rule (50% on essentials, 30% on wants, 20% on debt or emergency fund). However you slice it, using a budget to plan ahead during these challenging times is key.