You know how we are about planning ahead at Harvard Grace… but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t always know what’s around the corner. One way to protect yourself from the unpredictable is to simply “expect the unexpected.”
We’ve learned over time that when something shakes up the economy, a period of inflation often follows, so to be truly prepared for the future, your finances need to be inflation-proof. Inflation can eat up your savings and plans for the future. However, you can take steps to protect yourself from inflation.
Consider these tips to protect your finances:
- Understand purchasing power. Purchasing power refers to your ability to buy items such as necessities and luxuries. One of the main issues with inflation is that your purchasing power goes down as inflation goes up.
- For example, your $1 could buy an item yesterday, but today you’ll need $5 to buy the same item.
- Unfortunately, interest rates and incomes don’t always keep up with inflation.
- Consider investing in the stock market. Do you have investments in the stock market? Instead of taking them out after every drop, plan a long-term strategy.
- Long-term investments in stocks may protect you from inflation.
- Commodities tend to increase in value during inflation. For example, coffee or grains may survive inflation well on the stock market because they’re commodities.
- Consider real estate investments. Real estate can be a powerful investment tool.
- Real estate can fluctuate in value. If you’re considering an investment, then you may want to be careful.
- Although real estate prices can go up during inflation, you have to consider your ability to handle all of the loans and mortgages. Even if you rent out the properties, how will you handle periods without renters?
- Commercial real estate can be even more complicated than buying a home. If you want to invest in commercial real estate, then you also have to deal with zoning laws and extra fees.
- Land is another possible investment option.
- Consider investing in your future. You have the power to survive inflation, and you can take steps to deal with it.
- Have you considered investing in your future by going back to school? A diploma, certification, license, or degree may help you earn more money and provide a bigger cushion during times of inflation. But do your research! Additional school could also just land you in a bunch of student debt.
- Paying for school isn’t the only choice. You can also take free classes online or from other organizations. You can build your skill set and discover new hobbies that can increase your income.
- Try to make your income sources grow. If you can make your sources of income increase, then inflation will have a lower impact on you. Ask for a raise or up your rates.
- Get rid of as much debt as you’re able. As inflation rises, the interest rates on your debts can also rise.
- Consider your Social Security benefits. During periods of inflation, benefits such as Social Security usually can’t keep up with the growing prices. Be prepared for this event. Have some savings that will cover you when prices go up.
Inflation isn’t always easy to predict or avoid. However, you can take action to make it have a smaller impact on your finances. Follow these strategies and protect yourself, your family, and your finances from inflation. Expecting the unexpected is really the only way to “plan” for a situation like this, and after the past couple of years, we’re rethinking a lot of what we thought we knew about planning at Harvard Grace. If you want to chat about your plans, grab some time with us today!