Inflation: What If We Wait It Out?

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The inflation that we are seeing has a toll on many different consumables. The two significant parts of our lives that we have felt the most on our wallets are energy and food.

The worst part about inflation is the tightening of our budgets. And the question of whether we wait it out or not is the same question our ancestors asked during the precipices of recessions and depressions. There was only one time when the people of the US were able to wait for prices to go down without causing massive issues, and that was at the end of World War I.

Money is the blood of the economy, and we are the muscles in the heart simulating that we take the money in (income) and push the money out (purchasing).

And if we decide to stop purchasing slowly in any area of the economy, that’s what causes heart issues or potential recessions. The immediate stopping of purchasing causes an economic heart attack, which, if you look at many of the graphs from the stock indexes, looks a lot like an EKG. We see an arrhythmia, and then boom, a shock is delivered, and we are back on top.

But how long does it take for a lifesaving shock to happen depends on who we ask to execute it? Do we ask the wealthy to pour their monies back into the economy? Most of the wealthy’s money may be in stocks, real estate, and other non-liquid assets that may have lost a lot of value, which don’t become real money until someone, or countries buys it.

A government is another one we could ask for help, but that ends up with buyouts and usually what we are seeing today, which is inflation. Perhaps, an answer is that we, the common folk, can do our part along with the wealthy and the government doing their part; no one entity should be fully responsible for all.

What do we do? Is patience the right way to do it by tightening our budgets, hoping that the budgeting doesn’t go too far? Or do we move ahead and spend the money on the times blissfully with the idea that it can’t last forever. That former may be the best option for today and tomorrow.

The price of Crude Oil to the dollar’s value in today’s numbers is relatively high. However, we are seeing the dollar’s value attempting to catch up.

The dollar’s value will eventually intersect with the cost of crude oil. The advice to hold tight and think about how to save on trips that may be redundant or avoidable is advisable.

If you buy groceries multiple times per week, try to get that down to one trip. While you’re at it, I have some tips to help reduce the cost of your groceries too.

The grocery stores order app may be the best option to accomplish a one to a two-trip grocery run. There is the first growing pain if you have not used it before. However, the returns on your investment of starting to use the grocery app may be worthwhile in this climate.

If you already order with a grocery app, there is a history of past items you have bought before. You will need those items again, and you can build off that list.

Continue to go back and review those items and start to project when you may need those items; it’s called proactive consumer purchases. The oh factor for what I need for the week and next week will appear, and one trip grocery runs become achievable.

A good tip is to also purchase groceries during a day and time that is less busy, and the grocery stores will not add a surcharge for busy times to your bill.

Having leftovers for lunch is a big way to save $1,500–2,000 annually. And this is how you can slow your spending in the hyperinflation areas of food and energy with confidence that your action and patience could lead to a short-lived recession.

References:

Buchholz, K. (2022). How inflation changed the price of a hamburger. Statista. https://www.statista.com/chart/27477/year-over-year-change-in-the-price-of-selected-ingredients-of-a-hamburger/

Consumer Price Index. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/cpi/

French, M. (2022). Stronger U.S. dollar contributes to higher crude oil prices in international markets. U.S. Energy Information Administration. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=52399

McGrath, K. (2020) How to save money when online grocery shopping. US News. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/how-to-save-money-when-online-grocery-shopping

Rockeman, O., Patton, L., Sasso, M. (2022). Inflation on the menu as U.S. restaurants pass on soaring costs. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-23/u-s-restaurants-boost-menu-prices-at-fast-clip-to-recoup-costs

Shiller, R. J. (2017). Narrative Economics. The American Economic Review, 107(4), 967–1004. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44251584