Happy Aging is a unique series focused on how to help you age well. These stories have been created in cooperation with AARP and Word In Black.
If inflation were a sound, it’d be a loud gasp at the checkout counter of your nearest grocery store. Food prices are up, along with fuel and airfare. It’s the effect of record inflation – the highest in 40 years, according to Consumer Price Index data. Nearly 80% of Black adults over age 30 surveyed by AARP have adjusted their lifestyles within the past year due to inflation. Even though it’s unclear how long the high prices will last, all is not lost if you want to build up your savings.
Start By Monitoring Changes in Your Costs
Ask yourself, “How much extra money do I need in order to cover my expenses?”
If you have a savings account and an investment account, then use an inflation calculator to see how the value of your money has changed.
Increase Work Income
This may be easier to read than to do. The idea, here, is to increase the amount of income that you receive from part-time gigs, full-time jobs, or independent contract work. The more income you have, the easier it’ll be to grow your savings in the midst of inflation.
Micro-investing is a simple concept. When you make payments, the amount is automatically rounded up and directed into an investment account. This will help you get into the habit of investing even if you do not have a large amount of cash to deposit. If you have a savings account, consider depositing some of your money into an investment account.
Pay Off Credit Cards With the Highest Debt
High debt is a threat during inflation. Keep your balance down and transfer balances to credit cards with low-or-no interest rate whenever possible.
Saving during periods of inflation is a long game. Depending on your needs, moving or selling unwanted items could help you achieve your savings goals.
The average life expectancy in the United States is now 70.8 years old, which means that inflation will come and go. But you’ll be prepared.
For more tips on how to handle inflation, read this AARP Cheat Sheet.