If you’re feeling the pinch lately, you’re not alone. Runaway inflation is breathing down our necks every time we open our wallets.
It’s downright scary.
But knowledge is power. Here’s a brief explanation of where we are, how we got here, and what we can do to fight back.
What is inflation?
Inflation simply means rising prices. It happens when there are more people trying to buy stuff than there is stuff to buy.
The pandemic was a textbook example. The government flooded the country with relief checks, creating more money. At the same time, the world’s economy ground to a halt, so there was less supply of everything, from cars to coffee.
More demand, less supply = higher prices.
How does inflation get fixed?
If you want to fix a supply/demand imbalance, you either increase the supply of stuff by making more, or decrease demand by making stuff more expensive.
Both of these things have happened. With pandemic bottlenecks now mostly in the rearview mirror, there’s more stuff available to buy. And for over a year now, the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates, reducing demand by making stuff more expensive to finance.
But taming inflation takes time. So, while we’re waiting for inflation to deflate, fight back. Here are several simple ideas you can check out right now.
1. Use inflation-fighting investments
One of the best ways to protect your savings is diversification. Have money in different types of investments: ideally ones that can go up when others are going down. For example, stocks tend to do poorly when inflation and interest rates are rising and there’s political turmoil brewing.
But there’s one investment that thrives in this scenario: gold.
But keep in mind that not everyone in the gold business is on the up-and-up. Be careful whom you deal with.
Goldco is one company to consider. They offer just about everything, from precious metal IRAs to direct purchases of precious metal coins and bars.
Goldco has been around for more than a decade and has been recommended by celebrities like actor Chuck Norris and even former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
They have an A+ BBB Rating, AAA Rating from Business Consumers Alliance and 4.8 to 5 stars on Trustpilot, Trustlink, Google Reviews and Consumer Affairs.
You’ll even receive up to $10,000 in free silver on qualified purchases.
Maybe gold is right for you; maybe it isn’t. But if you’ve ever wondered, why not take a quick look?
2. Slash your insurance expense
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. But shopping around for a better deal can be a hassle.
Or is it?
Take a few seconds and check out Provide Insurance, the largest online marketplace for insurance in the U.S. Provide Insurance lets you compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in the blink of an eye.
Just answer a few questions about yourself and your driving history. Then Provide will show you the best options for your needs and budget.
You could save up to $610 a year on car insurance by using the Provide marketplace. That’s money you could use for other things, like investing, saving, paying off debt or just having fun.
Don’t let your current insurer overcharge you. Try Provide.
3. Destroy your debt
Inflation has already made stuff more expensive. Why rub salt in the wound by paying 20% interest on your credit cards?
If you’re capable of paying off your debts on your own, do it. But if you’d like some help from a professional, get it. Especially since you can talk to a pro for nothing!
Example? National Debt Relief is one of the most respected providers of debt relief in the country. They’ve helped more than 400,000 people, are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and also top-rated by Top Consumer Reviews, Trustpilot, ConsumersAdvocate and ConsumerAffairs.
How it works: You fill out a form on the company website, then a debt coach will call you to learn more about your situation. If they can help you, they’ll set you up with an affordable plan that works for you — and give you an estimate of when you can expect to be debt-free. There’s no upfront fee and no obligation to get started.
National Debt Relief can help you with almost any unsecured debt, like credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, repossessions … even some student loan debt. Ready to start a new, happier chapter of your life?
4. Borrow from yourself
The average credit card interest rate these days is approaching 25% — a record high. Sounds like what a loan shark would charge, doesn’t it?
Never borrow recklessly, but when it’s time, do it right. Take advantage of much lower rates by borrowing against your home. Use that loan — with rates as low as 6.75% — to fix up your house, to pay off high-interest debt or for any other purpose (besides financing a lifestyle you can’t afford).
That’s a fraction of what credit cards charge, and will literally save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
How do you shop for the best deal? Simple: Head to a loan shopping site like Rocket Mortgage. They’ve eliminated most of the hoops you had to jump through in the past, so it only takes a couple of minutes to see how much you could get.
5. Get a second set of eyes
Even if you’ve been a successful investor for decades, there comes a time in life when it makes sense to get a second opinion from a professional.
A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a professional.
Obviously, there are no guarantees a professional will do better than you. But getting a second opinion from a pro certainly can’t hurt. Even if you don’t need help picking investments, they can help you create a plan, maximize your Social Security, protect your assets and offer you peace of mind by ensuring you’re on the right track.
They can also be there in case one day you’re not.
These days, there are no-cost online services that make it easier than ever to find vetted financial advisers in your area. For example, SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and are instantly matched with up to three local fiduciary financial advisers, all legally bound to work in your best interests.
The process only takes a few minutes, and in many cases you’ll be offered a free consultation.
Nothing to lose, lots to potentially gain.
(Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, "Putting a Value on your Value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor's Alpha."
6. Make more money
It used to be that investing in commercial real estate, like apartment or office buildings, required lots of money and lots of expertise.
Not anymore! Thanks to an online investing platform called Fundrise, now people with modest amounts of money can own a slice of a big real estate portfolio.
Fundrise tears down the traditional barriers needed to invest in real estate property, and so far over 1.7 million consumers have used Fundrise to invest in commercial property.
It takes as little as $10 to get started, the platform is easy to use, it’s open to investors of all experience levels and there are other investment options too, like IRAs.
Fundrise has delivered an average annual rate return of 5.29% over the past five years, a stark contrast to the average, annual 0.23% interest your money gets by sitting in a savings account.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and past performance is no indication of future results. Still, Fundrise has the potential to make more than you’re making now in the bank — or under the mattress. And you can get your feet wet for as little as $10.
Note: This is a testimonial in partnership with Fundrise. We earn a commission from partner links on moneytalksnews.com. All opinions are our own.
Bonus: The best newsletter to beat inflation
What’s free and gives you tips to spend less, make more and avoid rip-offs? The Money Talks Newsletter. Every day we provide free tips and tricks that will make you richer. And it doesn’t cost a dime.
Our readers report saving an average of $941 with our simple, direct advice.
Click here to sign up. It only takes two seconds. And if you don’t like it, it only takes two seconds to unsubscribe. Don’t worry about spam: We never share your email address.
Try it. You’ll be glad you did!