Inflation was recently ranked as a number-one worry to consumers in a CNN poll. I can definitely understand why, CNN showcased several price increases over the past year, from 13% for milk to 33% for gas! It's clear that the prices for items we use everyday are going up up up.
These changes to the economy should spur you to change your saving strategy if you want to ride ride out the ever inflating prices at the pump and the supermarket. Right now you would almost be better of buying milk than putting money into your savings account, 13% growth is pretty good. Pity milk doesn't keep like gold though.
CNN offers three rules to use for anyone trying to save during a time of inflation.
One of the best rules they offer up is to avoid saving in a CD, which typically earns less than the rate of inflation. With all of the recent cuts by the Fed, even my high yield online savings account has dropped below the rate of inflation. I'm not yet ready to pull out and invest elsewhere since that is our emergency fund, but it is disheartening to know that it isn't even keeping up with inflation. The article also points savvy investors toward physical goods for investing and advocates heavily to get a fixed rate for your debt.
So if you are essentially losing value to inflation because of decreased interest rates, should you go on a spending spree? It almost seems like the prudent thing to do doesn't it? It's no wonder the savings rate in the U.S. has tanked in recent years. Combine this with government bailouts for those who borrowed irresponsibly rather than saving and you have significant disincentives to save.
Even with these factors, I don't plan to take the my paycheck straight to local dairy at the end of the week. If you can't get yourself to invest while losing money to inflation, keep shopping around to find a best case scenario or work to pay down any debt you are carrying.
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