Is there a way to protect against inflation on a daily basis?

Dear Dave,

All the talk about inflation news is a little scary. Is there a way to protect yourself from it on a daily basis?

Attic

Dear Garret,

When people start talking about inflation, it seems like there are always some who want to start collecting gold, filling up every gas can they own, and putting their money under their mattresses. But listen, you can prepare for inflation and tackle the results without panicking.

You are still in control of your money, inflation or not. You will be able to make sure that your money is going towards the right things, as well as being able to find places where you can cut your expenses, if you live on a written monthly budget. If you notice that the prices of things like food and gasoline are increasing in your area, you will need to adjust your budget to take this into account. This way you will know exactly what you are working with and it will prevent you from unpleasant surprises.

If you really feel the need and want to save even more, look for specific ways to lower your grocery bill or save money on gas. Maybe it’s time you switched to generic brands or started carpooling at work. If you find any good deals on canned foods and things you can store in your pantry – I’m talking about things you’ll actually use – go ahead and buy some more. Just make sure you’ve budgeted for it before you head to the grocery store. You’ll want to know exactly what you’re going to spend already, so you don’t get caught up in impulse buying.

Like it or not, inflation is one thing. If you’re planning on retiring someday, it’s pretty much certain that the cost of a loaf of bread, a tank of gasoline, and even a cup of coffee will have increased by then. The best way to protect yourself against the inevitable inflation is to invest your money, and the sooner the better. But remember, if you still have debts other than your mortgage and don’t have an emergency fund of three to six months of spending, you need to take care of these things first!

-Dave


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