Inflation Could Continue Into 2022. Here's How to Fight It

by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 16, 2021

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A man wearing a medical mask while selecting produce in a grocery store.

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Rampant inflation could be with us for a while. Here are some tips for managing higher costs.


Key points

  • Consumer prices have soared this year due to limited supply and high demand.
  • Boosting your income and cutting back on spending could help you combat inflation and avoid landing in debt.

You've probably noticed that just about everything you're buying these days costs more than it did a year ago. That's because inflation has been on the rise, and unfortunately, it's showing no signs of cooling off.

Now to be clear, some amount of inflation is normal. The problem is that the recent rate of inflation has been rapid, causing prices to increase quickly.

Of course, the scary thing about inflation is that it has the potential to drive you into debt. This especially holds true if you're already living paycheck to paycheck without any money in savings to fall back on. To avoid financial struggles in the near term, here are some tips for fighting back against inflation.

1. Cut back on expenses that aren't essential

When the cost of groceries or gas rises, consumers have no choice but to pay up. That's because you need to eat and you need to be able to get places. But there may be things you spend money on that technically aren't needs, even though they might seem that way.

Take entertainment. It's important to have ways to stay occupied, and paying for entertainment could help your mental health. But technically, it's not a need. If you're currently spending $50 a month on different streaming services, you may need to cancel one or two. If you're able to cut that $50 a month down to $30, that could help compensate for a week's worth of higher gas fill-ups and groceries.

2. Fight for a higher cost-of-living raise at work

Some companies give out raises based on merit, while others give a blanket raise to everyone that reflects an increase in the general cost of living. In a normal year, a 3% cost-of-living raise may suffice. But this year, that'll mean losing buying power.

If your employer gives out a 3% raise across all employees this year, rally your fellow colleagues and fight for a higher boost in pay. Write a group letter to your management team explaining that recent inflation has made paying for essentials more difficult and ask that they respectfully reconsider the extent to which they're raising wages.

3. Boost your income with a side job

When inflation is rampant, your paycheck may not cover your expenses -- even if you do end up snagging a slightly higher cost-of-living raise for 2022. A good way to boost your pay and keep up with your rising prices is to get a side hustle on top of your main job.

A lot of industries are struggling to hire right now, which means there may be more opportunity to pick up an evening or weekend side hustle. For example, local restaurants that are having a hard time finding servers and delivery drivers may need your help on Friday and Saturday nights, when you're not at your main job.

There are also side hustles you can do more independently, like driving for a ride-hailing company. See what fits best with your schedule and income goals.

Inflation may not be going away anytime soon. To avoid debt in the near term -- or the new year -- do what you can to keep up with the higher costs so many consumers are facing.

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