The cost continues to rise. Wages not. How to survive the wild economy of 2022


    It’s confirmed. You’re not going crazy – inflation does. And if you’re like most of us, your wages are not keeping up with this historic inflation we faced during the pandemic years.

    Things will eventually settle down as supply inevitably gives way to demand, though that is little comfort when the wild economy of 2022 is ready to set you back or knock you off track.

    Gloves up! We have five tips to help you absorb some of the impact, roll with the blows, and get through 2022 in good financial shape:

    1. Stick to a budget

    If you don’t already have a budget, a budget may be the most effective way to get through this economy.

    Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you are bad with your money. Budgets help you manage your money more efficiently and spend more money on the things that matter most to you.

    Start with a free budgeting app, work out how much money you’re making each month, and account for all expenses, including the unexpected. Try to leave room for savings, entertainment, and misjudgment.

    Here’s an overview of eight of our most popular budgeting apps, some of which are completely free.

    2. Increase your savings

    We hate it, but it’s okay if you need to temporarily cut down on your savings to fund other areas of your budget. What’s wrong is the fraction of the interest you earn on a regular savings account at one of the «big banks».

    When you sign up for a debit card called Aspiration, you can get up to 83 times the normal national interest rate on your savings and get up to 5% back when you browse certain stores.

    Denisa Petricko did that. The financial planner had saved her money with a «big bank», but when she looked at the breakdown more closely, she was not satisfied with what she found.

    «After looking at the breakdowns of how my money was being handled by a major bank, I found that I had large sums of money that were just in one account and accumulating interest – but not for me,» she said. «It was for the banks themselves.»

    Then she switched to aspiration.

    Enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and is subject to military encryption. This is nerd talk for «that’s perfectly safe».

    3. Sell a vehicle you don’t rely on

    It’s a terrible time to buy a car. But when you have a decent set of wheels that you don’t need, there’s hardly a better time to sell it.

    This tip could offer thousands of dollars in financial relief for those who have a second or third car or truck, and those who have access to reliable public transportation.

    Just don’t plan on buying a replacement anytime soon. If you do this now, you might be lucky enough to balance the two transactions. The same bottlenecks that make selling a great time make it a miserable time to buy a new or used vehicle.

    4. Stop paying your credit card company

    Would you pay a 16% grocery tax on top of state and local taxes? How about 24% for housewares? You would likely shop elsewhere if taxed that much upfront.

    However, if you have credit card debt, you can pay up to 36% of daily expenses over time, rather than upfront. And your credit card companies love it – but a website called AmOne wants to help.

    If you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, AmOne will provide you with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

    The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), a larger portion of your monthly payments is used to pay off the loan.

    You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan – and comparing your options doesn’t affect your score at all.

    It takes less than a minute and only takes 10 questions to see which loans you qualify for – you don’t even have to enter your Social Security number.

    5. Buy or refinance a home

    Rents are just not going to give way, but mortgage rates are still just above historical lows.

    If you’re looking to buy a home, maybe it is time to take the plunge. And if you already own a home, refinancing your mortgage can free up money in your budget.

    Warning: If you live in a hot real estate market, it may be better to keep paying rising rents than to tie yourself to a home, which can lose significantly in value once supply catches up with demand.

    Curious about refinancing? We’ve got you covered with our top home refinancing considerations.

    5. Join the great resignation

    It happens for a reason. People are leaving jobs where they are overworked and underpaid and making their way to greener pastures. And they like what they found.

    We know. Nobody wants to be told to quit a job they like. But the best solution to money problems is simply more money.

    Even if you like your job and your salary, it doesn’t hurt to see if you could do better. It’s a job market right now. And as remote working becomes more common, you have many more options to advance your career and increase your income.

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