Artist, Author, Mental & Spiritual Health Mentor, Coach for the Creative Mind
How to cope with inflation: some helpful tips
How to cope with inflation: some helpful tips

How to cope with inflation: some helpful tips

I’m sure it’s something on all of our minds right now: inflation. The rising cost of living that we have been forced to cope with in the last month or so is unprecedented. Fuel has sky-rocketed, energy tariffs are through the roof, food prices are squeezing our purse strings, and food shortages are not making it any easier. So what can we be doing to help ease our burden? I’ve had a few thoughts on how to cope with inflation; things that I have been doing myself, and some that I will incorporate too.

God is the source

Often our first instinct is to panic when we are bombarded with so much bad news. And we’ve had a lot of that recently. The war in Ukraine is so terrible to see. The people affected on the ground, those having to flee, the destruction and loss. It is so difficult to fathom in our day and age. It seems so silly to worry about food shortages as a result. Our problems are nothing in comparison. And it has been so encouraging to read about so many Ukrainians being served, helped, and supported by so many around the world. But even more so, those who have told of their resilience through the crisis. So many Ukrainians, and others, reminding us that God is the source of all that we need. In Him, there is no lack.

So often through my life, and especially my married life when I stepped out into independent living, God has shown me His provision. It’s not the first time that John and I have had to think about making ends meet. We’ve had some huge decisions regarding employment that we had to take a leap of faith and trust that God would see us through. And He always has.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34 NIV

Think Practically

One of the first things that I started doing when fuel prices spiked was to think about how to run my car more efficiently. Most of us will have a car and require it for so many activities in our daily lives. How we cope with inflation of fuel costs, therefore, becomes imperative. Here are a few tips:

Hypermiling

Hypermiling is the term given to the various things you can do to maximise fuel efficiency in your vehicle. I am no expert, but I have started ensuring I follow the basics of hypermiling, the main one being to drive at the most fuel-efficient speed of 50mph. Here are some more basics taken from Hypermiler.co.uk:

  • Keep your car well maintained and serviced regularly. Some people opt for a thinner oil when trying to optimise their MPG. Thinner oil means less energy is required to turn the engine.
  • Remove excess weight i.e. golf clubs, toolboxes and prams/pushchairs.
  • Ensure your tyre pressures are correct. We do not condone overinflating your tyres, as this may cause premature wear and possible blowouts. Low tyre pressure causes more drag and thus less MPG.
  • Keep the windows up. An open window causes drag
  • Keep the air-con off. Air Conditioning can decrease your fuel consumption by up to 10 percent in some cases.
  • Take any unused Roof or bike racks off, they too increase drag
  • Don’t drive in big shoes, they take away the sensitivity you need with the throttle. The best way to Hypermile is to feel how the car is responding to your right foot. Two inches of sole doesn’t help.
Assess your expenditure

One of the big things that we can do to help cope with inflation is to assess our expenditure. Do we know all the money that goes out of our bank accounts? Have we any direct debits that can be cancelled like gym memberships we don’t use, streaming services we can live without, websites memberships we barely use? There may be things in your life right now that you really don’t need. We cancelled our Amazon Prime membership because we felt it was an unnecessary expense that we could manage without. John cancelled his WWE subscription because we weren’t using it much. Have a look and what you can cut out.

One way that many people lose money is by purchasing food and drink from shops and cafes when they can very easily prepare meals etc themselves for a fraction of the cost. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself, but buying coffee or lunch out most days will cost you a fortune each year. Yes, the coffee may be amazing, but I promise you’ll find a good alternative from the supermarket.

Another food-related issue is waste. We waste so much food every year because we don’t use it in time. Here are some tips:

  • don’t buy more than you need
  • use your freezer to prolong the life of food
  • prepare meals in bulk and refrigerate or freeze the rest
  • create a shopping list and stick to it
  • check your cupboards regularly for use-by-dates
  • create a meal plan so you only buy what you need
  • prepare meals from scratch to reduce costs

You also need to ask yourself ‘do I really need this?’ So often we buy frivolous items that add little to no value to our lives. Ask yourself, ‘is this an asset? Does this add value to my life? Could I spend this money more wisely?’ There are so many ways for us to spend our hard-earned cash. Just make sure it’s worth it.

Don’t waste time

Use your time wisely. Don’t spend it worrying about what might be. Do what you can to ease your burden, be proactive, use your skills and talents, and the rest will take care of itself. Recently I had been concerned because, due to various reasons, my student numbers had gone down. I had wasted time worrying about how we would manage with inflation on the up asking myself whether people would still want lessons in this climate. John, on the other hand, took the lead, created a wonderful advert, and within hours I had people enquiring about piano lessons. Instead of wasting time with what-ifs and prescribing an outcome myself, I should have been more proactive with my time and realised that I don’t know all the outcomes. We have to try our best with what we have and use the time we have well.

How to cope with inflation

Inflation is affecting us all and will continue to for a while. So it’s important that we take positive action on how to cope with inflation so that we don’t live outwith our means. But remember, if we are to live in the Mind, Body, and Soul, we must remember that God is the source of all that we need. I do not worry about tomorrow because I know He is already there taking care of it all.

Please leave your comments below, or if you have any questions, ask away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *