1. Sell Your Car
For those of us who have found a new life through working from home, you may not be driving nearly as much as you used to. So, right now might be a good time to let go of your car that’s costing you an arm and a leg per month. Since the average price for a used car hit a record of $28,000 in December, cashing out now could be a good way to alleviate some pressure in your wallet. Who knows, you could even make some extra cash if you sell your car for more than what you owe!
2. Invest In Real Estate
There are a handful of advantages to investing in real estate. There are also several ways of doing so. One option (and this is the most obvious) is to buy real estate as an investment property and rent it out. Think of it this way: Regardless of the economy or inflation rate, there will always be a need for homes. So as inflation rises, so do property values, and the amount a property owner can charge for rent. But, if you find that you may not have the funds or qualifications to buy something like that yet, there are other options available like real estate investment trusts (REIT), which combine the best features of real estate and stock investment, and allow you to invest in income-producing real estate portfolios.
3. Start A Business
This may be risky, but what’s the point of life without a little risk? If you have an idea for a business, now might be a good time to jump in. The best part about a business is that you can be in command of how much you charge for goods and services based on inflation. This could be a solid move whether you want to start a new business entirely or do something only as a side hustle.
4. Invest In Index Funds
Most people don’t invest because of fear. However, if you find that you have extra cash lying around and don’t want it to dwindle away in your checking account compared to the inflation rate, you can invest it into index funds. This is generally the least risky way to dip your toes into the stock market because you’re investing in the entire market as a whole, like the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, etc. The average annual return for the overall stock market is 10% (though any given year can be higher or lower), so an index fund is a good way to generally aim for that level of return. Just remember to think long term to avoid panicking over any short-term dips.
5. Invest In Stocks/Bonds/ETFs
If you have an indication that you found the next gold mine of a company, you can toss some of your cash in to compete with inflation and ride it to the moon. Sure, you can make a lot more money than through index funds, but be mindful that it does come with more risk as individual stocks are tied to real, singular companies and may dip more than index funds if those companies have a drop in sales, bad press, etc. If you want to invest in a handful of companies at once, there are ETFs, which are collections or portfolios of stocks bundled together. So if you’re someone who believes renewable energy is the future, you can invest in an ETF that has a collection of the leading renewable energy companies and bet on their success. Or if you want to invest in commodities like gold, oil, or corn (which often perform well during high-inflation periods), there are ETFs for that, too. These, of course, come with risk as does any investment but may be a safer path than individual stocks. And as mentioned before, think long term to avoid any anxiety over short-term dips.
6. Invest In Crypto
Investors beware, be very aware. This may be the most risky investment mentioned but if you’re looking for one of the best ways to fight inflation, cryptocurrency might be the play. You can’t win if you don’t play, right? Much like the idea of investing in stocks, you can invest in cryptocurrencies and simply hold on for dear life, taking it to the moon. On the good side, cryptocurrency has the ability to create overnight millionaires; but on the bad side, you could lose all your money at the mercy of someone's social media post or someone making a joke on TV, so be very mindful and always have an exit strategy when investing in this highly volatile market.
7. Reduce Expenses
This is by far the last thing anyone wants to hear, but if you are finding that your dollar is stretched thin, you may want to look into ways of spending less to help you live within your means. This could include sticking to a monthly budget and seeing where you can shave off or save on any expenses — like canceling any subscriptions you don't use often or switching to a lower-cost, no-contract unlimited wireless plan for as low as $25 per month with Visible. Even without inflation, who doesn't want to save money on bills like that?
8. Earn Extra Income
It sounds so easy (and kind of insensitive) to simply say “earn extra income” as an offset to inflation. But really, if inflation is making your budget a bit too tight, it’s definitely worth it to try to level up in your career. There’s no harm in asking your employer for a raise. If they say no, you might as well try to dust off your resume and look for a new job that can pay you more. We’ve all been through a lot over the past couple years and you deserve it! If you don’t want to leave, you can always start a side hustle to help bring in some extra income.
9. Negotiate Your Bills
If you’re struggling to keep up with your expenses, it doesn’t hurt to ask your providers for better prices. The worst thing they can say is no! For example, if you’ve held a good report with your credit card company, chances are your APR will be negotiable, even if it’s a little bit. Consumers who ask for a lower rate are often successful because businesses would rather keep you as a customer than let you walk away.