In the past few weeks, I’ve been so busy I was practically brain dead at the end of the day. I hope everyone is doing well and keeping sane.
These days, walking into a supermarket or receiving a utility bill is somewhat of a shock for me. I just find it hard to adjust to how steeply the prices are climbing.
Forbes advises us to combat inflation by increasing our income. For many people, that’s not an option. They’re locked into minimum wage, dead end jobs with not many prospects. They can’t negotiate a raise because they’ll get the boot before they get one extra dollar from their employer.
As a freelancer, I have slightly more flexibility. I negotiated a little rate uptick. I took on a little more work. I made a full time wage working part time for several months now (except for the holidays), which was absolutely thrilling. But financial insecurity is real, and there’s only so much you can hustle.
For most people, living through this inflation involves spending less. Yeah, not a major catalyst for economic growth; our leaders want us to spend to keep the wheels moving. But what we need to do is keep out of debt.
I know how to scrimp. I know all about mending clothes, stretching leftovers, repurposing school supplies, and accepting hand-me-downs. I know that it won’t kill you to occasionally go without a shower in winter if the day was cloudy and the solar water heater didn’t provide enough hot water for the whole family.
But I also know you can’t line dry and coupon-clip your way out of a full blown financial crisis. It sometimes takes more than that. For some people, it will be moving in with family, giving up their car, or telling their children they’ll need to fund their own higher education.
And, again, I remind myself it’s not just about cash. Surviving hard times is easier with chickens in the backyard, vegetables in the garden, wild growing trees full of bounty, a supportive community, and barterable skills.
As usual, I don’t have answers. But I know this: we’re some tough nuts. This inflation isn’t going to crack us. We will keep getting more educated, more resourceful, more resilient, and more generous towards those in need. And I believe we’re going to win.