How Inflation Affects Your Personal Finances: Is Your Money Getting Worse or Better?

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With the rising cost of living, inflation has been a big factor in the financial lives of many people. Inflation is calculated to determine the increase in the cost of goods over a specified period of time.

1. What is inflation? How it affect personal finances?

Inflation is a continuous increase in the general price level. This does not necessarily mean that the prices of all goods and services must increase at the same time, but only that the average price level should increase. Inflation can still occur when the prices of some goods fall, but the prices of other goods and services rise sharply enough to warrant an increase in the overall price level.

More particular, 

When prices of goods and services steadily rise, this is what is known as inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers data to calculate the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation (CPI). As the cost of items such as fuel, food, clothes, and vehicles increases over time, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used as a measure of inflation. Cost of living increased by 7% in 2021, according to the CPI. That indicates that prices rose by 7% for the year as a whole. Cars costing $20,000 in 2020 would cost $21,400 each in 2021, according to the idea of this. Inflation is influenced by supply and demand. When demand for an item or service increases or supply for that good or service decreases, prices tend to rise. Supply and demand are influenced by a wide range of factors, including the cost of commodities and labour, taxes on income and goods, and the availability of loans.

gasoline price increase

2. Macro Factors Drive Inflation Rising

Three factors contribute to rising inflation, and are often referred to as reflation.

The Federal Reserve (Fed), which is in charge of managing Monetary Policy, including interest rates, has vowed recently to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. Economic activity and demand for products and services can be boosted as a result.

Oil prices in particular have risen significantly during the past several months. To put it another way, the demand for oil has a direct correlation to economic activity. Over the last year, oil prices have risen in response to both an increase in demand and an increase in supply. Future oil price increases are expected to be restrained by a rebound in producer output.

Reducing reliance on imported products and services by regionally focusing on the areas of greatest economic opportunity is a common term for this strategy. Production of products has shifted to low-cost countries like China and India over the last decade. Companies are returning to the U.S., so the cost of manufacturing, including commodities and labour, is expected to increase, which will lead to inflation.

3. How Inflation Affects Your Personal Finances

When inflation rises, the buying power of assets with long-term, stable cash flows diminishes, causing them to under-perform. Assets with variable cash flows, on the other hand, do better as inflation rises (e.g. rental revenue from real estate).

Your Savings

Even if you’ve saved your money in a savings account with an average interest rate, inflation might eat away at your savings.

Earnings are supposed to keep pace with inflation when you’re employed. Inflation hurts your purchasing power when you’re relying on your funds, such as when you retire. Consider inflation while calculating your retirement savings to guarantee you have enough money to endure into your golden years.

Investments in the long-term

Fixed income instruments like bonds, treasuries, and CDs are often purchased by investors who seek a steady income stream in the form of interest payments. As inflation rises, the buying power of interest payments on most fixed-income assets decreases since the rate of interest remains the same until maturity. Thus, when inflation rises, bond prices tend to decline.

Typically, bonds pay set interest, or coupon payments, as a reason for this. Fixed-income bonds lose buying power when inflation increases, therefore the current value of their future fixed cash payments decreases as a result of rising inflation. Longer-term bonds are more vulnerable to inflation because of the cumulative effect of decreasing buying power for cash flows received in the future.

Investing in stocks

Over the past 30 years, the U.S. Bank Asset Management Group has found that equities have done well in the face of inflation. In principle, a company’s revenues and profitability should grow at the same rate as the general cost of living. To put it another way, if consumer and producer prices rise, so should your stock.

Stock prices in the United States have tended to rise as inflation increases during the past 30 years, although the link is not very strong.

Because of this, large and mid-sized enterprises are generally more closely linked in terms of inflation than smaller companies. When inflation is rising, foreign equities in developed nations tend to fall in price, while developing market stocks show a deeper adverse connection.

Assets that are actually worth anything

According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s index, assets have a positive correlation with inflation. Commodities are a great hedge against rising inflation. In the past, commodities have been a dependable strategy to protect your purchasing power.

Inflation is a term used to describe the increase in prices over time. A major contributor to inflation is oil and other energy-related commodities. Rising inflation tends to lift precious and industrial metals as well.

Most real estate owners typically raise the rent as the cost of products and services rises, which can result in a higher income and higher pay-outs to investors.

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