State of the economy/inflation
What a world we live in – the second the media mentions inflation, we become hyper aware of every one of our spending habits, for right reasons. Disproportional increase in cost and spending is stressful for many, especially those living within a tight budget. What makes it even worse is the uncertainty that is at the bottom of all of this. The lack of direction of the economy, decrease in costs, and confidence in ourselves can lead to a downward spiral mentally, financially, and even physically. When the status quo is broken personally and financially, what do you do? How do you react? Today, we try to answer these questions without letting them overwhelm us.
Inflation, in simple terms, happens due to our economy’s reflection of increase in production costs which then causes a noticeable increase in costs of products.1 Furthermore, when the demand is much greater than the supply and the buyers are willing to pay for them, a rise in costs also occurs.1 A common example where one can see the waves in prices would be the housing market. Not only does it reflect the demand, but it also flows with what the economy of the time is experiencing. In even simpler words,
Inflation = raising prices
To be completely frank, it damages everyone’s wallets which can be backed up by a couple of reasons. To begin, the value of our money decreases as buyers are unable to purchase what they are used to.2 It is financially demoralizing. Furthermore, it inevitably leads to a decrease in one’s savings. When income remains constant while spending increases, savings is the next place we go to.2 Finally, cuts have to be made. With a tight budget, some may leave out products or activities that are not an absolute necessity in order to cover necessary costs, such as food, housing, education, etc. Although never a good sentiment, it is quite obvious that inflation is not beneficial to the consumers.
Emotionally, it takes a toll on us also. When the money we have is devalued, it can lead to stress and anxiety which can manifested through physical symptoms.3,4 The stress of not knowing when it’s going to end and how much the prices are going to rise creates a world view where you are in survival mode against economy in the midst of uncertainty. There is no clear-cut solution nor a single decision that can be made to alter the circumstance to maintain the ongoing financial situation.
Management of financial stress is one of the key factors to create a healthy and adaptable mindset in times of emergencies and uncontrollable changes in society. The acceptance of economy’s cycle without feeling weakened is one of many ideologies that we can adapt to prevent the cycle of overthinking and self-doubt. When one’s value of money is decreased, many find it difficult to dissociate it with self-worth. In a society full of narratives that wrongfully support the interdependence between self-image and money, it is our goal to detach them as separate entities and be grounded in our values and beliefs.
At the end of the day, the economy may be able to decrease the value of the money we have, but it should never be given the power to depreciate our self-appreciation or self-care.
- The Investopedia Team. (2022, August 10). What causes inflation and who profits from it? Investopedia. Retrieved September 19, 2022
- Williams, G. (2022, July 29). Why is inflation bad? 3 effects of inflation. Forbes. Retrieved September 19, 2022
- Fielding, S. (2022, August 1). High inflation rates impact almost every aspect of our lives, including Mental Health. Verywell Mind. Retrieved September 19, 2022
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. (2019, March 28). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved September 19, 2022