Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair. – Sam Ewing
Often when I listen to the news or a talk show, the topic of inflation arises. The issue is scary, overwhelming, and depressing. I knew it was coming and that the stock market drop was coming, but I put my head in the sand, hoping it would pass me by. I am embarrassed to admit my behavior, but it is what it is.
I do not know as much about finances, the stock market, and banking as I should. I know I have lost a substantial amount of money in the stock market. My financial advisor is excellent and doing his best to prevent me from losing too much.
Those who know me know that I love clothes, shoes, and purses and like to shop. I am learning that I must find other ways of entertaining myself.
I was running errands yesterday, and in the past would stop and shop. The other day, I was in Fig Garden Village (A quaint shopping center in Fresno, CA), and it has several of my favorite shopping places: Talbots, Chicos, and Heart and Sole. So, I drove into the parking lot. I went to the post office and then met my friend for lunch. THEN the difficult time came – I had to go home.
I got into my car, grasped my steering wheel, and told myself I was going straight home. The stores I liked to visit were not in the same area of the shopping center I was in, but somehow, I don’t know how (lol); I found myself on the other side of Fig Garden Village. I told myself that if there were a parking spot, maybe I would stop.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, THERE WAS A PARKING SPOT RIGHT IN FRONT OF TALBOTS!
I pulled in, and right before I got out of the car, dollar signs flashed in my head, as well as my checking account balance. So, I took a few deep breaths, wiped my tears, and went home.
Once I was home, I was proud of myself for not spending unnecessary money! But then I went to the grocery store and spent more than I wanted to!!! But, at least, it was necessary!
Financially things seem to be hard for many people. As a result, many of us are learning new ways of budgeting and finding new, less expensive items to fill our time.
How to hedge against inflation
1. Reassess your spending habits. If inflation makes it difficult to stay within budget, take a moment to reassess your cash flow and where it's going.
2. Take on new debt sparingly (and avoid variable rates).
3. Become a sale shopper.
4. Maximize loyalty and reward programs.
5. Be strategic with savings.
Entertaining yourself and your family locally does not mean constantly spending money on events and outings. Sometimes it’s the most specific excursions that are the most enjoyable and memorable. So whether you need to save a few bucks for the short term or rework your budget to focus on other priorities, these 13 examples of ways to be a tourist in your hometown will help you find new and fun things to do without spending money.
13 Ways to Have Fun Without Spending Money
· Go on a picnic.
· Go to no-cost museum and zoo days.
· Give geocaching a try.
· Leverage your chamber of commerce.
· Take a historical city tour.
· Visit a farmers’ market.
· Go camping.
· Do a photography challenge.
· Find a fun meetup group
· Go bird watching
· Take a hike.
Today, I encourage you to take back your life and enjoy it while being finically responsible!