Inflation costs consumers in many ways. Read on to see how much it hurts their wallets.
- Inflation has raised the cost of almost everything.
- It can pay to increase your income at a time when downsizing isn’t feasible.
- The gig economy is still going strong, and the extra income can help you in other ways, like paying off debt.
Inflation has been hurting consumers since the latter part of 2021. And at this point, it’s fair to assume that Americans will still be struggling with high inflation into early 2023.
How bad are things? Higher living costs are forcing consumers to spend an average of $433 more per month, Moody’s said, based on October consumer price index data. And that’s a big leap for many.
Of course, just because Americans spend an extra $433 a month doesn’t mean they spend to earn an additional $433 per month. Although wages have risen this year, they have lagged behind inflation. So right now that extra expense comes in the form of credit card balances for a lot of people.
Anytime you find yourself in a situation where your expenses keep rising to the point where you’re racking up debt, you might hear that it’s time to cut back. That’s reasonable advice in times when the cost of living is, well, reasonable.
But the cost of living is high right now. And while you can cut back on things like streaming services and tanks, many people find themselves in debt month after month without spending money on those extras. Rather, they accumulate debt while keeping up with the basics, such as food, housing, and transportation.
If your debt burden continues to increase due to inflation, you cannot cut back on your spending. And your salary at work may not be enough to make up the difference. But then there is one possible solution worth looking at.
Is it time for a second job?
Fitting a second job into your schedule can be difficult. But if you’re spending an extra $433 a month on some of the same expenses you’ve always had, it may be the only way to break the cycle of debt.
The good news is that the gig economy is still thriving, so there are plenty of opportunities to get a second job that you can do on top of your primary one. And you might even be able to find a flexible side job.
For example, some side gigs allow you to work from home. Others don’t, but they do to do let you set your own hours. consider carpooling.
A second job can allow you to better keep track of your bills. And if you’ve racked up debt due to inflation, that extra income can help you pay it off sooner so you can keep your interest rates to a minimum.
When will inflation levels cool down?
That’s the big question. Inflation has been slowing in recent months, so there’s reason to hope we won’t be stuck with high costs forever. But we can get significant relief from inflation within a few months. So if you’ve been overspending and struggling because of it, it might be time to come to terms with the idea of getting a second job, at least on a temporary basis.
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