I was at Costco over the weekend, and the bill was 50% larger than it usually is. Granted, I was a couple of weeks overdue for my regular visit, but the increase was not all quantity, prices for everything continue to be up. I remembered being a kid in the 70’s and I remembered Gerald Fords “WIN campaign” From Wikipedia;
Whip Inflation Now (WIN) was a 1974 attempt to spur a grassroots movement to combat inflation in the US, by encouraging personal savings and disciplined spending habits in combination with public measures, urged by U.S. President Gerald Ford. The campaign was later described as “one of the biggest government public relations blunders ever”.
People who supported the mandatory and voluntary measures were encouraged to wear “WIN” buttons, perhaps in hope of evoking in peacetime the kind of solidarity and voluntarism symbolized by the V-campaign during World War II.
“WIN” buttons immediately became objects of ridicule; skeptics wore the buttons upside down, explaining that “NIM” stood for “No Immediate Miracles,” “Nonstop Inflation Merry-go-round,” or “Need Immediate Money.”
Don’t worry – There will be no political rant coming, unless you are wealthy enough to be immune to double digit % increases, inflation bites, regardless of your politics.
Because I am a glass half full kind of guy, I can’t help but point out one big difference between today and 1974. While in 74 there were more job seekers than jobs, we see almost the exact opposite today across the economy from entry level to skilled trades, nursing, medical and engineering. That is a huge difference, and one we should acknowledge and be thankful for. There is work if we’ll work it.
That having been said, the fact remains that prices are up – so what can one do from a practical standpoint.
I did a little digging and culled through pages of tips to bring you my top ten. Ironically, though ridiculed at the time, most of the practical tips from “WIN” point back to old values like thrift, work ethic, delayed gratification and taking a hard look at wants vs needs. They may not be popular, but they work if you work them.
If you don’t have a budget, don’t feel too bad, most people don’t. Now, MAKE A BUDGET ! 😊 You would be surprised what you will find if you take three months and aggressively record every dime you spend in order to assess what is needful and necessary and what is not.
If you have excess credit card debt, consider a debt consolidation loan, but only if you are willing to cut up your credit cards and never get another one till you can pay it off in full every month. (Check out any and all materials from Dave Ramsey)
If you shop online, You can let technology do that work for you. You might download a free browser extension that will automatically find you deals and coupon codes every time you shop online.
You also can set price-drop alerts for your favorite products, so if they go on sale, you’ll be the first to know. Installation of the add-on takes just a moment and could save you hundreds of dollars a year. (Moneywise.com)
Consider thrifting and off brand, it is not always true, but often the only product difference is the advertising budget.
If you have not shopped your homeowners and auto insurance lately, do so, and look to bundle coverages. Don’t just shop on-line though, find a local independent agent as well. You can often save money on-line, but if the coverage is not the same, or not adequate, you might regret it.
Inquire about Higher deductibles on all your insurance, including health insurance (if you can weather the hit when a claim comes). The math is easy if the premium reduction saves the increase in the deductible in three to 5 years it is worth it in my book.
Cut back on Energy costs. The US dept of energy has a guide, check it out.
In the short run consider a side hustle or part time work (see glass half full above, the job market remains a fielder’s choice with positions abounding)
In the long run, explore gaining additional skill sets like skilled trades or entry into the medical arena. The need for every skilled trade arena is enormous and growing every year (Check out any and all materials from Mike Rowe) and with the Baby Boomers aging out of the workforce, opportunities in all thing’s health care related will be growing for years to come as well.