How to Survive Inflation: Spend or Save?

Inflation is here whether we like it or not. Here's how to survive it!

If you’ve purchased anything from anywhere over the past few months, you know that rampant inflation is here, and it’s destroying budgets across the country. You may be wondering, what’s the best way to survive inflation, spend or save your money?

In this article, we’ll take a look at both strategies as we go into what looks like the Great Depression 2.0.

How to Survive Inflation by Spending Money

It may seem counterintuitive, but spending your money is one way to survive inflation. I’m not talking about blowing your money, however. One tactic you can use is to invest your money into tangible goods that you will need over the next months or even years.

Spending money now is like a hedge against inflation. You’re paying today’s prices for tomorrow’s goods. A few examples of things to invest in are:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Electronics you need for work or school
  • Extra cords and components for your electronics
  • Tools
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Paper goods
  • Office supplies
  • Children’s clothing and shoes, 1-2 sizes up
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Automotive fluids and parts you expect to need
  • Ammo

By purchasing these right now, you’ll pay far less than buying them as you need them in the future. And that’s if you can get these items at all.

What About Gold and Silver?

Another option for spending money to survive inflation is to put some of your wealth into precious metals. Gold and silver retain their value far better than fiat currency. There are pros and cons to investing in precious metals:

Consider converting money into precious metals to survive inflation

Pros:

  • They hold their value and sometimes even increase in value.
  • They are a small, tangible, transportable way to bring your wealth with you if you must flee.
  • They help you maintain financial privacy – if you’ve converted the money in your bank account to gold and silver that you hold yourself, nobody knows how much money you have.

Cons:

  • The ease of transportation means that precious metals can easily be stolen.
  • You can’t use them easily for transactions – who’s got change for a gold ingot?
  • Precious metals can be deemed “illegal.”

Yep – it’s true about precious metals becoming illegal. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, which prohibited the “hoarding” of gold, gold bullion, and gold certificates. The government confiscated all gold, and it did not become legal to hold gold again until the 1970s. You can read more about it here.

Real Estate as an Investment

Real estate has historically maintained or increased in value during times of inflation. But it depends on what you’re looking for with your investment.

A paper on the MIT website looks at both income from real estate and property values. As far as revenue is concerned, only retail real estate keeps up with inflation. Industrial properties and apartments are a partial hedge, and office space does poorly.

On the other hand, property values historically have increased. Retail and apartment buildings both hold or increase in value, and industrial property comes very close to maintaining value. Office space doesn’t do quite as well but still loses less value than the dollar.

How to Survive Inflation by Saving Money

Another option to help you survive inflation is saving your money. This doesn’t necessarily mean cash stuffed in your mattress (although it could) or a savings account in the bank. There are multiple ways to keep money in savings.

Some options are:

  • Stop spending and keep your cash. This means you won’t be purchasing anything non-essential due to the high prices. If you choose saving money as your method to survive inflation, you are expecting the dollar to regain its value later, or you have investments that won’t be strongly affected by inflation.
  • Revisit your investments and retirement funds. To learn more about investments that help you to protect wealth during times of inflation, check out these expert tips on Forbes.com.)
  • Refinance your mortgage or other large payments at better rates.
  • Prepay for large expenses such as funeral or college costs.
  • Consolidate high-interest debts (such as credit card debt or high-risk loans) into one smaller and more manageable payment.
  • Investigate cryptocurrency and see if it’s an option that you feel comfortable with. If it is, switch some of your dollars into crypto to maintain or increase the current value of your cash.

Please note that I am not a financial expert. Please consult a qualified financial advisor before making any changes to your life’s savings.

Inflation can make it seem like you are flushing money down the toilet

It’s Always Harder for the Middle Class to Survive Inflation

Again looking at history, it’s generally more difficult for the middle class to survive inflation than the wealthy and the poverty-stricken. Those who are poor generally don’t own many assets, and therefore have less to lose. They have to manage to keep themselves fed and sheltered but don’t have secured debt like the middle class generally does. The very wealthy have a lot more to lose but also have more of a cushion, so while they might not be as rich at the end of the cycle, they’ll generally still be comfortable.

On the other hand, the middle class is poised to lose everything: homes, cars, and jobs.

Not only that, their buying power is becoming dramatically reduced. As prices of homes, cars, and consumer goods, their once-reasonable income is no longer sufficient to make purchases and keep the bills paid.

If you fall into that category, hopefully, some of the suggestions in this article will help.

How Do You Plan to Survive Inflation?

Have you figured out a strategy to deal with the inflation attacking all sectors of the economy? Do you agree or disagree with the suggestions above? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

3 Comments

  1. White Rabbit on January 25, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Another excellent, thought provoking article, Brian, that addresses our most current life situation here in the USA (and probably globally).
    I agree with spending money now to help combat inflation. I have tried to accumulate at least a year’s worth of household products (cleansers, chlorox wipes, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, sponges, kleenex, the ever desperately needed and elusive TP, etc.) per person. These products do not expire — at least not in a year. And I’m adding to my canned good stockpile, too. It’s always beneficial, as we preppers know, to have weeks/months/a year or two of food products in case of an emergency, job loss, or shtf scenario.
    I’m also trying to get debt free so those costs don’t hang over my head. Paying those off will free up more of my income in the future when I need it when prices are too exhorbitant.
    If I spend what I have now on supplies, what little I have later after inflation will help me be able to buy perishable consumables like meat in the future.
    I’m a minimalist at heart [now; didn’t used to be], so I can attest at how not buying all the useless, or at least not so useful, excess will save money. It will also feel good having money left over. And it will feel good not having all that “stuff” lying around.
    We can survive this!

  2. Herbert Witzen on June 8, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Paying down your debt to prepare for hyperinflation is not good advice. Inflation and hyperinflation IS GOOD for debtors because you will be paying back the money you owe with significantly cheaper dollars. Inflation and hyper inflation are your best friend if you are a debtor.

    In fact it is via hyper inflation that the the Treasury and Fed who own trillions of debt that solves their debt problem via inflation.

    • Brian Duff on June 9, 2022 at 3:24 pm

      So, your solution is to stay in debt? If so, that’s definitely a perspective. Thanks for your feedback and I hope you and yours do well through this mess. ~Brian

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