Money Thoughts: Inflation, Recession, Housing Crisis, Budget Pressures
Just a brain dump of money-related things going through my mind lately.
General average is 7% – 8%. This means if you didn’t earn a 7% raise this year, you’re losing money. You need to make enough money to keep up with inflation, and your salaries should increase with the rate of inflation.
Inflation in case you need a quick refresher, is basically the idea your money goes a lot less farther. $30K in salary 10 years ago, does not buy the same things that $30K buys today.
You used to be able to buy groceries for $100 at a store, but now it costs $125 for the same set of groceries, and in the future years, it will cost $150 to buy the same items, and so on.
Add to the mix, shrinkflation, where your cookies are now 15% smaller but the price hasn’t changed. Bags of chips are now with more air than chips.
The thing is… inflation on food is not 7%. It is 40% or higher. Our food budget has gone up almost 50% on the SAME THINGS we are buying from just last year in 2021, and we don’t really buy processed foods. It’s raw fruits, vegetables… everything has just doubled.
Slap on top of that an increase in petrol gas prices, services, everyone has raised every price everywhere, which means a lot less spending will happen which could lead to my next thought: recessions.
Are we heading into a recession? Will we be in 2023? What will that change? All I know is that my interest rates have gone up to numbers I have never seen before (4% on promotion!), which means banks are valuing cash a lot more these days.
Long story short – might be a good time, as everyone has said, to tighten the belt so to speak for 2023, as more things are going after our money than before, or accept the higher prices and shift your budget around a bit. Move more into food, cut back on something else.
Heck, even I have started making oat milk at home instead of buying it at $10/bottle (5 bottles a week, it adds up…!). Oat milk Recipe here, and it actually works / tastes like the commercial stuff, after many batches of trial + error of all the oat mylk recipes online.
A lot less money being spent means the economy slows down, which means things get more expensive or scarce. On top of that, things like climate change are threatening our beloved teas, spices, coffee, and other climate-dependent crops. It may come a time quite soon where coffee will only be affordable for the well off, if at all.
I keep hearing about housing prices going down, yet people are refusing to sell their homes in hope of reaching the peak of the 2021 Gold Rush that was real estate. Others, are waiting for the nadir of the real estate market to buy their homes. I know people sitting on hoards of cash right now, patiently waiting for prices to drop this year. We shall see.
There have been a number of new tax rules put in place in Canada regarding real estate.
Unused homes not owned by Canadians will now be taxed at 1%, with the likelihood of that going up to 3% in the future.
The First Home Buyer’s Account is now open to people who haven’t owned properties for 4 years, not just first time home buyers. I am envious! I wish we had this when I bought my place.
You now can’t sell a home before 12 months is up, or else it’s considered flipping and you’ll be charged accordingly, with exceptions for death or divorce. I am sure people will try divorcing yearly to make this a tax loophole.
TFSA HAS GONE UP TO $6500
On the bright side, your TFSA contribution has gone up to $6500. I usually transfer my investments from my unregistered Margin account to my TFSA and then top the rest up in cash to hit the $6500.
In general, I think everyone is under pressure, budget-wise. My partner just had ‘the talk’ with me about our food costs spiralling out of control, which isn’t just with the cost of inflation, but also my laziness because I will just go to any random grocery store and buy some salmon because I feel like it tonight. He’s urging me to meal plan more which I find a little bit difficult because I enjoy eating in the moment.
I should probably insert in here that buying secondhand has been a real game changer for me. I still get what I want, but at a much lower retail price point. Secondhand is Queen. A lot of people buy things that don’t work for them, or they decide to upgrade/change for something new – which is when you can swoop in!
USE YOUR LIBRARY
I do all my e-reading with e-books from the library. I borrow them via Libby and that’s how I burn through so many a month – my Year End 2022 Book Recommendations are here.
WATCH YOUR JOBS
Layoffs are coming. They’re inevitable in this kind of perfect storm. I’d suggest bulking up your cash reserves because you may need a larger emergency fund than normal just in case. It’s not a popular opinion because if you don’t spend money, you don’t stimulate the economy, but you may want to be prepared unless your job is secure / guaranteed.
Brush up your resume as well, and LinkedIn profile. I just recently took a new photo for mine the other day.