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Sticker Shock Survival

by Sarah McMurray

Sticker Shock Survival

I remember when milk went from 8c to 10c a bottle. My main memory is how my Poppa still hadn’t expressed all his outrage from the previous price rise – 4c to 8c. So 10c was just outrageous! Unbelievable! Ridiculous!

What I learnt was this:

  • Passionate complaining about increasing prices is something old people do.

Last week, when I add a kilo of mince to my grocery cart, I had total sticker shock. The price was outrageous! It was unbelievable! Ridiculous!

So, it’s official:

  • I’m not only paying heaps more for some things, I’m also old.

Awesome. Thanks, inflation.

Politicians and economists seem to argue endlessly about inflation. I find what they have to say mildly interesting, but also completely disconnected from the micro-level of how I and my clients deal with having to pay more for the basics.

If the way prices are increasing is making you nervous about you and your family’s financial situation, I think that’s a sensible reaction. Inflation is like taking a weird sort of pay cut. And the idea of any sort of pay cut makes most people very nervous.

While there is not much we can do as individuals to stop prices going up, there are steps we can take to make our own financial situation better.

The first step, as always, is clarity. If we’re vague about how much we’re spending, and on what, then figuring out what to do is just a shot in the dark. We may end up blaming ourselves for being “bad with money” when it turns out that no-one could stretch our income to cover all the necessities.

Tracking your spending has the potential to be life-changing. Try it.

It will not only give you the information that you need to be able to make educated decisions about what to do with your money, it will also give you a sense of control. Instead of experiencing sticker shock at the higher prices, you’ll be aware, not outraged. Which will make you feel younger.

What’s not to like?

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