When living costs started soaring last summer as a reaction to a mismatch between supply and demand, many people thought rampant inflation would be fairly short-lived. Fast forward a year, and clearly, that hasn’t been the case.
Inflation has been wreaking havoc on consumers since the start of 2022, and for some, the impact has been worse than others. Many Americans, for example, have been forced to rack up unhealthy debt just to do things like keep the lights on and put food on the table. But even those in a more comfortable position have had to make sacrifices, like cutting leisure spending and canceling vacations.
In a recent report by Morgan Stanley, 62% of workers said they’re saving less money due to the impact of inflation. And it’s easy to see why. But if you’d rather stick to your savings goals, there could be a solution that doesn’t involve you slashing expenses to an extreme degree.
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Take advantage of the gig economy
While there’s talk that a recession could strike the U.S. economy later this year or early next, right now, the labor market is nice and strong. That’s something that could work to your benefit and help you maintain the savings goals you’ve set for yourself.
If you’re willing to pick up a side job, you might manage to continue funding your savings account or IRA at the pace you were happy with before inflation started roaring. And given that the gig economy is thriving, finding a side hustle may be easier than you’d think.
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How to find the right side job
Your ideal side hustle should be one that allows you to earn a decent amount of money without sacrificing too much downtime. If you can find a gig that fits the bill and also happens to be enjoyable, even better.
Of course, you’ll need to consider your schedule and personal household situation when exploring a side hustle. If you have young kids, for example, you may need a second job you can do from home so childcare costs don’t eat away at your earnings. But either way, it will help to figure out:
- How much money you want to earn each week to meet your savings goals
- How many hours you can afford to put in each week
- Where you can work from
From there, you can narrow down your choices.
Keep in mind that you may be able to leverage skills from your main job in the course of getting a side hustle. If you’re a full-time staff accountant, you might easily find a bookkeeping gig you can do on the side.
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Don’t give up on your savings
Difficult as it may be to save at the same pace as you did before rampant inflation took hold, keeping up with your savings could benefit you in the long run. And a side hustle could be your ticket to continuing to save nicely and consistently, even at a time when money is tight because everything costs so much more than it used to.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Maurie Backman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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