As we’ve been adjusting to this new economic environment with not only rising prices but also interest rates, are you feeling the impacts of inflation and a higher cost of living? If so, what has become more expensive within your daily life and budget? Groceries? Gas? Dinner dates? Over the last few months we’ve been following consumer sentiment and speaking with many clients and individuals who feel that their confidence about the economy and spending money is rapidly decreasing.
As you can see in the YChart above, look at how much consumer sentiment has dropped in just 5 years, noting that where they are right now is even below the lows in March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. If you are feeling anxious about your spending habits during this time, you are not alone. “In fact, 22% of millennials (ages 26 to 41) and 19% of Gen Zers (ages 18 to 25) have gone into debt from what they’ve spent on dating, according to a September Lendingtree survey.” LendingTree Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz said in the report that all costs are rising and “everything is getting more expensive. It’s not just the new clothes, roses, ride-share, fancy dinner, concerts or the after-show coffee — it’s all of it.” We found this statistic very interesting, not only due to inflation making everything more expensive, but also an opportunity to discuss money within a relationship.
At Sherman Wealth, we are constantly talking about transparency and open communication as it relates to money in a relationship. If you are feeling the extra weight of more expensive date nights, communicate with your partner to let them know and be honest about your budget and means. Additionally, most importantly, now is a great time to revisit your budget, especially with a higher-cost-of-living, to make sure that it still works for you and you are not compromising your other goals such as retirement or saving for a big purchase.
We know that what you can and cannot afford may look a bit different now as we adjust to this rising interest rate and inflationary environment, but it’s important to put your finances first. Create or revisit your financial plan to ensure that you can still achieve your financial goals and dreams. If you have any questions about your financial plan or budgeting, email us at email@example.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute call here.