No one’s life is perfect. You do the best you can with each day and hope it all adds up to something good in the end. It’s only human to have doubts about your own value. We all feel that way at times. Your life means something, even if you don’t think so at the moment.
The last 2.5 years have been a living nightmare. The world seems different and more difficult now than in the pre-pandemic years — and it’s not just that this virus won’t go away. Just getting by has become more complicated for many people, especially on a financial level.
For those who live paycheck to paycheck, inflation is making life even harder.
Even if you have a good job that pays well, you realize that your hard work now adds up to less than it did before. If you own your own home or have a 401K, their loss in value doesn’t exactly put you in a good mood, but you have to learn to deal with it. Eventually, the market will come back better and stronger. This is a rough patch, and you have to wait it out as best as you can. If you are wallowing in your perceived losses, you may miss the opportunities that are still out there.
I tried for a week to buy the Series I savings bonds (for “inflation”) and could never get the website to work. Too many people were doing the same thing, probably having waited like I did until shortly before the deadline. Procrastination or just dealing with other stuff may mean that you missed that round too. The bonds are now paying about 6.5%, which is less than the 9.5% offered earlier, but there’s still an opportunity to make a little extra if you have some savings.
It’s important to keep your focus during this difficult time. If you are in the stock market, you may be feeling a little better now, but if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, you may be getting nervous. Interest rates, along with inflation, will stop going up at some point, but you need to be prepared for rate hikes the likes of which we haven’t seen for a couple of decades.
None of this is good for your everyday stress level. Add to this all the other things that are not going well in the world, and you may be wondering what this existence is all about. It’s a fair question at this point in history.
The key is to make the most of your experience. It can be an interesting experience or an uncomfortable one. That is an internal choice, if you don’t let your feelings run you. Do yoga, take walks, spend time with your loved ones, figure out things to do with your partner that won’t break the budget, volunteer, or do whatever it takes to feel good about your time on this planet.
You have to trust that you have come this far and will continue to thrive with a few adjustments. If you are cutting back because you’re feeling financially squeezed, remember that prices will go down somewhat eventually, but not to where they once were. You have to accept where you are now and adjust accordingly.
We all must continue to move our lives forward. It might cost more, and we might complain about the price of gas forever, but being able to just drive where we need to is a gift, and so is this life.©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC