Cost-of-living crisis: Stressed? These 5 tips may help
The cost-of-living crisis is an alarming situation seen affecting different parts of the globe. With prices of food, basic household items, fuel, and access to healthcare facilities skyrocketing, it hasn't only built economic tension but also mental stress worldwide. From strong economies like the UK to countries like Pakistan, the cost-of-living crisis is sparing none, hinting toward an impending situation in India too.
What exactly is a cost-of-living crisis?
The cost-of-living crisis is defined as a fall in 'real' disposable incomes. It is a situation wherein the cost of basic and essential items like food, household, healthcare, power, gas, fuel, etc increase rapidly, causing a disturbance in the economy. During such times, people are forced to cut down on their spending, even on necessities, leading to a rise in poverty.
Are the cost-of-living crisis and inflation the same?
The cost-of-living crisis and inflation are two related metrics. However, the two are not identical. Inflation leads to a cost-of-living crisis and while the former may subside with time, the latter continues to stay for a prolonged period. For instance, if inflation causes a rise in the prices of fuel and if your salary doesn't increase with it, it leads to a cost-of-living crisis.
Tip 1: Calculate your savings and expenses
The first way to stay strong during such tough times is to calculate how much money you have saved or can save. This can help you prioritize your expenses and know how much to spend on what. It may also help relieve some stress as you may be able to see your real financial standing and plan your survival in the cost-of-living crisis accordingly.
Tip 2: Steer clear of news and social media
Always remember you are not alone. This crisis is a global phenomenon, wherein even the most developed and strong economies are collapsing. Easier said than done, but try to ground yourself by not tuning into the news or social media. A global situation is not necessarily a personal one always. Someone facing extreme adversity doesn't indicate it's going to knock on your doors too.
Tip 3: Plan with your friends, relatives, or neighbors
People who matter in your life don't only show up on happy occasions, but even during the saddest times. So if you have such people around, it's time to plan survival to evade the cost-of-living crisis. The key here is to indulge in sharing. From carpooling and meal-sharing to cooping up in one room to save power, small contributions can help in big ways.
Tip 4: Build a network and offer/receive help
The intensity of the cost-of-living crisis may vary from community to community. People with low or zero income are the worst affected by any global phenomenon. Hence, you can build a network - online or offline, to offer help to those in a dire need of food, medicines, or other basic necessities. People can mention their requirements and donations so that they are heard.
Tip 5: Keep yourself occupied with productive things
A free mind can wander anywhere, especially in negative places during a threatening situation, so it is best advised to keep yourself busy with the things that keep you productive. Stay occupied with your work, check with your workplace if the management has policies in place that help you survive the cost-of-living crisis, and indulge in hobbies for the sake of your mental health.