How to calculate your ‘personal inflation rate’

Share

If you read the headlines, you have probably seen plenty of coverage that inflation is a big issue for the UK economy right now. But will it actually end up being a big problem for you?

The truth is, it all depends on what you spend your money on.

The official measure of inflation, based on economists’ rough guesses about what most people buy each month, could be very different from the unofficial inflation that you yourself are experiencing. This means if you want to know how much to worry about rising prices, and perhaps whether to budget for them, you need to calculate your own personal rate of inflation beyond what you see talked about in news.

It is tempting to think of inflation as a shrinking bank note, as if today’s inflation rate meant each pound coin in your wallet would be worth 95 pence the next time you walk into a store. But the so-called ‘headline rate’ is really just a one size-fits-all average that can disguise the fact that prices for some goods are ballooning dramatically, while prices for others may be static or even falling.

Whether inflation ends up taking a bigger or smaller amount from your budget depends on what your expenses are. A good example right now is energy prices, which are among the biggest catalysts for inflation. If you are not driving, you are not directly impacted by higher fuel costs for a car. Of course, a non-driver may still be affected indirectly by higher fuel costs because it could cost more to take public transportation, get an Uber or transport items to stores. But the pain of paying more money to fill up your tank at the petrol station will not be felt equally by drivers and non-drivers alike.

To calculate your personal inflation rate, experts recommend analysing how your annual spending can be divided between eight broad categories — food, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation and leisure, education and communication, and other goods. (It may help if you already use a budgeting app or if your credit card categorizes expenses for you.) With that information, you can then input your spending for each category into a worksheet and update the current inflation rates for each category. This personalised inflation rate will help you to understand how inflation impacts both your spending and your savings.

While inflation will eat into any money that you have in a savings account, your investments may not take much of a hit. That is because stocks historically have outperformed the rate of inflation.

If you would like helping calculating your personal inflation rate, please reach out to your financial planner.

Articles on this website are offered only for general information and educational purposes. They are not offered as, and do not constitute, financial advice. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking advice from a professional.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. Capital is at risk; investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested.

You are now departing from the regulatory site of Finura. Finura is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site.

Sources: Techlink

Share

Other News

Equity release surges in popularity

A surge in homeowners looking to free up cash from their properties propelled the figure for equity release to £1.05bn in the three months to the end of September.

How to beat inflation

For the past decade there has been a simple answer to how to reliably beat inflation: put your money in an equity income investment trust. Is that still the case?

Further pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates

The Bank of England is under mounting pressure to increase interest rates next month after inflation rose to the highest level in a decade in October.