5 reasons why 2022 is going to be a financial rollercoaster – and what to do about it
Sponsored: Here’s how to hold on.
1. The inflation sting
Prices in 2021 have risen at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years, and inflation looks to be Americans’ biggest economic challenge in 2022. Consumer demand, supply chain issues and the spread of the Omicron variant threaten to keep prices rising sharply this year.
Many of us feel the effects at the grocery store, but there are things you can do to save money there. Here are some of our favorite strategies you’re probably not using yet.
2. Rising rents and housing costs
The rent is too high! Rents have jumped 10, 20 or even 30% in some cities, while house prices continue to rise.
Between inflation, stagnant wages and rising costs, many of us are looking for ways to increase our incomes. A free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play to win real money – up to $83 per win.
You may be thinking: there must be a catch. It’s definitely one of those spammy apps, isn’t it?
Wrong. There really is no catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.
In each game, you will face at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck the fastest can win real money – between $1 and $83.
On the App Store, it has over 1 million downloads and over 15,000 ratings, with an average of 4.7 stars (out of 5).
To get started, simply download the free app and start playing your first game right away.
3. The repayment of student loan repayments
If you have federal student loans, you’ve had a break in your payments — until now. Millions of people who owe money have not repaid their loans for almost two years, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
As of this writing, the Biden administration has extended the student loan payment pause until May 1, 2022.
But what about after that? Will you be ready to start making payments again? It would be wise to put some money aside when the moratorium on payments is finally lifted.
With an Aspiration account, you can earn up to 20 times the average interest on your savings balance. Plus, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your debit card purchases, helping you save even more.
It takes five minutes to register. And don’t worry. Your digital account is FDIC insured and protected with military-grade encryption. It’s nerd language for “it’s totally safe”.
4. The unpredictable stock market
What will the stock market do in 2022? Who knows? If we knew this stuff for sure, we would already be rich.
The stock market has performed well in 2021 despite COVID-19. For example, the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all posted double-digit returns. Basically, all this jargon means investors have made a lot of money.
We don’t know what 2022 will bring, but we know analysts don’t expect the stock market to crash. Which means if you haven’t started investing yet, you should consider getting started.
Whether you have $5, $100, or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood. Investment beginners and pros alike love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees and you can buy and sell stocks for free – with no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What is best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood deposits a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so the stock could be worth between $2.50 and $200 – a nice boost to help you build your investments.
5. Higher car insurance premiums
Auto insurance rates are expected to rise in 2022, according to a number of industry sources that have been quoted in the media.
Why? This is because the overall cost of doing business is increasing for virtually every business in the United States, including insurance companies. They will pass that cost on to customers like you in the form of higher premiums.
When it comes to car insurance, you should shop around every six months or so anyway. But don’t waste your time browsing through different insurance companies looking for a better deal.
Use a website called EverQuote to see all of your options at once.
EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the United States, so you’ll get the best options from over 175 different insurers brought directly to you.
Take a few minutes to answer a few questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the best car insurance recommendations. In minutes, you could save up to $610 per year.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.