Updated: Mar 21
If ever I could give a prophetic word it would be this. What is coming after Brexit, Covid, The Cost of Living Crisis, and the Ukraine war is a financial meltdown. It will come in the form of inflation, raises in income tax, energy taxes, increase taxes on dividends, below-inflation increases in benefits, harder ability to claim benefit aid, and a possible VAT hike, Interest rates paid out by banks will also not follow the inflation path, so we'll pay more to live but if we have savings those savings will not help enough to offset inflation.
We're a family of three and used to spend £100 a week on food. Built into that was treats and the cost of providing some meals to family and friends and also in that was buying straw, cabbage, bits, and bobs for the animals we have. Within the last 3 months, our food bill has gone up by £30 a week.
Energy In the last three months has also increased hugely (including the cost of petrol at the pump) going up by at least 40%, but yet as we approach April general income will increase by 3%. So you have to start asking tougher questions, making tougher decisions.
My biggest fear in all of this is the 22% of society who live in poverty in the UK (https://www.jrf.org.uk/data/overall-uk-poverty-rates) will be hit the hardest.
If we step back from the immediate need, the video below helps us understand greed, passing on the buck, and how we could as the people, influence the Government not to take the short-term fix which removes any potential long-term gain. If you think why Nato is not protecting Ukraine (not a member, but of strategic military advantage) it's because Nato feels it can't afford it. It's now trying to cripple Russia's reserves to give up before Nato countries have to print even more money to fund a war - not of their own making.
Charlie Munger is the second in charge of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most long-term thinking and ethical investment houses in the USA, led by Warren Buffet.
I think Charlie here, raises questions of mankind's greed and governments choose easy routes out to problems they face.
With all of what is going on, make sure you prepare yourself for the next financial crisis. Here are five quick suggestions.
1) Get your savings into the highest-paid ISA you can or into Property or Pensions with good terms.
2) To save short-term cash, really shop around for your groceries, for your fuel, for your energy suppliers. Loyalty to the companies that are now charging the highest rates like British Gas, will cost you thousands of pounds more per year.
3) Don't be afraid to check your giving, you might need to swap giving to a more urgent short-term need, but if you have to change your giving to charities you have supported over many years, reduce the mount rather than cancel the commitment.
4) Don't be swayed by the news, there is a war going on in Europe and there is propaganda out there. So never make a rash decision and talk it through with family or friends.
5) Help the young ones around you. You may be sitting on money that your grandchild could use for a deposit on a house that helps them not waste money on rent. It might now be time to suggest they buy somewhere, and you loan them the deposit at 0% on favourable terms so they can get onto the property ladder.
What a crazy world we live in. Borrowing is going to be higher, pay expensive credit cards and overdrafts off, find better places for savings and just be careful if you invest in the stock market, as if that crashes in these turbulent times, everything is even a bit tougher than it is now.