Bobservations: Tips for Dealing with Inflation this Christmas Season
According to the Energy Information Agency, the average price of gasoline per gallon in California was $3.23 in December 2020. Today that same gallon of gas is $4.62 per gallon. The USDA shows that the average price for a gallon of milk was $3.61 in January 2021. By November, it was up to $3.72. These are only two examples of what we are feeling, and I bet you have plenty more you can share. What we are all experiencing is inflation. Simply stated, inflation is the increase in prices over a period of time. The inflation we are experiencing is primarily due to the low supply of goods and services and the high demand. Many factors contribute to the low supply-high demand scenario we are facing. The COVID-19 pandemic led to shutdowns that hindered the global supply chain, which induced some people into panic buying. Thanks for the economics 101 lesson Bob, but what can we do about it? Well, more than you think. Regardless of the cause of inflation, it is here, and we must deal with it. Here are three tips to help get you through this Christmas season of inflation.
When the pandemic and the ensuing shutdowns hit in early 2020, people started to hoard things like toilet paper, disinfectants, bleach, paper towels, you name it, and suddenly there was a shortage. This type of panic buying drives up the demand and ultimately the cost of goods. Stay clam. Prepare without panic. If you are a follower of Christ, can I remind you of Jesus’ words found in Matthew 6:25-34?
Make a Budget
Come on; you knew this was going to be a part of any financial advice I give. Whether dealing with inflation, deflation, a recession, or an economic boom, you must make a budget. As John Maxwell said, a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Making a zero-based budget every month is the best way to take control of your finances, especially during trying financial times. To learn how to make a zero-based budget click this link to Dave Ramsey’s website. Also, be on the lookout for our next session of FPU coming up in the Winter of 2022!
Think of Others
Generosity is an outcome of following Jesus. Because of the example of the selfless sacrifice that Jesus demonstrated, as His followers, we cannot help but want to be like Him. During times of inflation, fight the temptation to panic and hoard. Philippians 2:3-5 says it best, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,” During the holiday season, there are multitudes of ways to be generous. Every December, Sunridge provides opportunities for expressions of generosity, and this year is no different.
Sunridge Christmas Offering
Rancho Damacitas (which now falls under CMOH) will be offering the moms the “Faith and Finance” Program, created by the Chalmers Center, the organization behind When Helping Hurts. It is a series of twelve sessions on financial literacy for low-income or financially vulnerable adults. Sunridge has several women to mentor and support the women in this program. As part of our Christmas offering this year, Sunridge will invest financially to provide the resources needed to run the entire program.
CIF (Capital Improvement Fund)
Once we have successfully hit the monthly budget and fulfilled our outreach goal, there are areas of significant financial need in our facility:
- Fire Alarm Retrofit – The City imposed fire alarm saga is finally nearing the end. After multiple delays due to COVID, the work is nearing completion. We expect our final installment to be around $60K.
- MPR HVAC Replacement – One of the two HVAC units in the MPR is no longer operational. The replacement cost is $15K.
- Stripe & Slurry – The upper parking area (offices) is in dire need of a coat of slurry to prevent further damage. The cost to slurry and stripe this area is $10K.
- Sound System for the Worship Center – In 2017, we created a sinking fund in the budget with a three-year plan to replace the aging and failing Worship Center sound system. Unfortunately, budget cuts necessitated the removal of this fund after only one year. An additional $70K is needed to replace the sound system.
These are just a few ways you can be a part of what God is doing in and through Sunridge. Inflation is real. But, it doesn’t have to ruin your holiday season. Take back control, don’t panic, build a budget, and think of others.