Millennials are the most educated generation ever, but they're also the first generation to face a lower standard of living than their parents.
Financial trends are important to know more than ever because they effect the family budget the most. Families are already having a hard time keeping up with the rising prices of services and goods. Being aware of what direction society is moving in can help them adapt their budgets to remain within reach of their goals. Here's how this may affect family budgets:
1. Food Prices Will Continue to Rise for the Foreseeable Future
Food prices are largely influenced by food demand, oil prices, and speculation on commodities markets. The biofuel industry has also played a role in rising food prices because it takes away land dedicated to farming which could be used for other crops. There is little to no sign of improvement in the food market, with projections expecting prices to continue to rise.
2. Housing Prices Will Continue to Climb
It is not a secret that housing prices are increasing at an accelerated rate. If we consider the USA, the average price of a house is around $375,000. The price is even higher if you go to major cities like San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles.
The same applies to the cost of renting a home, where some landlords have increased rent substantially within a short time. It is happening due to demand exceeding supply. The main reason housing prices are rising is because of inflation, which is rising at a rate of about 2% per year.
3. Utilities Will Continue to Rise With Time
Electricity bills have increased in the last few years due to higher government regulations and unbalanced energy sources present on grids across the country. The same goes for water bills. With an increased focus on environmental consciousness, government regulations have become stricter on how much energy and water businesses can use without incurring a penalty.
4. Education Will Become More Expensive
Education cost is one of the major concerns of most parents. In the past, a high school degree was enough for most careers, but with time it has become more and more necessary for people to get a bachelor's degree to remain competitive in the job market.
The average college tuition fee in the USA is around $40,000 and you have to pay for living, study materials, and food separately. To make things worse, the cost is expected to increase in the coming years.
5. Medical Bills Will Continue to Rising
Healthcare costs are increasing at an alarming rate so it would be wise to take care of your health as much as possible, especially if you have a chronic illness or are overweight. An obese person spends an average of $1,500 more than a person with normal weight due to regular doctor appointments and medication.
Health care costs may increase even further in the coming years because of increased medical research, environmental changes causing new diseases, and population growth.
6. Rents Will Continue Rising
In major cities across Europe and North America, rent is increasing due to population growth and the fact that most people living in urban areas are only willing to live in specific neighborhoods. If there is not enough housing for rent or sale, prices will naturally increase. A recent study has shown that more than 50% of millennials were forced to live on their parent's couch because they could not afford to rent a place for themselves.
7. Limited Job Opportunities
Many people who have studied hard in school and received a degree in the last few years are not able to find jobs because of increased competition. It is especially difficult if you don't live in an economically developed country or a major city.
The unemployment rate is expected to rise for the foreseeable future due to structural changes taking place in the job market. For example, a machine can now do a better job than a person when it comes to sorting coffee beans or taking orders from customers at a restaurant.
8. The Cost of Gasoline and Fuel Will Increase
The cost of transportation is increasing due to multiple factors. The first reason is the fact that governments are imposing stricter regulations on fuel quality, which raises prices across the board. Add to that higher demand for oil in developing countries and it is easy to see why gasoline costs around $3 per gallon in many parts of the world.
9. The Value of the Dollar Will Continue to Fall
In the last few years, the value of most world currencies has either increased or remained relatively stable. The dollar is a notable exception because it has lost significant value concerning most major international currencies.
A dollar can now buy 40% less than what it used to just 10 years ago. In the future, the value of the dollar is expected to decline even further because of various factors such as inflation, trade deficit, and GDP growth.
10. Inflation Rate Will Rise
Inflation is a natural process where prices of goods and services rise as the value of money go down. In many parts of the world, inflation was kept at bay for years because of unfavorable conditions, but that may change in the coming quarters
Governments across Europe and North America have been running large deficits for a long time which has led to increased public debt. If borrowing costs increase, it could easily lead to higher prices and inflation across the board.
What can we do as individuals to deal with these financial trends?
No one can stop these financial trends from taking place but it is possible to prepare for them. Here are some steps you can take right now that will allow you to adapt easier when the time comes:
Learn a new skill that is in high demand on the job market
Create a family budget and stick to it as much as possible
Don't buy a house or car if you don't have the cash in hand
Avoid taking out loans when possible
Start making investments as soon as you start earning (stocks, shares, bonds, etc)
Prepare an emergency fund
These are some of the things that you can do to prepare for these trends. It's better to start preparing now than to wait and deal with the consequences at a later date.
These are the top 10 financial trends that might affect your family budget in 2022. Many people don't consider these economic factors but they should because it's very possible for them to happen in the next few years. It's better to prepare for the worst and enjoy the best. This is a very simple way to ensure that you have enough money to pay your bills, purchase necessities, and create an emergency fund if need be.