UNITED STATES—If the past 2-3 years have taught us anything, it is the fact that many things are unexpected in life. In particular, finances or money, depending what you choose to coin it people. The year 2020 hit us like a freight truck. Coronavirus came out of nowhere and literally had this country and so many Americans on their knees. Businesses were shut down, food was scarce, household items were a battle to obtain and we were in literal lockdown America.

If you were planning to venture out it was at your own risk and every single penny you had you had to stretch to its fullest potential. Why? So many of us became unemployed or without a job overnight. Getting government benefits for those who qualified was like pulling teeth and when you received that money it went out in a wave to pay of bills to keep the essentials.

The pandemic saw this country do something that has never transpired before: the government giving out money people. That is what transpired in 2020 and 2021. I mean a $1200 federal stimulus check, a $600 check then add on a $1400 stimulus check that is a total of $3200 that most Americans received. That’s a lot of money people. At the same time, if you were one of those lucky ones to receive the $600 additional unemployment benefit you earned a lot of money so much to the point it should have placed you in a position to really tackle a lot of debt and get ahead on your finances. However, did many Americans actually take advantage of that?

Nope. You know what many did? They took those funds to go shopping and splurge. Instead of spending that money on bills, car notes, a down payment on a house or purchasing something you needed, so many of us decided it was time to splurge. Let me go purchase a $2,000 Louis Vuitton purse because I’ve never had one and this is an opportunity I might not get again. Designer shades, designer everything this is what I witnessed time and time again in 2020 (vastly when many retailers opened their doors back to the public), but also in 2021 and its spilling over to 2022.

At the same time, we didn’t think how that $2,000 could have been put away for a rainy day, for our retirement, to take a long-awaited trip that we’ve been wanting to plan, but did not have the funds to do. You know when you go to the back and you’re literally taking out the entire check that just got deposited into your account? That is not a good thing America, but that is the situation so many of us are currently in. We’re not getting ahead or being better about planning how we spend our money when it comes to our finances and because of that, the struggle is real for many in 2022 where inflation is at an all-time high people.

Gas prices are higher now than what they were in 2008, when I thought it was NOT possible. I mean nearly 15 years ago that was a damn struggle with gas nearing $5 a gallon. Now gas is indeed $5 a gallon if not more and the cost of everything, and I mean everything is way higher than it’s ever been. If you’re going to the grocery store, you’re in situations where you are spending double of what you have paid in the past 6 months or year. Yes, a lot of Americans are making more money, but if you’re spending more for goods and services, the extra income does not balance itself out people. No one is winning now except the oil companies, everyone else is losing big time.

We don’t even look at the notion of every time we get $100; we automatically place $30 to $40 in savings. I would argue half should go into savings, but that is NOT always easy people. So I think putting something away is better than nothing because it adds up over time and for many Americans they do not think long-term, but guess what, we have to think long-term people. If you save now, you don’t have to worry about being placed in a bind where you don’t know what to do if an unexpected situation arise people. If you save today, you can prepare for tomorrow. Remember that saying!

Written By Jason Jones