Guest Sign UpLoginNew PostSections ₦0What's Up?DownloadsShopChatToolsAdvertise
Join the Publishers' Program. Get paid for writing.
Recharge DSTV, GOTV, StarTimes, & PREPAID METERS on

Mr A

What is Inflation?

Inflation is the sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. It is the rate at which the value of a currency is eroding or falling due to the rise in prices. As inflation rises, the purchasing power of money diminishes, meaning each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services.

It is essential to understand inflation to effectively manage your personal finances, as it impacts your income, expenses, savings, and investments. This article will discuss the fundamentals of inflation and how it affects your financial well-being.

Types of Inflation

There are several types of inflation, each with a unique set of causes and effects. The most common types are:

Demand-pull Inflation

This occurs when there is a higher demand for goods and services than what the economy can currently supply. The increased demand forces prices to rise, leading to inflation. Demand-pull inflation is usually the result of a strong economy with low unemployment, increased consumer spending, or expansionary monetary policies.

Cost-push Inflation

Cost-push inflation happens when the prices of production inputs, such as raw materials or wages, increase. As the cost of manufacturing products rises, businesses pass these costs onto consumers, leading to higher prices and causing inflation. Cost-push inflation can stem from supply-side issues like natural disasters, trade wars, or a surge in commodity prices.

Built-in Inflation

Built-in inflation is the result of adaptive expectations that involve a self-perpetuating cycle of price increases. As businesses and individuals assume that inflation will continue due to past experiences, they adjust their behavior accordingly. For example, workers may ask for higher wages to keep up with the rising cost of living, which in turn leads to higher production costs and subsequently higher prices.

Measuring Inflation

Economists use various methods to measure inflation, two of the most common being the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI).

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI is a widely-used indicator of inflation that measures the percentage change in the price of a basket of goods and services typically consumed by households. A government agency calculates the CPI by monitoring the prices of these goods and services over time. As the cost of the basket increases, it reflects a rise in inflation.

Producer Price Index (PPI)

PPI measures the average change in the selling prices of domestic goods and services received by producers over time. While CPI reflects the cost of living for consumers, PPI captures the cost of production for businesses. An increase in PPI could eventually lead to higher consumer prices, as producers may pass rising costs onto customers.

Causes of Inflation

Inflation can be the result of several economic factors, including:

  • Monetary policy: Money supply growth, set by central banks, can impact inflation rates. When a central bank expands the money supply, it may trigger higher demand for goods and services, leading to demand-pull inflation.
  • Fiscal policy: Governments can influence inflation through their spending and taxation policies. Large government deficits, financed through money creation, can contribute to demand-pull inflation.
  • Supply shocks: Sudden changes in supply can significantly affect prices, leading to cost-push inflation. Examples include natural disasters, geopolitical events, or changes in commodity prices.
  • Consumer and investor sentiment: When people expect prices to rise, they may increase their spending and investing activities, contributing to demand-pull inflation.
  • Structural factors: Factors such as a growing population, technological advancements, or changes in global trade dynamics can influence inflation rates over time.

Effects of Inflation on Personal Finance

Understanding inflation is crucial for managing your finances effectively. Here's how inflation impacts various aspects of personal finance:


Inflation affects your real income, which is the amount of goods and services that your nominal income can buy. As prices rise, your purchasing power decreases unless your income grows at the same rate as inflation. If your salary does not keep up with inflation, you may struggle to maintain your existing standard of living.


As inflation increases, so does the cost of your everyday expenses. The rise in prices of essential items such as food, housing, and healthcare can lead to a higher cost of living, which may require you to adjust your budget accordingly.


Inflation erodes the value of your savings, as the purchasing power of your stored wealth decreases over time. Holding cash or cash-equivalent assets in a high-inflation environment can lead to significant losses in real value. To preserve your purchasing power, it is essential to invest in assets that tend to outpace inflation.


Inflation can affect the performance of various investment types. Bonds, for example, are sensitive to inflation because they pay a fixed interest rate. With rising inflation, the real return on bonds may become negative, making them less attractive. Stocks, on the other hand, can potentially provide higher returns than inflation, since companies can adjust their prices to account for increased costs. However, high inflation can also lead to market volatility and negatively impact stock returns in the short term.


Inflation can both help and hurt you when it comes to debt. On one hand, if you have a fixed-rate loan, inflation can potentially reduce the real burden of your debt, as your future payments will be made with dollars that have less purchasing power. On the other hand, if you have a variable-rate loan, higher inflation may lead to higher interest rates, increasing your debt cost.

Managing the Effects of Inflation

Here are some strategies to help you manage the effects of inflation on your personal finances:

  • Invest in assets that outpace inflation: Diversifying your investments across assets like stocks, real estate, or inflation-protected securities can help you hedge against inflation and preserve the real value of your wealth.
  • Adjust your budget: Keep track of your expenses and adjust your budget as needed to accommodate increases in the cost of living.
  • Build an emergency fund: Having a cushion to cover unexpected expenses can help prevent financial instability during times of inflation.
  • Pay off high-interest debt: If you have high-interest loans, prioritize paying them off as quickly as possible to reduce the impact of rising interest rates on your debt burden.
  • Negotiate for a salary increase: As the cost of living rises, consider discussing a salary increase with your employer to maintain your standard of living.


Inflation is an essential economic concept that plays a significant role in managing your personal finances. By understanding the basics of inflation and its potential effects on your income, expenses, savings, investments, and debts, you can make better financial decisions and safeguard your financial well-being in the face of changing economic conditions.

Follow @JalingoHQ on twitter.

Related Topics

Top SectionsSee More

This forum does not have any topics.

Top Posters This Month (500 Credits)
(See More)