December 6, 2021
Have you noticed that store shelves are looking a little… picked over?
Everything from food to toys to computer chips are in short supply and high demand. And it’s straining economies—and consumers—the world over.
The cause? The Pandemic (big surprise).
The results? Empty shelves and skyrocketing prices.
Here’s what happened. The COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns torpedoed both supply AND demand. Factories couldn’t produce due to COVID restrictions, and consumers weren’t going out and shopping.
As lockdowns ended, people resumed their shopping, increasing demand. But manufacturers have struggled to regain their footing.
They face basic logistical problems like a lack of shipping containers.
Even more problematic, the entire supply chain is short-staffed. Docks don’t have enough workers to move goods off ships. But it wouldn’t make a difference if they did—there aren’t enough truckers to transport goods from docks to stores!
All of those issues result in empty shelves and higher prices as consumers scramble to snatch up what little is available.
So how can you minimize the impact of the supply chain meltdown on your wallet? Here are three strategies…
Start holiday shopping ASAP. Gift buying season is here. And with the supply chain in chaos, holiday shopping will only grow more expensive. Get gifts sooner rather than later.
Adjust your budget. That means shifting spending power away from experiences, restaurants, and new gadgets—and towards living expenses.
Increase your income. If shifting your budget isn’t enough, it may be time to boost your income. Seek out new opportunities like a new job or a side hustle to help give your cash flow a bump.
And remember—these supply problems may linger. The global supply chain is a complex beast, and it won’t resolve its issues overnight.