What is inflation, and how is it impacting gen Z?

By Charlie Sawyer

Published Jun 30, 2023 at 01:12 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Every day, as I stroll through London on my way to the office listening to the Legally Blonde soundtrack and sporting an outfit that looks like it’s taken straight from an episode of Zoey 101, I think to myself: “I wonder how many people there are out there that have zero clue what inflation actually is.” These are the kind of musings I have before I’ve managed to locate an iced oat vanilla latte—or a double shot espresso if I’m feeling feisty.

Let’s be real, inflation is hella confusing but understanding what it’s about is supposedly key to adulting. A lot of us wander through life claiming to know what it means, when in reality, most of us are just making it up as we go along. So, as your friendly neighbourhood blonde, allow me to break it down in the easiest way possible.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by SCREENSHOT (@screenshothq)

What does the word inflation mean?

In its most basic form—aka, the only kind I’m interested in—inflation refers to the rate at which prices increase over a period of time. Think of it as a big picture idea.

One really accessible way of thinking about it, is considering the way in which the cost of living crisis has impacted prices in the UK. The cozzie livs, as it’s known to gen Zers, has been a complete nightmare, and inflation plays a really big role in this.

If there is a high rate of inflation, things cost more. Picture yourself browsing the aisles at Tesco, you’re hunting down a packet of Wotsits, maybe some sausage rolls to go with it. You’re thinking that you’ll maybe need to spend £3 or so—I mean, that’s what it’s always cost. Well, think again. You approach the till and surprise, surprise, your total is a whopping £6.50. Now that, my sweet girls and gays, is inflation.

Why does inflation change?

The problem with this whole inflation malarkey is that it’s constantly changing, so if you don’t have a side piece or boo who works in asset management, then it’s incredibly hard to keep track of it.

Financial jargon and lingo feels pretty isolating when you’re wearing a crochet pink bolero and sipping some £5.50 wine on a random Tuesday evening. In reality, there are only a few things you really need to know about inflation and why it fluctuates.

It’s really all about supply and demand. If the economy is struggling, prices go up, but our wages stay the same, and so day-to-day living becomes far more squeezed. It becomes harder to save and it completely changes the way people approach borrowing money or applying for a loan.

Now, while I don’t think it’s helpful diving into things like mortgage rates or economic activity—for now anyway—the main thing you need to know is that when inflation is high, so are prices. In the UK, inflation is currently at 8.7 per cent, one of the highest rates we’ve ever experienced as a country. For context, a ‘good’ inflation rate would sit at about 2 per cent. So, it’s not looking great basically.

How can inflation be reduced?

Inflation can go down if governments decide to seriously increase taxes and cut back spending. Although that almost never actually works, and when they do increase taxes, it hits the middle man much harder than it does the CEO of Starbucks. Either way, it’s a hard thing to combat.

Inflation is a confusing topic, and it’s something people in the financial industry often don’t take the time to properly explain. But, fear not, your resident blonde will always be here to walk you through the most boring of subjects. I got you babe.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

The corrupt cozzie livs: Labour MP Nadia Whittome breaks down cost of living crisis’ impact on gen Z

By Charlie Sawyer

Gen Zers from across the UK reveal the profound impact the cost of living crisis has had on their lives

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Hidden in the Philippine mountains, there’s a cult that preys on children’s fear of hell

By Abby Amoakuh

Kanye West to build a kingdom in the Middle East as part of his plans for a Yeezyverse

By Abby Amoakuh

Black models boycott Melbourne Fashion Week to protest racial discrimination

By Phoebe Snedker

Kourtney Kardashian isn’t dramatic, she’s yet another victim of eldest daughter syndrome

By Charlie Sawyer

Why PinkPantheress is the lowkey gen Z pop princess we all deserve

By Abby Amoakuh

Elon Musk threatened to burn Warner Bros. down after Amber Heard was fired from Aquaman 2

By Charlie Sawyer

Gwyneth Goes Skiing is a campy delight, plus it’s doing wonders for Gwyneth Paltrow’s PR

By Charlie Sawyer

Hair today, bare tomorrow: Nudist barbershops are trending in Brazil

By Abby Amoakuh

Shocking list of F1 legends who have been linked to Jeffrey Epstein in latest court documents

By Charlie Sawyer

Gypsy Rose Blanchard says husband Ryan Anderson’s D is fire after trolls call him a creep

By Abby Amoakuh

Gen Z are sober curious: Unpacking younger generations’ changing relationship with alcohol

By Abby Amoakuh

Gen Z just played a crucial role in South Korea finally banning the dog meat industry

By Abby Amoakuh

Beyoncé just dropped the trailer for the Renaissance World Tour concert film. Watch it here

By Charlie Sawyer

Girlies just leaked the teaser trailer for Mean Girls: The Musical and people aren’t happy

By Jack Ramage

Who is Dylan Page? The TikTok creator changing the way gen Z consume news

By Abby Amoakuh

Muslim Germans feel censored and alienated as the country continues to ignore its Islamophobia problem

By Charlie Sawyer

5 celebrity breakups that emotionally wrecked us in 2023

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Watch videos of how Floridians are preparing for Hurricane Idalia to hit their homes